Tools used to repair motor vehicles. Avoid shopping questions.

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34
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5answers
3k views

What is the most efficient method of getting your car unstuck from snow?

If your car is stuck in snow and you don't have any chains, what can be done to get it out? This can be an unnerving problem to have and it happens pretty easily with normal driving on ice. You wind ...
12
votes
5answers
280 views

How do I remove a broken drill bit from metal?

I was building a mount for my custom bobber. My 1/4" carbide drill bit broke off into 3/4" plate of steel. How do I remove it?
8
votes
3answers
182 views

What is the right tool to expand a large spring-type hose clamp?

My Touareg has the intake piping secured with a bunch of spring-type hose clamps. I currently use a miniature C-clamp to expand them, but it is painfully slow, prone to slipping and access can be a ...
5
votes
1answer
29 views

How to choose the best jack stands and wheel chocks for a vehicle?

Some people say that when choosing jack stands/wheel chocks, we should always leave plenty of room above the vehicle weight. For example, if the car is 1.5 tons, we should choose jack stands with a ...
7
votes
1answer
203 views

How to use an engine stand

This is one thing which I have asked many times on a car forum and never received a satisfactory response for. I know that the engine block is somehow bolted onto an engine stand like the one ...
9
votes
1answer
49 views

How does one use a chain press to remove a motorcycle chain?

I recently found out about this tool from this answer. I'm interested in understanding the steps involved in using this tool to remove/install motorcycle chains. Also, would it be possible to use ...
7
votes
1answer
159 views

What can I do with an Inline Spark Tester?

Due to my recent problem with weakly firing plugs, I'm looking at inline spark testers. I've seen three basic types: The simple flashing one which goes in between the wire and plug with the plug in ...
3
votes
1answer
24 views

Snap on flashlight lockout mode

I'm looking into a snap-on light, and it features a "lockout mode". Does anyone know what it is?
4
votes
1answer
197 views

What are these two rubber-ended attachments used for in a compression tester kit?

I'm looking to buy a compression tester kit and am a little puzzled by the purpose of the two rubber-ended attachments shown below. Am I right in assuming that these two attachments can be jammed ...
1
vote
1answer
34 views

Locating Special Tools for Auto Free Hub Removal

I am attempting to replace rotors on a 1988 Dodge Ram 50 (2.6L, 4WD). To remove the rotors, I need to use a special socket (visible around the auto free hub ) and the special locknut socket. Are there ...
4
votes
2answers
110 views

Any open-source OBD scanner analysis tools?

I've been having some weird problems with my '06 Pontiac G6, and finally broke down and bought a Bosch code scanner to see if the DTCs could tell me anything... they didn't. This scanner has the ...
4
votes
1answer
153 views

How hot does an exhaust manifold get?

If I want to use a non-contact infrared thermometer to read the temperature of each cylinder at the exhaust port during idle, how high of a reading should the thermometer be able to handle?
5
votes
2answers
707 views

Impact vs. Regular Sockets

What is the difference between impact vs regular ratchet/breaker bar sockets? They look similarly shaped and their corresponding tool drives seem to be of the same dimensions. Are the impact ...
2
votes
2answers
275 views

Air Impact Wrench vs Air Ratchet Wrench

What is the difference between an air IMPACT wrench and an air RATCHET wrench? They appear to be of the same sort. Is there a difference in the drive shape in that the impact has a different drive to ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

Oil resistant marker for timing chain positioning

This is a bit unusual of a question but does anyone know of really durable markers (as in Sharpie) that leave durable markings that resist erasure due to exposure to oil and other retarding agents? I ...
3
votes
1answer
47 views

Better instructions how to use a micrometer

I am confused by these instructions on how to use a micrometer. Does anyone know of better ones? I need to measure the thickness of my valve lifters (and then do a feeler gauge test but that is not ...
4
votes
2answers
147 views

What is this pump-type nut fastener called and where is it useful?

