Talk about smart cars: These new auto electronics, shown at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, make for one sweet ride.

I felt as smart as the "Car Talk" guys testing this hand-held vehicle diagnostic gadget from CarMD ($89). Plug the unit into your auto's computer and CarMD downloads the vehicle's diagnostic codes and renders a quick "diagnosis" - a green, yellow or red light depending on your sorry auto's state of disrepair.

Tinker some more and you can upload the CarMD data to the company Web site for a full problem-by-problem print out - and even an estimate for the cost of the repairs needed.

Yes, the CarMD brand is corny - company execs went so far as to dress up in doctor's jackets for our meeting - but I must say the system did work in my brief tests. And I found myself wondering if soon my car's health care would be better than my own.







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