Manufacturers of high-priced headlight bulbs are touting brighter light and greater visibility down the road, which is alluring for drivers, but are they much different than standard bulbs? We put eight models of premium bulbs to the test to see how bright and how far they shine.
Automakers are eliminating spare tires to save space, weight, and cost, instead providing run-flats or just a can of sealant and an inflator for emergencies. And as we saw at the recent SEMA show, aftermarket suppliers are getting into the act with similar emergency kits for car owners.
It's hard to say if two small booths showing similar new widgets at opposite corners of the giant SEMA aftermarket car show constitute a hot new category or just two guys with the same idea and time on their hands. But two such entrepreneurs we saw this year have an interesting product that caught our eye, and one that might appeal to motorists in northern climates.
Having flown into the SEMA show from a newly reopened JFK airport in New York City in the wake of hurricane Sandy, it's fair to say that my perspective on the auto aftermarket's annual celebration of chrome, metal flake paint, lift kits, and more ordinary parts was somewhat skewed this year.
We've all seen the photos of cars under water as a result of Hurricane Sandy; it is safe to assume that countless water-damaged cars will find their way to the used-car market in the next few weeks, presented as ordinary cars rather than the flood cars that they are.
Alloy wheels are strong, stylish, and save weight, but their open-spoke design and contoured surfaces make them a magnet for brake dust and road grime. A number of spray-on products promise to make it easy to keep the wheels clean—an assertion we had to test. But nothing comes easy: We found that elbow grease is often needed and top-dollar doesn't always buy the best cleaning solution.
With winter now just weeks away, this is a good time to plan for your winter tires. Our tire ratings have been updated, and include a wide range of all-season, performance all-season, and dedicated winter tires, including notable studded tires.
As the calendar creeps toward winter, darkness is falling sooner and the days are growing shorter. The rate of injury and death from motor vehicle crashes is higher at night. Now, more than ever, it's important to make sure you're getting the most out of your headlights.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued a consumer warning involving the sale of counterfeit air bags that were used as replacement parts for vehicles involved in a crash. The fake air bags look like certified, original parts with automaker branding, but they may not inflate properly or could deploy pieces of metal shrapnel.
Lately, we've seen a proliferation of cars in our test program that require extra-thin 0W-20-weight synthetic oil. And while this was pretty exotic engine lubricant just a couple of years ago, the cars requiring this expensive synthetic oil are often much less than exotic.
As our writers complete the report on our latest family car tire test results, the engineers are putting together the next testing program: ultra-high-performance (UHP) tires. And they want your help.
Gas prices are up in nearly all areas around the country compared to the week before. The national gasoline average is 16 cents above the price this time last year. Diesel fuel is about 22 cents above this time last year.
Our testers put 100s of products through their paces at our National Testing and Research Center. Learn more about how we test for: