I was on a trip the other day with a colleague from Colorado and she said there was so much snow that she could barely tell which house was hers. I thought of upstate New York where Mother Nature has given them almost 300 inches of snow this winter. It’s okay if you want to stay in your house with the heat on all day, but what if you have to go outside? Here are some accessories that I have found to heat your car and you on those colds dark days of winter.
|Garmin Nuvi 660
In 11 feet of snow anyone can lose their way. The Nuvi 660 comes ready to go with preloaded maps and if the traffic and weather is so bad that you don’t want to take your eyes off the road, use the turn-by-turn voice directions that speak street names. If you were one of those people caught in the 50 mile backup in Pennsylvania recently you would have appreciated the ability to be alerted to traffic and weather tie-ups. I found this product online Garmin for under $1,000.
I heard of this unit through the Milwaukee hybrid group. These guys are fierce bulldogs about getting the most miles per gallon they can from their Toyota Prius’. Living in Milwaukee means cold starts, which means more gasoline to warm the engine. A block heater is an electric element that warms the coolant in your engine, which in turn warms the engine block and lubricants. Warm engines start more easily, achieve their peak operating temperature more quickly, and don’t have to work as hard to pump oil through the block on those cold winter mornings. I found this product online at The Toyota Depot for about $57.
|Car Battery Charger
Imagine, it’s cold outside, you’re all alone and your battery is dead. Even with out getting out of your car, without making a phonecall, you can recharge your battery. Not only do you not need jumper cables, you don’t even need another car! So if you’re stranded, just plug this car charger into the 12v cigarette lighter socket, and in minutes you’re ready to go! Inside the Sealed-alkaline battery is 5 amps, 14.5 volts of power to let you start your vehicle from the warmth and safety of your cars interior. The same battery unit can also provide a 12 volt DC power unit at your campsite. You can recharge the unit in your cigarette lighter socket. 5-yr. shelf life. 2-1/2”x7-1/2”x1-7/8”. I found this product online at Improvements Catalog for about $20 on sale.
|Road Warmer Blanket
At home I have the heat set at 70 degrees and a fire going and I will still pull a blanket over my legs when watching television. When I’m in the car, my husband wants a window open and I want the window closed and my heated seat on. A travel blanket that plugs into a cigarette lighter takes care of this problem. The blanket is 40″ X 58″ and has a 5 1/2 foot cord,so you can have your kids huddle up in an electric blanket and warmly take a nap on the way to Grandma’s house. I found this product online at Skymall for about $40.
|4-in-1! Flashlight, radio, alarm and cell phone charger – no batteries needed!
Imagine being stranded in the cold and your cellphone has no charge. You grab the flashlight you keep in your glove compartment and the batteries are dead. Wind back, you grab the flashlight you keep in your glove compartment and crank the handle for twenty seconds and you have twenty minutes of light and you can use your cellphone. I found this product online at Skymall for under $25.
|Ezyflare Emergency Light
Once again, it’s freezing outside and your car breaks down and you’re sitting on the side of the road. You can either get out of your car, holding onto the side in order not to slip on the ice, take off your glove to get a flare and light it with a match that is hopefully dry, while your hands are freezing or use the Ezyflare. The Ezyflare takes four AA batteries and can be seen for 1 1/2 miles and 30 miles by air. Ezyflare says the light will last for 30 hours on those four batteries, but let’s hope you don’t need it for that long. I found this product online at Skymall for under $20.