Tools used to repair motor vehicles. Avoid shopping questions.

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40
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6answers
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 ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

Should a mechanical “click” Torque Wrench be set to zero when not in use?

I have a standard click torque wrench. I was told I should set it to zero when not using it in order to keep the accuracy high. Is this true? Secondly, I have not been doing this since I purchased ...
14
votes
6answers
567 views

How to keep wheel ramps from sliding?

I have a very smooth garage floor. When I try to use my wheel ramps for the quick and easy way to raise a vehicle, they will often slide, sometimes just one, but other times both. They will sometimes ...
14
votes
5answers
349 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?
14
votes
2answers
740 views

How To Get Organized Without a Garage Workspace?

People I've seen who have garages have it made. They have a clean, dry workspace with all of their tools within arms reach. In the most organized garages, a mixture of rolling Snap-on Roll Cab with ...
13
votes
2answers
360 views

What is a leak down tester and what can I do with it?

Background There are quite a few head gasket related questions on the site. Coolant or water in the oil, oil in the coolant or water in a radiator, etc. I'm thinking that some instruction on howto ...
11
votes
1answer
93 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
143 views

Multimeter - Basic Functionality and Howto

Multimeters I'm looking for some responses regarding multimeter basics for the site tag-wiki to point OP's at when we want them to use one. The question is; What are the basic functions of a ...
9
votes
3answers
247 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
75 views

Rusted gas tanks, how do you repair them?

If I have an extremely old vehicle that has limited parts availability for replacement, how would I fix a rusted gas tank in order to put it back in service in a vehicle? I've run into this issue a ...
9
votes
3answers
21k views

What is a suitable air compressor for a home garage?

What type and size air compressor (HP, Tank Size, CFM, direct drive/2 stage... etc) would be suitable for a home garage where I'm going to do small amounts of maintenance but nothing major? So I would ...
8
votes
1answer
112 views

Why does my air compressor fail to start when the tank is partially full?

I have a Harbor Freight (I know, I know) air compressor. It's the 21 gallon, 2 1/2 HP model. The problem is that when the tank is empty it starts fine, and pressurizes the tank to where it should be. ...
8
votes
1answer
436 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
62 views

Testing specific wires in harness cable

I want to do some electrical mods like adding a push/pull switch to my truck' tailgate to wire into my door ajar light to let me know if it is open along with splicing an electrical tailgate lock into ...
8
votes
1answer
242 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
873 views

Car enthusiast beginner kit

What is a good place to begin building a kit/set up for performing your own service? For ex: oil changes waxing detailing What is the best starting equipment one can start on?
7
votes
3answers
489 views

What is a tap and die set and how do I use them?

I have two questions. What is a tap and die set? and How do I use a tap and a die?
7
votes
3answers
487 views

Does using a ratchet size adaptor on a click-type ratchet wrench reduce the applied torque?

Long story short, I have to purchase a torque wrench which I will use to torque things like brake calipers, wheels and the like. To make things interesting, I will have to buy it a different size ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Do I Need to Compress the Springs to Install Strut Tower Braces?

I have a '99 Maxima. I am considering installing strut tower braces. In order to do so, would I need to get spring compression tools to hold the springs on the struts, or will the weight of the car ...
7
votes
2answers
339 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
6k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
10k 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: ...
6
votes
3answers
278 views

Uses of small sized 1/2" drive sockets

I'm currently a first year apprentice and building my tool kit as I go. I see often larger socket sets include 1/2" drive sockets ranging from 8 or 10mm. Is there a reason that 1/2" drive sockets of ...
6
votes
1answer
803 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
5k views

How important is it to use a real flare nut wrench when removing the fuel line on an old Ford tractor?

An article on overhauling the carbs on a Ford 8N tractor says to use a flare nut wrench to disconnect the fuel line. How important is it use that kind of wrench, vs. an open ended wrench?
6
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
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 ...
5
votes
4answers
4k 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?
5
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 ...
5
votes
4answers
8k views

What is the best overall ODB2 scan tool?

There are a number of different ODB2 scan tools out there, some PC based, some standalone units, some more for tuning and some more for diagnosing problems. What are the different features that these ...
5
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
47 views

Why would I want to magnetize a screwdriver?

Why would I want to magnetize my screwdriver? and How would I magnetize my screwdriver?
5
votes
3answers
4k 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?
5
votes
1answer
71 views

What is a smoke test and what kind of tools do I need to do it?

I've seen 'the smoke test' referenced several times in answers to OP's. I would like to ask; What is a smoke test? What kind of tool(s) do I need to do a smoke test? What is the proper procedure to ...
5
votes
1answer
206 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
468 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

How much oil will this fluid extractor extract?

The Griots Garage multi-fluid extractor is an example of a tool that certainly seems amazingly useful and convenient. If you haven't seen it before, the concept is that a semi rigid tube is inserted ...
5
votes
1answer
45 views

Lubricating Spring Compresor Threads

I'm getting ready to replace the struts on one of my vehicles using a set of ampro T70570 coil spring compressors: I had vaguely remembered reading somewhere that it's a good idea to oil the ...
5
votes
1answer
56 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
63 views

How can you assure a torque wrench is working properly?

Torquing to a manufacturer's spec is important when working on an engine but I've wondered how do you properly determine if an adjustable torque wrench has been zeroed out over it's life and is still ...
5
votes
1answer
113 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
181 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
2answers
169 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, ...
4
votes
2answers
987 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:
4
votes
1answer
80 views

What is the maximum torque a 1/2 drive can withstand?

I just broke two 3/8 in. extensions trying to crack an underdrive pulley loose (specs say the pulley is at 130 ft/lbs, but feels much higher than that). This begs the question: are there standard ...
4
votes
1answer
479 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?
4
votes
1answer
382 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
739 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
4
votes
1answer
51 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 ...