- The Washington Times - Friday, January 11, 2002

Unless you own a luxury car or fly south for the winter, you will probably plop your backside onto a frosty cold seat this winter. However, with the enhanced version of the Universal Seat Heater from Rostra Precision Controls Inc. it is now possible to warm up the seats of virtually any vehicle.

The product was designed specifically for vehicles that did not come from the factory with heated seats, or for consumers who want to add heaters in the back seat. The company says the Universal Seat Heater's elements warm up quickly and have "low" and "high" heat settings. The elements supply heat within 60 seconds to both the bench and lower back area of any seat in the vehicle, making the unit ideal for cold weather driving.

According to Thomas Weiss, Rostra's vice president of the automotive electronics group, convertible drivers can really enjoy the product because when the weather starts to turn crisp, the seat heater can let them keep the top down just a bit longer.

The Universal Seat Heater installs in about an hour or less, without seat removal. Available in both 12 and 24 volts, the system includes a three-year, 36,000-mile warranty and is made in the United States. It sells for a suggested retail price of $99.95 each.

For more information or to locate a dealer near you, call Rostra's customer service at 800/782-3379 or visit www.rostra.com.

A remote starter allows you to warm up or cool off a vehicle before it's time to get in. Audiovox has unveiled the Prestige APS-975, a new remote-start/auto-security product.

The Prestige APS-975 remote-start feature works up to 800 to 1,000 feet away, and it has a timed feature that starts the vehicle every two to four hours during a 24-hour period. The device includes two triple-button confirmation transmitters, a triple-channel code-learning programmable receiver, an external superheterodyne receiver antenna, a compact six-tone siren and a parking light flasher.

The remotes are programmable for single-button lock/unlock or separate-button lock/unlock for added security. The Prestige APS-975 sells for approximately $500. For more information and availability, contact Audiovox at www.audiovox.com.

Osram Sylvania just recently introduced the Xenarc HID X6054 Sealed Beam Upgrade Kit. This direct headlight replacement kit uses high-intensity discharge technology, which the company says will "provide three times more light than most factory halogen headlights for enhanced safety. The kit will also improve peripheral vision and down-road visibility, and it provides a very white light."

According to Osram Sylvania, Xenarc HID bulbs last 10 times longer than halogen bulbs (up to 3,000 hours), while consuming only 65 percent of the power used by halogen. The kit also includes an H1 halogen high beam. Osram Sylvania says its kit is 100 percent street legal, and it performs up to all governmental standards. The kit is easy to install and sells for $799. All Xenarc HID lighting products are available at www.sylvania.com, or phone 800/347-3420.

The Indiglo Sport Pedal is a unique new product from StreetGlow. These racing-look pedal covers actually feature neon inside and can be turned on for special effect at night.

The pedals are available for both automatic and manual vehicles in nine exotic colors and in satin, chrome or black pedal finishes. Indiglo Sport Pedals are made from pressed steel and come complete with installation instructions, universal mounting hardware, an adjustable brightness control and an exclusive StreetGlow feature: nonslip rubber pads.

The Indiglo Sport Pedal sells from $64.99 to $79.99. Contact StreetGlow at www.streetglow.com.

While you probably shouldn't be eating in your vehicle, most Americans do anyway. If you do, the Travel Tray, a plastic laptop tray for holding food and beverages, is the perfect item for in-vehicle dining.

The tray includes a center cup hole with a removable cup adapter that allows for a range of cup sizes from 8 oz. to 32 oz. A three-eighths-inch rim surrounds the outer edge of the tray, retaining spills and crumbs.

The Travel Tray sells for a suggested retail price of $3.99. The product is available from most convenience stores, truck stops, auto stores, RV dealerships and campgrounds. For more information, visit www.thetraveltray.com.

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