When going on a long road trip, the experienced traveler often packs bottles of beverages and snacks to avoid having to stop any more than necessary.
Keeping them cold or warm is another story and frequently involves carrying
a cooler packed with ice, which might begin to leak or collect condensation
over the course of the trip. This may lead to wet seats, and potential hernias
from trying to remove the water-sodden unit at the end of the trip.
Thanks to modern ingenuity, portable storage devices that plug into your
car power source and can hold multiple cans of beverages, as well as other
perishable items, are available. Many may also be used in the home or dorm.
Some offer additional features, such as radios, CD/DVD storage and pockets
to hold corkscrews, can openers or other utensils.
If you’d like to know how well your car is functioning without racking
up an expensive mechanic bill or are curious as to how your teenager is
handling the family auto while out with friends, the technology is here today.
Computer chips are on the market that easily plug into a car and report back
to a computer, allowing you to:
• Record key trip information, with departure times, distances
traveled and speeds recorded every five seconds
• Discern between business and personal usage, facilitating easy
• Check engine function, including rpm, engine load, fuel pressure,
battery voltage, timing advance, airflow rate and more
• Calculate gas mileage and test emissions
• Monitor a kid’s or employee’s driving habits
The chips even act as “black boxes” in the event of an accident, recording
the final 20 seconds before impact, which may help your insurance claim.
The cost is modest; the chips retail for less than $200, including software and
Car-seat massage/heat cushions
One of the options in some cars is heated seats, but you don’t have to up
your monthly payment by opting for this add-on. Cushions are available that
slip over existing seat cushions and plug into your auto’s power source.
Some models offer heat only, promising to ease tension and relax sore,
aching muscles. Others also offer vibrating massage, and some provide vibrating massage, soothing heat and magnetic therapy. All can be found for less
Of course, if all these options are confusing you, simply contact the
Costco Auto Buying Program and start shopping for a new car, fully loaded.