You’ve all seen them – sad, yellowed headlights on the nose of a vehicle offering all the illumination of two fireflies in a couple of jam jars. There are several theories as to why some cars end up looking as if they should be extras in a 1970s French movie: exposure to ultraviolet light, constant assault from road debris, and just general poor quality plastic are some of the leading explanations.
Before jumping into this episode of The Buyer’s Guide, a heavy dose of caution is warranted. Aftermarket HID headlights can improve nighttime vision and allow you to see farther down the road … if they’re installed correctly. And, for a lot of people, that’s a big if.
Like it or not, electric vehicles are making up a steadily larger slice of the automotive pie. We will leave the timeline of the total shift for another post, but suffice it to say there are enough customers in this country buying EVs to make a list like this worthwhile.
Several lifetimes ago, your author was the first person in his small town to install a good set of subwoofers, plunking them in the hatchback area of a rusting Ford. Aftermarket stereos had been around for ages, of course, but banging woofers? Not so much. All hands quickly followed suit, one-upping each other and generally infuriating the community’s rapidly aging populace.
There’s no question the Jeep brand has been on a bit of a roll. After launching the new Wrangler a couple of model years ago, they followed that up with the similar-but-really-not Gladiator and are set to (finally) have a three-row offering in the new year. Combine that with volume from the Cherokees – both Grand and un-Grand – plus the Renegade, and FCA essentially has a license to print money.
Most of us have been there at some point in our life: it’s a cold winter’s morning, you’re rushing out the door thanks to young Johnny needing a last-minute costume change because of that extra bowl of Cocoa Puffs, you twist the car’s ignition key … and come up with a whole fistful of nothing. Nada. The battery is deader than current plotlines of The Walking Dead. Great, just great.
This is a slightly difficult list since virtually every vehicle on the road takes a different type of fuel filter. Unless you’re driving a GM product from the ’90s; experience shows they all used roughly the same one from about 1990 until about 2008. Also, know that there typically aren’t service intervals for the replacement of these things – generally, when they go bad, you know.
We know, without a doubt, there are several readers in the audience shouting into their screens that few people use a phone mount these days. One’s phone generally stays in a pocket or unceremoniously flung into storage bin or cupholder. And, yeah, you’ve got a point.
Whether you’re working on a collector car or a daily beater, having a multimeter on hand when one’s required can be a lifesaver. Not only can it help diagnose electrical issues but it can also help narrow down issues and prevent the replacement of perfectly good parts.
It’s all well and good to reminisce about the good old days but, chances are, we’re looking at another time through seriously tinted rose-colored glasses. Sure, more than a few of us used to bounce around on the bench seat of a station wagon or in the bed of a pickup truck but there’s no way anyone can argue in good faith that it was very safe.