5 Products for your 2015 Spring Car Tune-up

Each year, people across the country eagerly await the snow to melt signalling the first signs of spring.

That time is now upon us, which means it’s also time to wash the winter grime off our cars and get them tuned up for the sunny drives ahead. Here are some of the best and newest products to help you with those tasks.

To get your spring car tune-up started, check out these products:


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Mastercraft Maximum 174-piece Universal Socket Set ($299.99)

Whether you’re doing a simple oil change or tackling a bigger repair job under the hood, you need the proper tools to do it. Mastercraft’s 174-piece Universal Socket Set makes the job of any garage DIY’er easier by adding a few special features not usually found on other similarly priced kits. Every socket has big, contrasting laser-etched imperial/metric markings that are infinitely handy when you’re lying on your back under the car, in the semi-dark, trying to eye the correct one to remove a bolt. Three drive sizes are included: one-quarter, three-eighths and one-half.

Another bonus is the collection of universal sockets that come with the set. Fit one to the wrench and you can loosen or tighten nuts and bolts with various shapes from six-point star and 12-point to square and partially rounded hex. In addition, all of the regular accessories you would expect are present, like adapters and extension bars, deep sockets, three ratchets, hex keys and screwdriver bits, and the parts are covered by a lifetime warranty. The Mastercraft Maximum is instantly recognizable because of the black chrome plating that resists corrosion and looks cool.

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Universal Car Remote ($49.95)

If you’re like me, key fobs tend to lead a short life in my possession either from being dropped, stepped on or lost altogether. Universal Car Remote by American company iKeyless provides a cost-effective solution for your vehicle that is less than half of a dealership replacement and easily programmable by yourself. Compatible with 1000s of makes and models, both import and domestic from 1997 to 2015, Universal Car Remote will work as long the vehicle was equipped with a factory-installed keyless entry system.

The replacement fob has a dedicated button for lock, unlock, panic, trunk release and two custom accessories. To pair, insert the key into the ignition and turn from off to run eight times; press any button on the universal remote within 20 seconds; turn the ignition off and remove the key. For more information about vehicle compatibility and availability, visit universalcarremote.com.


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Mothers California Gold All-Chrome ($9.79)

Just released, the California Gold All-Chrome is a quick polish cleaner and protectant for any chrome-plated surface on your classic or contemporary vehicle. Think decorative trim, bumpers, wheels, and even chromed plastics — basically any shiny metallic surface. To use, just spray on and then buff off with a clean dry cloth. Removes fingerprints, smudges, dust, light water spots and the dreaded summer highway bug splotches.

Mothers was the first car care brand I randomly stumbled across after I purchased my first car nearly 16 years ago, and after achieving successful results I’ve been using them ever since. I’m partial to their Brazilian Carnauba Cleaner Wax that has an easy application process and leaves the paint surface gleaming and protected. They carry a full line of products including, but not limited to, wash soap, leather conditioner, plastic and rubber protectant, scratch remover, and so on.


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MotoMaster Aluminum and Steel Low-Profile Racing Jack ($199.99)

For anyone that owns some form of a custom, sports or race car, there’s nothing worse than bringing out the jack to raise up your rig and find out it’s too high to slip underneath. This shouldn’t be an issue you have to worry about with the low-pro jack by Motomaster. A rubber-padded saddle protects your expensive investment as you lift it up anywhere between nine and 37.5 centimetres. The lightweight, partially aluminum construction makes it easy to transport around, and the fast acting pump helps the jack achieve a full height in eight or nine strokes. The long handle is made in two pieces and can be disassembled to ease pumping in tight spaces.

The MotoMaster Aluminum and Steel Low-Profile Racing Jack can accommodate a maximum capacity of 1.5 tons, so make sure to check the curb weight of your vehicle (on the door jamb sticker or in your owner’s manual) before using.


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PAPAGO! GoSafe 520 (209.98)

With your car road-ready, it’s important to make sure it stays that way by taking precautions against the unknown. A dash camera is a great way to protect yourself from the he said she said following an incident by capturing everything that happens on the road while you drive. The GoSafe 520 is one of the few dash cams on the market that records in IMAX-quality 2K (2560 x 1080) resolution and 21:9 ultra-wide format. HDR technology ensures clear video even in dimly lit environments.

The 520 has built-in safety functionality that can sound an alarm to remind the driver to take a break, and activate emergency recording and save write-protected files when the sensor detects an impact, drastic braking or sharp turns. Video and menus are displayed on a three-inch LCD screen on the back, and the unit supports HDMI and USB 2.0 connectivity. To install, just clip the included suction cup adapter to the camera and affix somewhere on the windshield that doesn’t obstruct your view, and plug the power adapter into your vehicle’s 12-volt socket.

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Benjamin Yong is a freelance writer and member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada. You can find his stories on this site and in other publications including RPM Canada, Westworld BC, CAA Magazine and Darpan Magazine.