At 1:42 in this S62 production video the engine assembler uses a pump-style tool to fasten the plenum cover nuts. What is this tool called? How does it work? Can it be used to loosen and fasten nuts, ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Torque wrench vs regular ratchet

What is the difference between a torque wrench and a regular ratchet that you'd normally use with sockets? When should you use one vs. the other in automotive applications?
3
votes
1answer
105 views

What tools are needed to DIY wheel alignment?

As per this article, DIY-ing wheel alignment requires a camber gauge and either a toe bar or toe plates. Is that a complete list of tools required? Is it better to use a toe bar than toe plates?
3
votes
1answer
20 views

How does cylinder leakage tester kit work?

I was browsing Amazon in search for a combustion leak detector (AKA "block tester") and I stumbled upon a cylinder leakage tester kit, which is supposed to do similar things? But I am not quite sure ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there a trick to easily removing stuck rubber hoses off fittings?

Is there a trick to easily removing stuck rubber hoses off fittings? I saw there is a tool like this but I'm afraid of tearing the hose with its point. Is there a better way?
3
votes
1answer
320 views

Old Air Compressor Rebuild (and general piston engines) - Oil On Cylinder Walls?

So I have recently acquired (for free) a circa 1973 Speedaire 20 gallon compressor with no history. After a short while of use the check valve failed and when I removed it I noticed it and the air ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Can 1/2 drive impact wrenches be adapted to use 3/8 sockets?

I need to add a cordless impact wrench to my toolset do some exhaust work (loosen some really tight bolts, basically). I also plant to use it for CV joint-related work. They seem to be kind of ...
3
votes
1answer
92 views

How to properly tighten a wheel on a bench grinder?

I just bought a 8" bench grinder from Harbor Freight to clean up some automotive parts with a wire wheel. On the left side of the grinder has a left hand threaded nut on it, while the other side has a ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

Broken Socket Wrench: My Fault or Poor Quality

I was trying to remove the oil pan plug nut and found that it was on extremely tightly. I was using a fairly inexpensive socket wrench ( for only the second time ) and couldn't get it to budge. So I ...
6
votes
5answers
4k views

Viability of using an electric impact driver instead of an air impact wrench

I'm an amateur mechanic, and i'm wondering if i could use an electric impact driver in place of an air driven impact wrench. I don't have a lot of space to use and store an air compressor, so a ...
3
votes
1answer
80 views

What kind of tools could I use for some aluminum body finishing work without doing any cutting?

I got into a really bad wreck last winter. My power steering was leaking and had locked up in the middle of an icy road, while I was trying to find a median at night. The guy hit me going around 70 ...
2
votes
1answer
38 views

What uncommon tools are needed for a GMC Savanna 2500 engine replacement?

I have done simple repairs, such as the water pump, alternator, etc on vehicles. Having gone beyond simple maintenance (oil, brakes, spark plugs, etc) I have a collection of very common mechanics ...
3
votes
1answer
82 views

Can you make a tapped hole deeper?

I tapped a hole in my motor (to hold the valve cover) but I don't think the pre-existing hole was deep enough. Can you make a tapped hole deeper? As the drill bit for the pilot hole should fit right ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Mazda Lantis 323 1997: OBDI or OBDII?

I'm still trying to figure out if my 1997 Mazda Lantis 323 GLX 1.8L DHOC Manual is OBD 1 or 2. It's supposedly similar to the Protege of the same year and it says on autozone: In order to ...
5
votes
1answer
92 views

How do I aim the headlights of a '95 Geo Prizm?

Two years ago, my grandfather gave us his old '95 Prizm when he bought a new car. A few weeks ago, I decided that the old headlight bulbs were too dim and I replaced them with new ones. The light ...
0
votes
2answers
45 views

Software Scanners vs. Handheld Scanners

Are there any software based scanners which are comparable to a high quality hand held scanner?
1
vote
4answers
78 views

What good is a scan tool?

Other than reporting error codes, is a scan tool useful? Can it help you to tune the car to optimize gas mileage for example or other helpful things?
7
votes
2answers
265 views

Is it worth having a fire extinguisher in the car?

