Car Windows Sun Screen Wipers
There’s a ton of money in what appears, at first glance, to be junk. Just ask Mr. Ginsu, the Abs man, and George Foreman. Grillmaker Salton paid Foreman $137.5 million for the use of his name in perpetuity on its grill, basically a low-dollar, plug-in frying pan with ridges to drain off fat. The King Tut of hucksters, Veg-O-Matic’s Ron Popeil, sold his business five years ago—ever see his tool that scrambles an egg in its shell?—for $55 million. That got us thinking of automotive cockamamie like gas savers and smokeless ashtrays. What’s out there? We logged on to AsSeenOnTV.com and filled our virtual cart with $144 of the finest and flimsiest items that late-night TV—or, in this case, midafternoon internet—has to offer.
Just place the unit on a seat, sit down, and rotate, though we found that there tended to be less resistance between our pants and the car seat itself. Also, one of the wood pieces broke. The weight limit for the device is just 250 pounds, rendering it useless for a potentially very profitable market segment. /p p Rating: 0 /p p ALTERNATIVELY YOU COULD: /p p Avoid being pathetically weak. /p table border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0"x">
4. Wiper Wizard ($12.95 + $7.95 S&H)
“Will clean and sharpen the [wiper] blades, restoring complete windshield contact for better performance.”
HOW IT WORKS (SUPPOSEDLY):
Simply slide the Wiper Wizard along your blades, and—voilà!—the edge is restored. Your wiper is as good as new.
DOES IT WORK?
Sort of. We tested it on an intern’s Honda Accord and saw debatable improvement. So we followed up with another treatment, and now he needs new wipers.
ALTERNATIVELY YOU COULD:
Rain-X a pair of goggles and drive with your head out the window.
5. Smokeless Car Ashtray ($9.95 + $6.95 S&H)
“Pulls the cigarette smoke into the ashtray where it passes through [a] super-absorbent activated-carbon filter that instantly removes the smoke and odors.”
Plug it into the cigarette lighter (which presents a problem, seeing as you’re going to need it to fire up your cancer stick in a moment), and a fan pulls smoke into the can. There it is filtered and exhausted out the back of the device.
It doesn’t. Smoking in press cars is expressly forbidden, so we lit up a Camel in the author’s cube. The neighbors instantly complained. Not having the ashtray buried in a cup holder gave us a great view of the “filtered” smoke blowing from the unit’s exhaust vent. It runs on batteries, too, so you can have a nonfunctional smokeless ashtray with you wherever you go.
Use that $10 bill to roll a, um, cigarette.
($19.95 + $7.95 S&H)
“Professional quality dent remover.”
Using a glue gun that’s included, you smear hot glue onto a threaded stem resembling a rigid, flattened suction cup, which you then affix to the middle of the dent. When the glue cools, lay the plastic bridge over the stem and screw a knob onto its base. As you tighten the knob against the bridge, it pulls out the dent; repeat as necessary.
We chose the Pops-a-Dent not just because of its awesome name (although that was a factor), but because the patent-pending, arched design is claimed to eliminate the possibility of causing other dents—apparently a risk with these sort of things. Nevertheless, we could clearly see the metal bowing at the feet of the bridge, and it seems entirely possible that these indentations could become permanent. The pressure the unit applies to the sheetmetal is tremendous: During one application, when the glue finally gave way, the device shot more than 10 feet into the air. But, lo and behold, after four tries, the dent was nearly gone. As a bonus, the glue gun can be used to repair the Swivel Seat.