We may earn a commission if you make a purchase through one of our links. The LA Times editorial staff was not involved in the creation of this content. Learn more

Auto Accessories

  • Tired of fishing around for important gear every time you get into your car? If so, it might be time to invest in a trunk organizer. These handy car accessories help keep your gear from falling into the abyss of your vehicle’s trunk, which makes it easy for you to find what you need when you need it.The great thing about trunk organizers is they’re extremely versatile, plus there are so many different types available! In fact, it can be hard to figure out which one you should buy for your specific needs. No matter what type of trunk organizer you choose, you'll want to make sure it’s easy to set up and sturdy enough to hold all your items without shifting around or falling over when you drive. Join us as we explore the highest-quality trunk organizers of 2022!
    July 27, 2022
  • Traveling with kids can be a challenging endeavor indeed, but there should be no compromise regarding safety. Car seats are an essential part of any toddler-parent travel kit as they help keep your little one safe, in one place, and engaged with the surroundings. For your child’s ultimate comfort, it is crucial to maintain the quality of your car seat. A seat backpack helps parents overcome this problem by adding a layer of protection and added accessibility to take it from one place to another with utmost convenience. We have reviewed the best car seat backpacks in 2021, so you can pick the one that suits your travel requirements while protecting the actual seat.A poor-quality car seat backpack might be affordable, but it can quickly fall apart. That’s why choosing a premium product is mandatory as it not only looks good but serves the purpose as well.
    December 03, 2021
  • Whether you’re leasing your car or like to keep it looking brand new, it is important to protect your seats from spills, accidental damage, and baby car seats — messes can be especially stubborn on car seat fabric. To keep your car looking spick and span, it may be time to invest in some car seat protectors. They are perfect for those with children or pets or those who are prone to making a mess in their vehicle. We’ve scouted out the best car seat protectors in 2021 that are both functional and comfortable so your car stays clean.
    October 29, 2021
  • If you often go on road trips with friends or family, you may have thought about running out of gas in the middle of nowhere. This problem can be resolved by having a high quality gas can. Although driving over long distances with gasoline in your car might seem risky, most gas cans are designed to keep you safe while traveling.When you need to refuel your car during a road trip or when you run out of fuel in the middle of your journey, the finest gas can cap will come in handy, giving you more security and peace of mind. Because gasoline transfer may be a complex procedure, gas can caps ensure no fuel leaks happen while also helping you to preserve fuel loss through evaporation. In this piece, we've reviewed the best gas can caps in 2022 along with their benefits and drawbacks. We've also put together a comprehensive buying guide to help you narrow down your options so you can figure out what to look for.
    October 20, 2021
  • If you often go on long drives with your friends or relatives, you may have run out of gas (or come close) in the middle of nowhere. Having extra gas in a can is helpful, but you'll need the best gas can spouts in 2021 to make it easier to actually pour gas into the filler port.Gas can spouts might not be the first thing that springs to mind - we can't deny that using a funnel instead of a spout helps you to work more swiftly. It can, however, be more hassle than it's worth unless you're pressed for time. Not to forget the fact that even a minor leak might ruin your paint job.A gas can spout you more control, lowers waste, and eliminates spills. Though it may appear to be a straightforward procedure, several states require you to utilize a certain type of gas can spout. In this article, we'll spotlight the best gas can spouts available in 2021.
    September 29, 2021
  • If you’re somebody who loves to travel and pack all your adventure-worthy items with you in your vehicle, then you inevitably will need extra space. Roof racks are a great way to expand your vehicle's cargo capacity in no time.Some vehicles already have roof rails which makes it a lot easier to install a roof rack, while for others, you might want to go for aftermarket options. These roof racks free up space in your vehicle for more weather-sensitive items.We researched what attributes a good cargo roof rack should possess for all kinds of vehicles and shortlisted five of the best roof racks in 2022. Take a look!
