Automobile Gear We Use: An OBD-II Scanner, a Cellphone Mount, and the Coolest Lego Set in Years

At Hearst Autos, we’re continuously making an attempt out new gear for automobile, vans, and generally bikes—and the individuals who love them. That features instruments for engaged on automobiles, aftermarket merchandise for bettering on them, and the devices, tech, and equipment that make them extra user-friendly. The staffs of our publications—Automobile and Driver, Highway & Observe, and Autoweek—are within the trenches week after week to carry you the perfect in automotive information and data. And within the course of, we use a whole lot of stuff.

There is a ton of automotive gear and merchandise on the market, but when you have not tried one thing your self, how are you going to know whether or not it is value shopping for? We’re within the lucky place to have the ability to get our collective fingers on a ton of automobile stuff every week. That is why we’re sharing with our readers all of the gear, merchandise, and equipment the Hearst Autos workers makes use of and recommends.

Listed here are our picks for the perfect automobile and automotive gear of the week.

obdii car scanner auto diagnostic tool

Michael SimariAutomobile and Driver

BlueDriver Bluetooth Professional OBD-II Scan Device

Right here within the Automobile and Driver testing division, we’ve got a plethora of electronics to report knowledge whereas we extract each ounce of efficiency from a automobile. Issues usually go easily, however on uncommon event, the dreaded check-engine mild will activate throughout testing. Is it an innocuous misfire code or one thing extra critical? We should know earlier than we will keep it up.

The Lemur BlueDriver is greater than only a code reader—it is a diagnostic instrument that has discovered its approach into lots of our backpacks. The compact dongle plugs into your automobile’s OBD-II port and connects to an Android or Apple system through Bluetooth. It screens varied onboard sensors and can show the chosen channels in your system. As you drive, it should even report reside knowledge that may be exported to a different system. Ought to it detect any bugs within the methods, related restore ideas primarily based on bother codes are only a faucet away. And in the event you reside in a state with emissions testing, the BlueDriver can test whether or not your automobile is as much as snuff. For fix-it-yourself varieties or anybody who simply needs so as to add a digital readout to their sprint, Lemur’s BlueDriver is a should. —David Beard, technical editor

$119.95 at AMAZON

phone mount on dash

Jon LangstonAutomobile and Driver

iOttie Wi-fi Cellphone Mount and Automobile Charger with Auto Sense

Devices are continuously evolving, and iOttie’s newest automobile cellphone mount is among the many finest mounts we have used. With wi-fi Qi charging and Auto Sense—a characteristic that senses the presence of your cellphone within the cradle and clamps it securely into place—it solves a bunch of issues which have plagued cellphone mounts of the previous.

We’ve tried ’em all around the years: suction-cup mounts that lose their suction inside weeks (if not sooner), air-vent mounts that snapped the fins proper off the vents in our Honda CR-V, cupholder mounts which might be woefully misplaced. To not point out the cables—rattling these cables! The iOttie resolves all of those points in a comparatively reasonably priced package deal that fits virtually any automobile.

It secures to the sprint (or windshield) with a powerful suction cup that reveals no indicators of letting go. The mounting mechanism is strong and simply adjustable. Charging, whereas admittedly slowish, retains a cellphone juiced up. And the clamping operate has proved surprisingly dependable, with cellphone circumstances and all.

As soon as we set a tool into the cradle, two aspect clamps scissor collectively and preserve it safe till the journey is finished and we click on the 2 launch buttons on the edges. True, the mount itself does have to be plugged in often. However as soon as the interior Li-ion battery is charged, the iOttie continues to wirelessly cost for at the very least an hour.

Generally whenever you improve a chunk of tech, you remorse it instantly. However for us, the iOttie Wi-fi Cellphone Mount and Automobile Charger with Auto Sense inches the automobile cellphone mount ever nearer to perfection. —Jon Langston, senior commerce editor

$59.95 at AMAZON

lego motorcycle complete

Collin MorganAutomobile and Driver

Lego Technic BMW M 1000 RR

Lego Technic units aren’t any joke—they’re sophisticated, troublesome, and require each ounce of focus within the tank. However they’re value it. Now Lego’s largest motorbike but simply raised the bar, coming in at a whopping 1:5 scale. With 1920 items and two entire sheets of stickers, the field comprises a ton of stuff to assemble. And assemble I did, spending a number of nights connecting the items. My thumbs are nonetheless sore.

The value is hefty however earned. This set’s high quality lives as much as the Lego customary; the items match completely, the instructions are top-notch, and the result’s a showcase of the years of improvement Lego invested into the set. It is a wonderful train for the thoughts and never for the faint of coronary heart. Meeting will take days and a whole lot of “Wait, did I do this proper?” hesitation.

Absolutely assembled, the bike weighs three kilos, so heavy that Lego engineered a brand-new suspension setup to help the beast. While you simply wish to admire it on a shelf, the set comes with a stand that incorporates a spec-sheet plaque to show with satisfaction.

All in all, that is the last word Lego problem. It is going to preserve you engaged for so long as your thumbs final. Within the lifeless of winter, it is an ideal likelihood to check your self—and that is why I like to recommend it.—Collin Morgan, assistant commerce editor

$229.99 at LEGO

hand sanitizer in car cup holder

Adrienne GirardAutomobile and Driver

Megababe Squeaky Clear Hand Sanitizer

Who knew that on this decade we’d head out with not simply our keys, cellphone, and pockets but in addition a masks and hand sanitizer? For the latter, take into account Megababe Squeaky Clear Hand Sanitizer.

What makes this plant-based product a terrific piece of drugs on your automobile? The 16-ounce pump bottle suits completely in a cupholder for fast entry, saving you the step of uncapping a tiny on-the-go spritzer which may fly throughout the cabin throughout sudden braking or an industrial-size model that can roll round forgotten within the cargo space.

Regardless of the girly model title, the paraben-free sanitizer inside has a refined citrus perfume that is simply gender-neutral—in actual fact, it was my husband who urged that we preserve this 16-ounce pump bottle in our heart console. The product has withstood complete summers in my automobile with out the leaky plastic meltdowns I’ve skilled from cheaper packaging. Now that it’s winter, the marula oil and aloe stability the alcohol content material to nourish my fingers as a substitute of additional drying them out. —Adrienne Girard, copy chief

$18 at ULTA

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Patrick Moore

Patrick is our chief editor and he's very passionate about cars. He has a bachelor's degree in marketing and he studies journalism. His favorite brand is BMW and he drives an X5 series. When he's not writing for, he enjoys spending time with his family and 9 years old son.

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