Anybody who has ever worked on some sort of project car has picked up a rattle can or two at some point along the way. I spent some time with the folks from Dupli-Color today, talking about some new products they are now bringing to Canada that are far from being just a spray bomb for gearheads.
I’m actually pretty excited about a couple of these products, as they are things that I will have almost immediate use for in my own garage.
SilverStar® zXe headlights – the latest addition to SYLVANIA Automotive Lighting’s High Performance Series headlight line are quite possibly the best innovation in lighting technology that I have seen in the automotive industry in a very long time. The simple fact that changing the headlights in your car as the OEM bulbs wear out and fade over time is as good a reason as any for a new set of bulbs. If that were the only reason it would be enough, but the safety factor that I discovered with the higher visibility alone was enough to convince me that I made a good choice with these replacements.
Lighting the road as well as the much more expensive HID lighting technology, coupled with the ease of installation, the SilverStar® zXe headlights are by far the best change I have made to my daily driver yet.
The Slyvania Silverstar zXe line of aftermarket replacement headlight bulbs attempts to mimic the ultra white light of HID headlamps using a halogen/xenon bulb. This means that these bulbs maintain the DOT approved light pattern for street legality. The zXe line builds on the manufacturer’s Silverstar and Silverstar Ultra lines of replacement bulbs with a new nanotech blue coating that shifts the color temperature of the light closer to pure white without any appreciable drop off in luminance.
Sylvania states that even with this slight luminance compromise, the human eye is more sensitive to the whiter light so night visibility is still enhanced. In the side-by-side tests I performed on my vehicle, the zXe light certainly looked brighter than the Silverstar Ultra, which also looked brighter still than the OEM bulb. If the extreme “zXe” name didn’t tip you off, Sylvania is aiming this new line of bulbs at the tuner crowd. By offering a cheaper solution to the HID and with a look that is every bit as stylish it should take on the market like a storm.
It may take some time for the Tuner crowd that Sylvania is aiming for to warm up to them, but for the savings over an HID kit and not having to wire in a ballast to make the swap, plus the fact that they will work without issue in colder weather than most of the HID’s on the market today, the zXe should make inroads in the market without any trouble.
Taking the new headlights out for a test drive last night was like seeing the world in a whole new light, no pun intended. The extra distance that was visible gave me a bit of added confidence on the dark back country roads I traveled. Couple that with the easier on the eyes light spectrum and I actually enjoyed my ride in teh dark. I usually can not drive long distances in the darkness due to the eye strain causing severe head aches, but I felt non of the usual effects even after driving of more than an hour and a half.
Sylvania has done themselves proud with this product and I would recommend it to anyone who asks, just ask my Mother-in-law how she likes hers. I gave her a brand new pair and installed them this morning. How’s that for a recommendation?
Everyone I’ve ever talked to that owns a Dyson vacuum cleaner is madly in love with it. They compare it to a Mac when they say “yes, it’s over priced, but you get what you pay for.” When the opportunity arose to review their new hand held unit, I had to give it a go.
Once my review loaner unit arrived, I had a chat with the Canadian PR type from Dyson, who told me all about the new DC31. In the process, he wanted to ensure that I knew to review the Animal as a rechargeable hand held that was designed to be used for touch ups and not as a traditional vacuum.
We get a lot of stuff sent to us to review here in The Garage. Sometimes we get sent stuff that we don’t even want to try, but they send it anyway. That wasn’t the case with these bad boys! When the good folks at Rain-X asked if we wanted to review their new Repel wiper blades, I asked them to send 2 sets, one for each car in the driveway. Yes, I know. I’m a cheeky bugger!
Ever since I first tried Rain-X’s Original Glass Treatment back in the early Nineties, I’ve known that this is one serious brand. A few weeks ago, I had a chat with a fellow auto writer from Northern Ontario about windshield washer fluid. Up there, where temperatures of minus 30 C are the norm during the Winter months, Rain-X washer fluid is the only such product that consistently doesn’t freeze. In other words, I was pretty sure that these wipers would be perfect for Winter in Southern Ontario.
Over the past decade or so, the advancements in rubber and silicon technologies have made a world of difference to the Winter tire world. Those advancements seem to have had an impact on windshield wipers as well. Rain-X has somehow managed to impregnate the wiper with water repellent technology that actually reapplies to the glass with every stroke of the blade. This is pretty cool stuff!