    September 16, 2021
  • Portable GPS trackers are mini transmitters that allow you to track vehicles, people, pets, motorbikes, overseas cargo, and any other assets in real-time. Once the tracker is set up and positioned, you can view its real-time location using a mobile phone, PC, or tablet. Whether you are training to become the next James Bond, or just want to check on your new pup, we’ve rounded up the best GPS tracker devices in 2022 to help you keep an eye on things. If you're doing further research, check out our buyer's guide below.
    June 23, 2021
  • There are two categories of people in this world – those who love to travel and those who don’t. But whether you belong to the former or the latter, if you do have a journey to make, then this article is just for you. Whether you are a keen explorer or tourist or just have an important trip to make, there are some boxes you need to check before you hop in your vehicle and move.
    March 18, 2021
  • What's a jolly ride without a great sound system? For most drivers, listening to music while driving is an absolute must. Whether you are stuck in traffic or are making a long trip, good music can keep you going and in a great mood while other drivers are bored out of their minds.
    March 17, 2021
  • Even though many new cars sold today have the option of adding an in-dash global navigation satellite system, nothing beats the convenience of having a portable unit. However, one glance at the market can confuse anyone who simply wants a global positioning system (GPS) navigator with useful features and good performance. We’ve narrowed down the best GPS in 2022 selection and categorized them with respect to their particular advantages. For more information about how to pick a good GPS receiver, have a look at the buyer's guide below.
    September 25, 2019
  • Tinting your car windows provides a lot of benefits -- a more stylish look, lower interior temperatures, and more privacy. But there are several different types of window tinting films on the market, and each one has its own set of pros and cons. Check out our list of the best window tinting films in 2022 below to help you make the best decision depending on your application, budget, and desired look.We definitely recommend professional installation for best results. That said, if you're determined to try installing window tint yourself, you'll need a basic tint installation tool kit to start. You can find DIY window tint films on Amazon, too.
    August 29, 2019
  • Subwoofers are specially-designed speakers built to handle extra-low frequencies that make up the ’bass' in music. While not strictly necessary for basic bass reproduction, a good subwoofer goes a long way towards adding that extra low-end punch which is lacking in most factory audio systems. Car subwoofers are normally installed in 'sealed' or 'ported' enclosures, with each enclosure type offering distinctive playback characteristics. Sealed enclosures generally deliver tight, accurate bass hits while ported enclosures specialize in loudness and low frequency response. Check out our list of the best car subwoofers in 2022 and if you’d like to learn more about the different considerations that go into picking a new car subwoofer, check out our buyer’s guide below.
    May 14, 2015
  • There’s lots of reasons why you might be looking for a replacement stereo for your vehicle. Maybe your current car stereo doesn’t offer the technology you want or perhaps the stock stereo which came with the vehicle stopped working. Whatever the reason, there are hundreds of available options which can make the shopping process quite daunting to even begin. Fortunately, we've narrowed down the field to select the best car stereos in 2022 which offer some of the best options currently available. To learn more about choosing the right car stereo for your needs, check out our car stereo buyer’s guide down below.
    March 31, 2015
  • Coaxial speakers are so named after their configuration – the woofer and the tweeter are mounted on the same axis. This carries the benefit of projecting a full range of sound from a single location. Coaxial speakers also tend to be easier to install than their component system counterparts, as all of the wiring is grouped in a single location. This also means that there is no need to drill into panels to install tweeters in non-factory locations. Check out our list of the best coaxial speakers in 2022.
    January 23, 2015
  • Let's face it - not all cars come with stellar sound systems. One of the best ways to improve any stereo system is to replace the factory speakers with a good set of component speakers. Decent speakers are capable of superior performance, bringing out minute details in your music without sounding shrill, tinny, or harsh. Higher-quality speakers can pump out music at higher volumes without distortion or loss in sound quality. Be advised, though - you'll pay a premium for the privilege of increased performance.Although this list features multiple picks, it is ultimately your decision that you will have to live with. Therefore, be sure to sample each system and check out our list of the best component speakers in 2022 before deciding which one is right for you.
