Best garage gadgets 2017
From the sensible to the ridiculous, here's the kit we'd most like to find in our garage this year
A well-stocked garage is every petrolhead's dream. Everyone has different goals, though - while some wish for a car lift, stacks of tools and spare parts and a floor you can hose clean of oil, others would prefer carpeting, mood lighting and a lazy susan on which to display their motor.
For this list, we've stuck to some of the garage kit you might not have considered. These are products we reckon are interesting, useful, or just plain cool - at a range of price points so that everyone should find something in their budget.
Topaz paint protection film
From £900 topazdetailing.com
Topaz has developed its own range of self-healing paint protection film (PPF), designed to be invisible, especially at its leading edges. Combined with the company’s painstaking installation methods, the range of films protects against stone chips, abrasions and environmental pollutants such as UV and bug splatter. Chips, scuffs, scratches and swirls that don’t penetrate the film will disappear with warm water.
Philips RacingVision bulbs
Around £30 powerbulbs.com
Halogen-bulb technology continues to evolve in the face of LED alternatives, as demonstrated by Philips’ latest RacingVision bulb, which the company likens to rally lighting for the road. The RacingVision is claimed to provide 150 per cent greater brightness than a standard bulb, and the light is also whiter – it’s rated at 3500 Kelvin on the colour temperature scale. It has a 200-hour life.
Around £70 alloygator.com
The heart-breaking sound of alloy wheel grinding against kerbstone is one that strikes dread in the soul of every keen driver. Which is why Alloygator’s rim protectors have proved so popular. They come in a variety of colours to either complement or contrast with the colour of your car, and you can now order them with a glow-in-the-dark finish. Suitable for wheels sizes from 13- to 21-inch.
Around £14 amazon.co.uk
Designed to sit snugly in the palm of your hand, Osram’s LED inspection lamp features a fold-out hook and a strong magnet, so you can fix it to the surface of whatever it is you’re working on (so long as it’s metal, of course). It incorporates a traditional torch-style lamp, too. Running off three AAA batteries (supplied), the light beam is both wide and bright, and there’s a reduced-output mode to prolong battery life.
Michelin Stealth hybrid wiper blade
From £9.99 tesco.com
You probably don’t think much about your wipers – until the rubber perishes and you can’t see through the windscreen any more. But wiper technology has moved on in recent years, as evidenced by Michelin’s Stealth Hybrid range. Quieter than a regular wiper blade, this predominantly rubber item reduces smears and has a flat-blade aerodynamic design to keep it pressed to the screen.
Around £4000 quicksilverexhausts.com
Should you have taken delivery of your new Bentley Bentayga W12 and feel it lacks the orchestral soundtrack befitting a 2.5-ton SUV, British exhaust specialist Quicksilver has the answer. Weighing 15kg less than the Bentley’s factory-fit item, the Quicksilver rear silencer uses the OE mounting points and fittings and is said to add a crispness to the soundtrack lacking in the standard Bentayga.
McGard wheel nuts
For anyone who believes their car’s wheel nuts have just the one job – securing the wheels to the hub – think again. German specialist McGard is able to supply you a personalised set of triple nickel chrome plated hex wheel nuts with your initials, or a logo of your design, laser-etched to the surface of the bolt. Each set comprises 20 wheel bolts as well as four locking bolts and two keys. Each set comes in an impressive presentation case.
Autoglym paint renovator
Around £8 autoglym.com
Designed to be used on scratches, scuffs and heavily oxidised or faded paintwork, Autoglym’s Paint Renovator is perfect for cars in need of a little TLC. Once you’ve treated the offending patch of paintwork to the attentions of the renovator, it should be ready for traditional polishes and waxes. Being silicone-free means that if you need to have the area painted it won’t cause a reaction.
Bilt Hamber Double Speed Wax
Around £16 halfords.com
This carnauba-based wax is said to provide a deep, rich gloss, is highly water repellent and features a detergent-resistant film. It’s a finishing wax, so if your paintwork requires any other treatment, that needs to be done first. Double Speed Wax requires 5-10 minutes to dull on your car before being buffed to a shine. Available in a 250ml tin, it also comes with an applicator pad and microfibre polishing cloth.
Dura garage equipment
Some home owners turn their garage into part of their home by converting it into a playroom for the offspring or an annexe for the in-laws. Garage-interior expert Dura feels your car’s home should be just as special as yours. With its range of tailor-made and modular cabinets, ‘clip-on’ wall systems and a range of floor tiles, Dura’s bespoke design service can create your car’s dream home.
Energizer lithium-polymer 7500mAh jump pack
Around £100 argos.co.uk
Weighing just 300g, the Energiser Lithium-Polymer jump-starter is small enough to fit in your pocket but powerful enough to jump-start 3-litre petrol or 2-litre diesel engine several times from a single charge. Rechargeable through a 12v in-car or 240v mains socket, it will also charge your mobile phone via the built-in USB socket. Crucially it comes with a cross-polarity safety function as part of the battery connection.
Around £74 swissvax.co.uk
Swissvax produces a range of car-care products for the higher end of the market – its Crystal Rock carnauba glaze retails for £895 for a 200ml tub. From £74 you can also enjoy the benefits of Swissvax with a 200ml pot of its Onyx standard wax. Suitable for all types of paintwork, it contains three per cent carnauba so should leave a streak-free gloss finish. However, it’s not resistant to saltwater, so can’t be applied when grit is used on the roads.