Article by Steven Bochenek

Ah, Canadian Tire! It’s like Shopper’s Drug Mart for guys, or Tim Horton’s for your car. They recently hosted a media event showing off some items you may want to pick up from there to prepare your ride and garage for the soon-to-arrive spring and summer weather. We filtered through the promotional fluff and found ten that were worth reporting.

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Spring Cleaning and Road Trip Products, 1 – 3. Click image to enlarge

1. Power washer
After a long cold, salty winter, your little darling (or winter beater) can get a build-up of salt in spots you don’t notice. Give it a washing within the wheel wells to prevent corrosion and rust. The Simoniz Platinum Gas Pressure Washer, retailing at $799.99, isn’t cheap, but with 3,200 psi it pretty much guarantees you’ll be the biggest hoser in your cul-de-sac.

2. Power buff
For many guys, shining and shining your car is an important part of weekend life. Others like the effect but the ritual, not so much. The grandly named Meguiar’s DA Power System is a buffing sponge attached to a handle. You connect it to your drill to buff your car faster. So you save plenty of elbow grease and blind your neighbours with a brilliant shine in minutes. $64.99

3. Quick wax while wet
Another product for the slightly less enthusiastic car enthusiast, Autoglym Aqua Wax Kit sprays on directly after you’ve washed the car. No need to dry it first. It works on all surfaces. $21.99

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Spring Cleaning and Road Trip Products, 4 – 6. Click image to enlarge

4. Fasteners for projects, not walls
Here’s a clever solution for hanging stuff. The cryptically named Solutions All-In-One Project Kits are customized fasteners for specific tasks. So if you want to install a flat-screen TV in your garage, a hose-reel, or a wood frame picture of Dogs Playing Poker (where else but the garage?) there’s a kit for you. New to Canadian Tire, there are 20 solutions so far, with more on the way, $2.29 to $10.49.

5. The ultimate tool cabinet on wheels!
Okay, unless you’re a serious craftsperson, hobbyist or lottery winner, the Mastercraft Maximum 182.9-cm 15-Drawer Cabinet may not be for you. But, hey, we can all dream. The castors bear up to 2,177.24 kilos. Foot brakes on them will control momentum (watch those inclines) and keep it from rolling down the driveway. $3,999.99.

6. GPS that knows how you like to camp
Gone are the days when real men didn’t take directions, they gave them. Now we can’t wait to boast about the utility and extras offered in our GPS devices. The Magellan RV5365T-LMB RV (catchy name, that) allows you to program your RV or camper type. So it won’t direct you down tracks that are too narrow or beneath bridges that are too low. Its campground directory lists your preferences too, describing hookup facilities like electricity and water. $299.99.

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Spring Cleaning and Road Trip Products, 7 – 10. Click image to enlarge

7. A baby monitor (yes, for the car!)
Of course this is for more than just being sure you haven’t left junior behind. Every parent is guilty of having turned around to check on their young one, thereby taking their eyes off the traffic. This Digital Baby Camera/Monitor from Yada displays a 90o angle on a colour monitor. The camera mounts easily for front and back viewing, depending on how you orient the baby seat. $189.99

8. Travel pillow – it’s summer, relax!
Sleep. It’s not just for babies anymore. Maybe your passengers don’t want a stiff neck when you’re on the road. And sometimes you just want a few minutes’ kip yourself in the garage. This U-Neck Gel Insert Travel Pillow contains three pounds of ‘memory foam’, although it still can’t tell you where you left your car keys before bedding down. $17.99

9. Power on the go
The Motomaster Eliminator 100-watt Inverter charger plugs into your car’s 12-volt socket. It powers ac/dc or USB connectors for flashlights, phones, cameras, computers, tasers, whatever. Stash it away neatly in your glove compartment. $36.99

10. Auto organizers
When you do a family road trip, how long does it take for that bomb-just-went-off look to hit? A suite of clever organizers from Rubbermaid can at least postpone, possibly even cure that. My two favourites? The Deluxe Catcher, $9.99, nestles into a cup-holder and provides a change tray, eyeglasses cache, pen compartment and more. The Back Tray, $29.99, hangs from the rear of the front seat, carrying backseat passengers’ food and sundries. But the real treat is the tray that swings down a la air travel for meals or to create a little workstation. What took so long?




About StevenBochenek

Despite being a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada and a member of its house band, the Troubadours, Steven is a veteran marketing writer who came to writing about cars almost by, umm, accident.