    November 21, 2014
  • No matter what, it's always an inconvenience to be in a situation where your car won't start. One of the most common causes of this problem is a flat battery which can’t provide enough power to crank the engine. The usual solution to this is to ask someone to help out and hope they have jumper cables. Alternatively, you can spend a little money and solve a big problem by having around a portable jump starter. A battery jump starter can range from a basic model with the sole purpose of jump starting your cars battery to being more of a multi-purpose emergency power source.This list of the best battery jump starters in 2022 is focused on the best budget-friendly jump starters that don't sacrifice stable starting performance that is, the ability to reliably start a vehicle with a dead battery. The focus on affordability means sometimes having to sacrifice extra features such as built-in air compressor, but all of the following picks will usually be sufficient for those who want the security and convenience of a battery jump starter, without having to pay a lot of money.
    November 21, 2014
  • When it comes to protecting both your car and your valuable possessions inside, there is no substitute for a good car alarm. A good car alarm should serve as both a deterrent and a response system. The better ones include a 2-way pager system that alerts you when your car is being broken in to, which can give you those critical few moments to take action to stop a burglary from taking place. Otherwise, the sound of the alarm should draw enough attention and radar to the car thief that the burglary attempt either is aborted or foiled by law enforcement officials. Take a look at our list of the best car alarm systems in 2022.
    November 21, 2014
  • In-car entertainment has become necessary for long road trips and one solution is the flip-down DVD player, which can be relatively easily installed and seen by everyone in the back seats. Some flip-down DVD players offer the option of direct integration with your car's audio system, while virtually all of them support headphones for a more personal viewing experience.Though prices may vary, all of these best flip-down DVD players in 2022 have a good blend of features, including a screen large enough to be visible to all the occupants in the back; even better if the screen swivels or rotates to improve viewing angle. These best flip-down DVD players also have good connectivity, being compatible with multiple devices and able to play audio through the vehicle's speakers or otherwise. Finally, we've chosen options that are overall good value for the money, meaning relatively good reliability ratings, solid build quality, and picture quality for a consistent and pleasant in-car viewing experience.
    November 21, 2014
  • If your car didn't come with a factory-equipped navigation system, these aftermarket units offer a comparable experience. All of our top in-dash navigation receivers cover the basics well - good sound quality, lots of useful features, and ease of use combined with versatility. We also examined which models offer a superior navigation experience.
    October 28, 2014
  • Though keyless door and trunk systems have been factory standard features on cars for years, the capabilities of remote car operations have increased drastically. With a remote car starter, you can not only start your vehicle from a distance, you can even activate your heater or air conditioning.Whether you live in a sun-baked climate or frigid tundra, these devices give you the ability to regulate the environment of your car from your couch. Most systems today have two-way communication between the transmitter and remote telling you whether the car successfully started, your alarm just engaged, or the trunk opened because you sat on the remote.We've chosen the best remote car starters in 2022 that offer reliable performance with at decent range and good basic features such as keyless entry. Some of our higher end picks even include two-way functionality with displays allowing for monitoring information such as the interior temperature of your vehicle. All of our selections are from trusted manufacturers, and we've included picks to meet every price range.
    October 23, 2014
  • In-car power inverters have many uses. Some people may choose to use them for recreational purposes on road trips to power TVs and game consoles for the rear seat. Others are more business-oriented and need a good inverter to charge laptops and cell phones on the move. Either way, it’s essential to pick a reliable inverter to avoid damage to both your car and your appliances.We've chosen five of the best power inverters in 2022 for a variety of purposes, anywhere from the occasional use to charge more than one phone, to the more extensive needs of a mobile office or camping. As such, the price also varies quite a bit, but each of our picks offer good value and convenience for the money. We've also ensured that each power inverter we've selected has adequate safety features to protect your vehicle and devices.
