10 Gadgets for Your Next Road Trip


CarMD Vehicle Diagnostics Kit

You're 800 miles (1287 kilometers) from home and the check engine light begins to glow ominously. Now what? You might be glad you invested in a CarMD Vehicle Diagnostics Kit. Every car made since 1996 has built-in computerized diagnostic circuitry; mechanics use it to quickly identify problems in your vehicle. The CarMD lets you do the same. A check engine light can mean something as simple as a loose gas cap, or it can alert you to a serious mechanical problem. With the CarMD, you'll know what you're dealing with.

The CarMD system doesn't just present you with a trouble code. It works with a computer program to convert that information into a description of the problem, a list of parts that might need replacing, and even the likely cost of parts and repair. It also alerts you to recalls and technical bulletins from the manufacturer. Run a scan on your car before you leave, and it will give you a heads-up on looming problems. Use it on the road if trouble pops up to figure out what you need to repair.

The CarMD readout can be a boon when you're approaching a mechanic while away from home. You'll know what's needed and what a fair price for the repair should be.