auto maintenance February 02, 2018

Christmas Gift List

For the grown-up kids in your life

What to give to the child driving back to college or high school in the car you provided for them? How about the Micro-Start XP-1? At 6” long, 3” wide and 1” thick, and just under 1 lb., this pocket-sized powerhouse will jump-start a completely dead car battery! I know this to be true because I have used mine to start many cars with dead batteries. Nighttime is no problem, since it has a built-in light that seems to have enough lumens to signal the space station. If this were all it did I would question its value, but it also includes plugs and adapters for every conceivable device – from your Android or iPhone – to your laptop – to your electric razor. It charges a cell phone fast and will power it forever. This is a true potential life saver. There are similar products with similar capabilities, but this is the one I have experience with, and it has become my go-to gift.

For your spouse

The default gift in our current culture is a trip to the spa to be pampered, but that’s getting old, and how long does the good feeling last? 48 hours max, last I checked. How about something they will remember day after day for at least a month? Get their car professionally detailed – on the outside of course, but mainly on the inside. If your car is more than three years old, that great new car feel probably left about the time of RG3’s last good game. There’s nothing like driving in a pristine car, especially if last week it looked like your daughter’s bedroom. A good detailing will cost anywhere from $150 to $250, cheap when compared to that new French restaurant or the day spa default. And this one works every time.

For yourself

I’m a tail-end baby boomer, and to me, frankly, FM radio is dying. For year now I have been swearing I would get a SiriusXM Radio, and last month I finally did so. My car wasn’t equipped for Sirius so I had to buy an add-on kit. It was a snap to connect and set up – and it has changed my commute. I know you can carry a library of music on the average cell phone, but I like a good old fashioned DJ, the kind that knows their music, and you can’t get that off a programmed playlist. My favorite, having lived in the New York City area in the late Seventies, is “Underground Garage” on Channel 21. My subscription costs $14.95 a month, which is less than 3 Starbucks coffees.

So this Christmas, think about improving your sleigh ride!

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