    October 07, 2014
  • Anytime your car is stored or remains inactive for long periods of time, there’s a good chance the battery will be completely drained when you try to start your vehicle up. Inexpensive trickle chargers can keep the battery alive, but can also damage it if left connected for extended periods of time. Thankfully, the best car battery chargers and maintainers of 2022 are a good choice for drivers who want the convenience of a charger that can stay hooked up all the time.We've made our selections based on the charger's/maintainer's ability to be hooked up and left alone for a while, thanks to features such as an onboard microprocessor that allows the charge cycle to become automatic, preventing overcharging of the battery. Most of our picks are also compact or portable enough to be used for a wide variety of applications while being easy to use thanks to their design. While price varies, we've included options to fit a range of budgets, without compromising on safety or performance. Read on to find the best car battery charger for you and your vehicle.
    October 07, 2014
  • Headlights aren’t just a stylistic choice, they’re an integral part of automobile safety. Driving at night with dim or blown headlights is dangerous not only to yourself, but to oncoming motorists as well. Whether your current vehicle headlights are dying or not, there’s never been a better time than now to replace them with higher-performance options.Some things to consider when replacing headlights are brightness and color as you want to avoid blinding or dazing oncoming motorists. When replacing headlights, be certain to not touch the bulb with your bare hands since headlights run at extremely high temperatures, and the oils from your hand can cause them to wear out much more quickly.We've selected some of the best replacement headlights in 2022 available, due to their excellent overall performance. All of our picks offer excellent illumination of the road ahead while still being road-legal. Each of the following headlights should offer reliable performance, lasting long enough to ensure getting more than your money's worth in longevity and performance.
    October 06, 2014
  • Windshield wipers are an integral part of vehicle safety. Often overlooked, the rubber compound on the wipers is constantly exposed to sunlight and harsh elements, which can cause degradation and cracking. A damaged windshield wiper blades can hamper bad weather visibility and cause serious safety issues.If you’re in need of replacement windshield wipers, it’s smarter to look at models that are top-rated for performance. Any one of these replacement windshield wipers are excellent choices for the worn wiper blades on your car. However, it’s important to check your vehicle for proper fit; each make and model has unique wiper blade sizes.We've chosen the best windshield wipers in 2022 that offer top-notch performance in all conditions and reliable visibility regardless of the season. Our top picks are all hinge-free designs, allowing them to maintain better pressure on the windshield, as well as preventing the buildup of ice and snow in winter. For further research, we've complied a windshield wiper buyer's guide below.
    October 06, 2014
  • In extreme winter conditions, “all-season” tires will not provide dependable traction to get you to your destination. While dedicated winter tires are the best solution to this problem, it may not make sense to many people to buy a new set of tires for a weekend up in the mountains (some areas also require the use of snow chains).As a temporary way of getting around this problem, tire chains are an option. Simply put, these metal chains wrap around your tires in order to ‘dig’ through slippery surfaces in a way that all-season tires cannot. However, it’s recommended that you drive slowly to avoid any problems with the chains becoming dislodged.We've chosen a variety of the best tire chains in 2022 available. Performance and durability are very important, as the chains need to effectively allow for driving through snow and ice while not being at risk of falling apart mid-drive. Tire chains have a reputation for being difficult to install and remove, which is mostly well-earned. However, some of our more expensive picks feature installation systems that make the process quick and painless. We've also included budget-friendly options that might not include these features, but make for a good option when you're only likely to need snow chains on a rare occasion.
    September 19, 2014
  • Jack stands are a safety tool to be used whenever one is working under a car. In the past, jack stands were usually made of a round tube with a smaller tube to hold the head. Holes between the two tubes were aligned and a pin slid through them to adjust the height of the head. Some larger jack stands had a threaded top for adjustments, allowing fine-tuning of the overall height. Today’s jack stands use a ratchet design, which is much easier to work with than aligning the holes for the pin to go through.You never know when you'll need a jack stand. If you pop a tire during a road trip, having the equipment you need can be a lifesaver. You can use a jack stand for any vehicle maintenance you need, too, so you can get under your car safely. If you've never purchased a jack stand, we're here to help. We've listed our favorite jack stands of 2022. With so many types to choose from, there are options for any of your preferences. Read on to get a jack stand for any of your car repair needs.
