Products chosen and implemented by Hearst Autos

Scott OlmanCar and driver

At Hearst Autos, we’re constantly trying out new gear for cars, trucks and motorcycles and the people who love them. The staff of Car and driver, Road & Trackand Automatic week are in the trenches week after week to bring you the best automotive news and information. In the process, we use many things.

This includes tools for working on vehicles, aftermarket products to improve them, and gadgets, technologies, cleaners and accessories that make them more user-friendly.

There are a ton of automotive gear and products and plenty of places to buy it all. But if you haven’t tried something yourself, how do you know if it’s worth spending your hard-earned money on? That’s why we share our personal recommendations for the automotive equipment and automotive accessories we use and trust.

Here are our picks for the best automotive gear of the week.

tire rack in the garage

Scott OlmanCar and driver

Adjustable wall mounted tire rack

For me, the key to garage organization is getting things off the floor and using the free space on the walls or overhead. Shelves, bike hooks and slatted wall systems are great for keeping things tidy, and the same goes for wall-mounted tire racks. This MaxxHaul Foldable Adjustable Tire Carrier does the trick.

They’re great for storing winter tires out of the way during the warmer months – while you’re at it, throw your seasonal floor mats and ice scraper on them – as well as performance tires for use on track or in competition. These brackets need to be mounted on wall studs, so do a little planning before you start drilling holes. And watch out for that garage door! Make sure your new rack doesn’t get in the way when it opens.

Pro Tip: Keep your tire and wheel accessories together. Sometimes the wheels use different dropouts or bolts, center caps or spacers. Pack all the goodies together and store them in the appropriate wheel or tire. —Scott Olman, Marketing Director, Hearst Autos

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foval 12v 1000ma automatic battery charger smart battery charger in use charging a porsche

Lewis CollinsCar and driver

Trickle Charger

Growing up in Los Angeles, I’m used to driving a few hundred miles in my car for a weekend going up the PCH, exploring canyons, and attending Sunday morning Cars and Coffee events all over town. . Of course, these habits only intensified when I got my 2003 Porsche 911.

When March 2020 rolled around, I wasn’t ready to see how much my mileage would drop. We used my wife’s car as a grocery store, and so my baby sat and sat and sat. After my battery died once, I swore it would never happen again. Why? Because the switch to open the trunk is electronic, and with a discharged battery. . . you got the idea. So to access the battery, I have to remove the driver’s side front wheel, remove the wheel arch liner, access it, and pull a cable to pop the frunk. It’s more than a pain.

Instead, I took a cheap one Foval Automatic Trickle Charger on Amazon. This little investment doesn’t pack enough punch to jump my car if it’s already dead, but I leave it plugged in overnight, and it starts up every morning like yesterday’s neglect never happened. This trickle charger is a unicorn product: reliable, easy to use and super affordable. You don’t have to pick just two. —Lewis Collins, Account Manager, Hearst Autos

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lang wire restore kit

Wesley TroglodyteCar and driver

Wire Restoration Kit

Fasteners. Fasteners are always the worst part of a project. Corroded or damaged threads can turn a simple task into a nightmare. If you can’t easily replace the hardware, it becomes an even bigger nightmare.

The quickest and most affordable solution is to fix all the threads you can and keep your workflow intact. This Lang Thread Restoration Kit has just about everything you need to get out of trouble.

Of course, you can break out a set of taps and dies to repair the threads, which was also my general path. However, these thread restorers are not as risky as using a tap or die, as they are less likely to damage the fastener or the threaded hole. Although this is a new part of my arsenal it has been a welcome addition to save time, make my life easier and keep my taps and dies stored until I need to cut from new sons. —Wesley Wren, Associate Editor, Autoweek

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Wiley C. Thompson