Last Winter in Boston was tough. Cold all the time, snow drifts up to the windows, school systems having multiple days of weather-related closings. We’ve had a lovely Summer, but the leaves are now changing into their autumnal colors. The cold weather will soon be with us again.
Every Fall, the RainyDayGarage folks run through the checklist of what needs to be done to get the Boxster ready to face another New England Winter. While we always keep an eye out for new cold weather gear, they year we have assembled a collection that may be helpful in road emergencies—not just for the Winter, but all year around:
- Dynaplug tubeless tire patch kits and tire inflator
- Clore Automotive’s Pro-Logix Intelligent Battery Charger/Maintainer
- Clore Automotive’s ChargeIt! Power Pac
- K Solution’s LELink wireless ODB II reader and iPhone app
Dynaplug Tubeless Tire Repair Kits
Getting a flat tire has to be one of the more frustrating experiences. Most garages are able to fix a flat and have you on your way for less than $20, so it can’t be all that hard. Most people know how to change a tire, but many don’t know how to patch a flat. As some newer cars no longer even come with a spare, knowing how to fix a flat may become a “useful skill” for drivers. Depending on where the puncture is located, fixing a flat is not difficult, providing you have the proper tools.
- Dynaplug® Micro Pro – Tubeless Bicycle Tire Repair Kit
- Dynaplug® Pro – Tubeless Tire Repair Kit
- Dynaplug® Pro Xtreme – Tubeless Tire Repair Kit
- Dynaplug® Mini Pro Inflator GT
Clore Automotive’s Battery Charger/Maintainer
On REALLY cold nights, having the battery hooked up to a charger/maintainer can be a good idea. There are a lot of trickle-chargers out there, but not all of them have built-in logic for knowing when to STOP charging. The Pro-Logix charger/maintainer does.
Clore Automotive’s Power Supply and Jump Starter
We have seen quite a few Li-ion power pacs which claimed to be able to jump-start cars in a pinch, but had always been skeptical. The main reason was the amount of current which must be pushed through the cables to get a car to start. None of the ones we looked at appeared robust enough for the task…until we talked to the folks at Clore. They knew what was on the market and the problems associated with those units. That was why they did not introduce a unit when everyone else was jumping on that bandwagon. Instead, they did their R&D, solved the current-related problems, and then brought their Charge It! line to the market.
Suffice to say, if it is as well designed as their JNC Jump-N-Carry AIR, it will be with us for a long long time.
The orange “Check Engine” light (CEL)…what does it mean? Does it mean the engine is going to blow up or does it mean you forgot to put the gas cap back on? Unless you have an On Board Diagnostic (OBD II) reader, there is no so easy way to tell. However, even when you do know, there is no way to turn that annoying orange light off…or is there?
Some RainyDayGarage readers may remember that we have looked at a few OBD II units in the past. The one we really liked was the CarChip from Davis Instruments. It makes accessible a ton of sensor information hidden inside the car, and will also reset the CEL. Our only complaint with it is that it requires the use of a PC. Recently, a reader told us about K Solution’s wireless LELink reader. We took a look and it is exactly what we had been hoping for…a wireless OBD II reader with iPhone support. The data collected by the OBD II reader is sent to the iPhone and is viewable with the LELink app. No more booting up the 12-year old PC 🙂 More on the LELink soon!
Even though we have the Fall Prep gear assembled, we are still hoping for a few more days of above 60º temps before we have to mount the snow tires and put on the hardtop. We are going to push our luck and wait another week or two. Of course, this is New England, and snow in October is NOT out of the question 🙂
Amazon links to items mentioned: