Tag: commerce

By on April 19, 2019

best bike racks for your vehicle

From time to time, TTAC will highlight automotive products we think may be of interest to our community. Plus, posts like this help to keep the lights on around here. Learn more about how this works.


For as much as a person may try, there does come the realization that we can’t fit everything into our vehicles — even if one did master the ancient arts of Jenga and Tetris as a youngster. Sometimes a person just has to accept reality, break down, and purchase some sort of auxiliary carrier and lash it to the car.

This is especially true if said items that won’t fit are of an odd size, like several bicycles or a taxidermied tiger shark. While we can’t help you with the latter, we have rounded up a few of our picks for the former, all of which are designed to cart your two-wheeled Victorian antiquity to its far-flung destination. It is far-flung, right? Otherwise, you’d be riding the thing there.

Jokes aside, plenty of otherwise normal folks enjoy packing up their bikes and taking to the trails on weekends. Those trails could be on the rocks of Moab, the forests of Vermont, or the shores of California. Either way, not everyone finds themselves on the doorsteps of those locales, so carting bikes on the exterior of one’s vehicle is hardly a far-fetched proposition.

Assembled here are eight bike racks of various size, price, and application. Choose wisely, and the games of Jenga and Tetris won’t even enter your mind.

(Read More…)

By on April 12, 2019

accessories for your trailer hitch

From time to time, TTAC will highlight automotive products we think may be of interest to our community. Plus, posts like this help to keep the lights on around here. Learn more about how this works.


Trailer hitches are awesome. They allow you to, y’know, hitch a trailer to the back of your ride as you head off with a camper or couple of dirt bikes in tow. During those occasions, it seems to be a very logical addition to a car or truck.

But what about the other 364 days of the year in which you’re not towing anything at all? Even if you do tow something every single Saturday and Sunday—shout out to all those weekend warriors—there are still more than a couple of hundred days in which that square receiver is back there doing nothing. Let’s put it to work.

Fair warning: Not every piece of kit shown in this list will adapt to all trailer hitch receivers on the market. Class III hitches are typically installed on trucks and SUVs and bear a 2-inch receiver, which is to say the square hole on the hitch into which the drawbar is inserted measures 2” x 2”. Other sizes are 1.25” x 1.25” on a smaller Class II hitch, for example. Check yer application before splaying out cash on these or other accessories.

With that out of the way, let’s check out a few items that creative-minded individuals have built to occupy that hitch receiver when it is idle.

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By on April 4, 2019

 

fly5d auto dent removal kit

From time to time, TTAC will highlight automotive products we think may be of interest to our community. Plus, posts like this helps to keep the lights on around here. Learn more about how this works.


This post will be prefaced with two huge caveats. First, your author has exactly a single experience with this type of tool, meaning the recommendations contained within this article are drawn upon that brief encounter, opinions of others who have more experience, and consultations with a battered Ouija board.

The second? We can’t be responsible if you use one of these tools on, say, a leased vehicle only to completely fubar the paint and bodywork. Repairs are at your own risk, folks. If you’re not sure how to use these tools, go find someone who knows what they’re doing.

With that nonsense out of the way, let’s take a gander at what’s on the market for those who seek to straighten out that huge dent in the family whip. Do it right, and your better half might not even know you wrinkled the sheetmetal while hurriedly exiting the Brazzers Revue parking lot. You’re on your own for the wayward credit card receipt from that establishment, though. The best dent repair kits might be able to help drivers erase an embarrassing mistake, and most cost less than going to a body shop to get the work done. These kits won’t work miracles on all dents, however, so make sure to know what you’re getting into or get a quote from a body shop to get a frame of reference first. (Read More…)

By on March 26, 2019

portable air compressors

From time to time, TTAC will highlight automotive products we think may be of interest to our community. It helps you to make informed decisions when buying gear for your car. Plus, posts like this help keep the lights on around here. Learn more about how this works.

Most of us have been there – you’re rushing though the morning routine, late for work, running out to the car … only to find that one of those round black rubber hoops has failed in its job of holding air. A flat tire. Great.

