Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

October 24, 2021
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Hit the road

Best wiper blades

There is perhaps nothing more frustrating — and potentially dangerous — than old windshield wipers that leave an opaque smear across the your field of vision. Or maybe there is: new wipers that don’t work. One set that's recommended by Consumers Reports are Rain-X Latitudes. That said, Consumers Reports rates Valeo 600 series wipers a mite higher, giving them two points more at 72 out of 100. They outscore Rain-X when first installed, but by six months of use Rain X reportedly gain the upper hand. $18 to $27 each, depending on length.

Jump start with a jolt

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could simply crank up a dead battery using the same jump starter that the guy from the CAA has? They’re available commercially but, buyer beware: not all boosters are created equal, and you won't find out until you're in a pinch. Enter the Stanley Jump Starter Mobile Power Pack. At 500 amps (up to 1000 amps for one shot), it’s got the jolt you need. It also has plug-ins for 12 volt DC and USB power. There’s an LED light and a 120 psi compressor. It’s good but not perfect. One drawback is that you obviously can’t keep it plugged in continually to maintain a full charge. You have to check it once a month and charge it for eight to 12 hours. Not great. Also, there's no electrical cord: you have to use your own extension. Yet another problem: Stanley chargers have a spotty record. Do not be tempted by a similar unit with a lithium battery — customers report a plethora of problems. $129.99 at

Smartphone ignition

One of the coolest new devices on the market right now is the Viper SmartStart, a smartphone car control system which allows you to start your car via smartphone or tablet, using cellular, bluetooth, and GPS technology remotely or when you're sitting right there behind the wheel. It's great for cold winter days, as a back up for lost keys if you also install a keyless entry system, or as a way to track your car if for some reason it’s gone missing in a massive parking lot. Works with iPhone, Blackberry and Android systems. Priced from $129 to $299 depending on functions.

This article was accurate when it was published. Please confirm rates and details directly with the companies in question.


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