    August 19, 2014
  • Amplifiers are a crucial part of any audio system. A good amplifier can send speakers the power they need to perform well. This can make the difference between your music sounding flat and lifeless, and it sounding clean, crisp, and bright. Here are the best car amplifiers in 2022 for you to see what will fit your car audio needs.
    June 17, 2014
  • When looking for the best jumper cables in 2022, the only option is quality. We can never predict when we will need them, but when we do, they better work. I've used different types of cables and unfortunately experienced a lack of quality in some sets. Having the clamp spring missing and trying to hold it tight while someone starts the car was all I needed to learn that quality is a priority in a set of cables. Blowing fuses, ruining batteries or damaging a vehicle's computer with bad or cheap cables is more common than you think. There are many different styles of cables and I tried to find the best ones out there today. Based on their safety features, ease of use and high quality, here are the best sets of cables on the market.
    March 06, 2014
  • Truck-mounted toolboxes are used by building contractors and tradesmen of all types. They provide a secure place for carrying handheld power tools, tool belts, and other types of tools to and from the jobsite, or when running to pick up materials. These are not toolboxes for organizing small hand tools, but rather boxes for securing larger ones. Other than a sliding tray, they are not likely to have any additional organizers. The idea is that the placement of the tools themselves, in their individual cases, will provide the organization.For these toolboxes to be effective, they must be mounted to the vehicle, becoming one with it. That prevents any potential thief from just picking the box up and running off with it. Often, the mounting is done from inside the box, making it almost impossible for a would-be thief to get the box separated from the vehicle.Another concern for contractors is that the toolbox does not prevent them from being able to carry building materials with them. Typically, a full-sized pickup truck is designed so that a sheet of plywood can lie on the bottom of it. If the toolbox is taking up part of that space, carrying that plywood is much harder. To accommodate this, the most common configuration for a truck toolbox is one that spans the bed, mounting onto the top edge of the bed on both sides. Space is left under it for putting in building materials.In addition to the cross-bed design, there are truck tool boxes that mount on the sides of the truck bed, above the sides of the bed. These, which are designed more like cabinets, provide very easy-to-use storage space for more than just tools. They can also be used for storing parts in a more organized manner. There are also smaller toolboxes that can be mounted within the bed, in the area over the wheel wells.Steel has been the traditional material of choice for these toolboxes, but some are now made of high-density, blow-molded plastic. While not as secure as a steel box, they are rugged enough to keep the tools from falling out. It is easier for a thief to break into these plastic boxes than the steel ones, as they are built with the idea that “locks keep the honest people honest.”The most important criteria in selecting a truck-mounted toolbox is finding one that is both durable and has the room you need to store your tools. Remember that you may need a larger storage solution soon, so don’t buy one that is just barely big enough. Instead, look at what you might need over the long term and buy accordingly.When shopping for truck toolboxes, you must make sure that the box fits your truck. Bed widths and lengths vary, as well as the placement of the wheel well. A toolbox for a “full-sized” truck may not fit yours if it was designed to fit another brand. To get a better idea of what toolbox may suit your needs the best, take a look at our list of the best truck toolboxes in 2022.
    August 30, 2013
  • Many police officers claim that radar detectors are tools for scofflaws and habitual speeders with disregard towards other road users. While we are not advocating reckless driving in any way, some areas are known for having speed traps to ambush those driving over the posted speed limit. Thankfully, the best radar detectors in 2022 will help even the playing field so that you're less likely to be caught off guard. Take a look at our recommendations below and a close look at our buyer's guide to finding the radar detector for your needs so you can avoid getting a ticket.
    October 13, 2011