I've always had a small 1 Kg (2.2 pounds) multipurpose ABC dry chemical fire extinguisher in the car. It has finally expired and I'm wondering whether I should get a new one. In my region it is not ...
2
votes
4answers
673 views

Is leaving either a metric or an imperial wrench set in a GM vehicle sufficient for all (most) emergency repairs?

The title says it all. The flip side of the question is whether a metric wrench set is sufficient for cars from European/Japanese/Korean makers (but, of course, I can't ask that question here lest I ...
4
votes
1answer
638 views

Is double-clicking a mechanical torque wrench just a habit?

I'm wondering if there is any benefit behind double-clicking when using a mechanical torque wrench. Could it be that some folks do it to compensate for slack in the ratcheting mechanism? In other ...
4
votes
2answers
854 views

Why do tap wrenches have a four cornered shaft and get fastened by a bolt?

Tap wrenches are designed like this one: But with this design the bolt always untightens wile using the tool. Why isn't it designed like this:
0
votes
1answer
589 views

Are some drill bits better for mechanical (metal) work than others?

I am looking to buy a set of high quality metal drill bits. Usually, drill bits out there on the market are not classified for metal vs. wood and other softer materials. Are some drill bits better ...
6
votes
2answers
8k views

Tools needed for smooth Subaru head gasket job

I'm about to start replacing the head gaskets on a 1998 Subaru Legacy Outback according to the procedures described here: ...
2
votes
2answers
518 views

What tools are needed for removing rusted bolts?

Will be removing at least some heat shielding if not also the headers from a Subaru Outback. The car spent the first 6 years of its life in PA and has an excessive amount of rust on the bolts that ...
4
votes
1answer
48 views

When should you replace plastic constructed ramps?

Is there a recommendation on how often you should replace plastic ramps? If the ramps look visibly damaged or warped it would make sense to buy a new pair, but I'm curious if the structural integrity ...
4
votes
1answer
657 views

'96 Ford Ranger - Shock Replacement

Do I need any special tools or skills to replace the shocks on my 1996 Ford Ranger? Regular Cab, Step Side, 3.0L V6 if it matters
1
vote
1answer
418 views

Tools needed for oil change on 2012 Honda Odyssey?

What tools are needed to change the oil on a 2012 Honda Odyssey?
3
votes
1answer
162 views

How should I go about zeroing dial calipers?

I have a pair of very nice dial calipers that display marks every 0.001" and can be used to round to the nearest .0002" accurately. How should I go about centering these so that they are as accurate ...
5
votes
5answers
3k views

Remove rounded manifold bolt

I'm trying to take off the manifold bolts on an old Chevy 350 (the ones that connect the manifold to the header). I got 4 out of the 6 bolts out, but 2 are extremely struck and rounded due to all the ...
0
votes
1answer
73 views

Craftsman Bolt-Out and similar tools

I've seen Craftsman Bolt-Out mentioned in several questions/threads about removing stuck or rounded-off bolts, a problem I've run into many times. There's no particular problem I'm looking to solve ...
4
votes
1answer
330 views

What is the difference between an automatic torque wrench and a click wrench?

What is the difference between an automatic torque wrench and a click torque wrench? Right now the 1/2inch torque wrench I use on my Jeep is a really cheep one I bought on amazon and it clicks when ...
2
votes
3answers
156 views

Which is stronger: solid sockets, or two piece sockets?

My jeep has a lot of torx bolts that I need to remove and then replace some of. A while ago I bought a single torx socket from ACE hardware that is made from two steel pieces of metal. The other day ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I remove a pulley where I have no way of stopping it turning anti-clockwise, like I'm turning the nut?

I've been told I need an airgun, but I have no means of getting one. An alternative is a tool that looks like this. It has a handle of flat steel that splits into a wide U, almost Y shaped but the V ...
2
votes
1answer
79 views

Rounded bolt head on possibly broken bolt

I'm trying to remove the transmission casing on my belt drive scooter. All of the bolts have tiny 8mm heads, and are very cheap and soft - cheap Chinese manufacture - and one was already slightly ...