Fortunately, there are plenty of options in the market of portable air compressors which can pump you up faster than Hans and Franz. Some of them require power from a household electrical socket, a few are battery-powered, while others fire right up with juice from a car’s 12V power outlet. The latter two are especially handy if compressed air is needed while one is on the road in a remote area and not parked in the comforts of a covered garage.

Remember, a tire that is leaking air has been damaged, creating a potential safety problem. Be sure to get it inspected by a pro at the first possible opportunity.

With that legally mandated mumbo-jumbo out of the way, here are a few of our picks for portable air compressors and tire inflators. (Read More…)

By on March 22, 2019

potek portable power source

From time to time, TTAC will highlight automotive products we think may be of interest to our community. It helps you to make informed decisions when buying gear for your car. Plus, posts like this help keep the lights on around here. Learn more about how this works.

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.

(Read More…)

By on March 14, 2019

extang solid fold hard folding tonneau cover

From time to time, TTAC will highlight automotive products we think may be of interest to our community. It helps you to make informed decisions when buying gear for your car. Plus, posts like this help keep the lights on around here. Learn more about how this works.


It should be no surprise to anyone reading this post that pickup trucks are popular in this country, to put it mildly. Such is the market for these machines that manufacturers are ladling more and more luxury items on them, searching for the upper limit of opulence and price. By all accounts, they haven’t found the ceiling yet. Silverados, Rams, F-150s … nearly 1 in 5 items to roll off a dealer’s lot with a new-car smell has an open box attached to it.

That open box (whether it’s five-and-a-half, six, or eight feet long) is the indisputable king of cargo. Need to haul a tree home from the arborist? No problem. How about that grandfather clock at the estate sale? Toss it in. The amount of detritus one can handle with a pickup is legendary. Thing is, though, that open bed is – well – open. (Read More…)

By on February 18, 2019

From time to time, TTAC will highlight automotive products we think may be of interest to our community. It helps you to make informed decisions when buying gear for your car. Plus, posts like this helps to keep the lights on around here. Learn more about how this works


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.

The headlamp housings in the vast majority of cars, especially ones at the Mr. Noodles end of the price spectrum, simply weren’t designed to properly reflect and refract the light produced by HID bulbs. It also doesn’t help that most amateur installs tend to end up with one headlight illuminating the Soyuz 2 spacecraft while the other searches for nightcrawlers.  (Read More…)

By on February 8, 2019

best led headlights

From time to time, TTAC will highlight automotive products we think may be of interest to our community. It helps you to make informed decisions when buying gear for your car. Plus, posts like this helps to keep the lights on around here. Learn more about how this works.


There are few things in life more frustrating than one’s car being equipped with a set of headlights which cast approximately as much light as two fireflies in a jam jar. The auto industry has steadily improved the situation by introducing LEDs to the front of many cars … even if the IIHS has an annoying habit of deploying their ‘marginal’ rating far too often.

(Read More…)

By on January 29, 2019

Image: nathee2548/Shutterstock

From time to time, TTAC will highlight automotive products we think may be of interest to our community. Plus, posts like this helps to keep the lights on around here. Learn more about how this works.


Wiper blades are the Rodney Dangerfield of automotive parts. Completely ignored and routinely forgotten, they’re a rarely thought of component … until they wear out. Then, they’re generally the subject of foul language and rude epithets as they give up the ghost and are reduced to tattered strips of rubber that only serve to smear bugs across the windshield.

Ignored in good condition; cursed when worn out. No respect indeed.

We’ve taken a look at this dusty corner of the automotive parts closet and assembled a few recommendations, listed below. For simplicity, 20-inch blades are linked here, as they are a very common size. Now, go check the wipers on your own car before they wear out.

(Read More…)

By on October 18, 2013

bmw-3-series-wagon-450x275

As part of a new free trade agreement due to be signed with the European Union, Canada will remove its 6.1 percent tariff on imported vehicles from the European Union, while the EU will remove its 10 percent duties on autos and and its 4.5 percent duty on parts.

(Read More…)

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