Holiday Gift Guide

Holiday Gift Guide

Season's greetings! The leaves have fallen, and the hot chocolate is flowing, which means that it’s time for FCP Euro’s Wish, Wash, & Wrench Winter Sale. Load up on the best deals on our favorite car care products and tools, whether you’re buying for yourself or that enthusiast in your life. Don't know what to get them? Check out this gift guide to bring home some surefire winners for the holidays this season. 

Be sure to place your orders before December 14th to have them in time for Christmas! 

 

Wish

Once in a while, you have to slow down and do something for yourself. Maybe a splurge purchase here or a nice day off there; really anything to get your mind re-energized about whatever you have to do. So, it’s always nice having a little wish list written down of things you might want or need. If you don’t, that’s ok because we have you covered. Here are a few things you might not need but will make DIY projects a whole lot more enjoyable.

 

Extraction/Filling Syringe Pump

FCP Euro 2021 Holiday Gift Guide CTA Fluid Pump

Fluids aren’t always expensive, but the specialty formulas designed to withstand racing conditions often carry a premium. No one likes to waste money, especially not in such a costly hobby, so precise fluid measurements can cut down on the wasted product. CTA’s Extraction/Filling Syringe Pump is one of the tools that’ll help you with those accurate measurements. It’s essentially just a large syringe capable of holding 200cc of fluid. It may not seem like much, but it’s perfect for a job like replacing the supercharger oil on a B8/8.5 S4, where the amount of fluid varies between each vehicle. It’ll work great for pulling oil out of a drain pan to be sent off for testing without getting yourself covered in oil or emptying a master cylinder before a replacement. 

 

Torque Limiting Extension and Protective Impact Socket Set

FCP Euro 2021 Holiday Gift Guide Torque Limiting Extension Set

This just might be the coolest set of tools on this list. Impact guns make DIY significantly easier when there isn’t any access to air tools. Zapping out and running in fasteners becomes almost thoughtless as you pull the trigger and the electric motor spins the bolt effortlessly. However, a lack of caution can lead to broken fasteners and stripped threads. Overtightening lug bolts and stripped lug studs are common if you aren’t careful—unless, of course, you have this toolset. The set comes with the thin-walled lug socket set that uses the plastic outer sleeve for wheel protection and a set of unique extensions. Each extension has a specified torque limit between 90 and 120 ft-lbs. When the torque limit of the extension is reached, the extension won’t allow the nut to tighten any further, preventing any overtightening. No more fiddling around with a torque wrench, just glack it and forget it. 

 

Mini Flip Hex Socket Set

fcpeuro-mini-flip-socket

Big jobs need lots of sockets, which can make a workspace a bit of a mess. Looking down at your tool cart or the floor for the right socket slows everything down and adds a level of frustration that isn’t needed when you’re stuck doing the timing chain on your N20. CTA’s flip hex socket set is all about reducing the socket quantity needed while retaining its functionality. Each socket is double-ended and functions as a two-in-one. The extension grabs the socket at its center and can remove two different sized fasteners depending on the side exposed. For example, one socket has an 8mm and 10mm hex size built into it, helping you reduce time and clutter. The set comes with four sockets and two extensions conveniently housed in a blown plastic carry case. Stop fiddling around with a literal pocket-full of sockets, and grab yourself this flip socket set. 

 

CTEK MXS 5.0 Battery Maintainer

FCP Euro 2021 Holiday Gift Guide CTEK MXS 5.0

We in the northeast know a thing or two about what happens to any vehicle ever exposed to wintery conditions. A five-minute drive down the road means a salt bath for the undercarriage and a one-way ticket to corrosion town. Avoiding that means storing your vehicle inside and waiting out the weather. When it finally is nice enough, a dead battery is the last thing anyone wants to deal with. Having your vehicle hooked up to a trickle charger like CTEK’s MXS 5.0 is the perfect insurance against a no-start situation. The MXS 5.0 is one of the more advanced chargers on the market with its eight-step charging process. The fully-sealed unit uses an automatic microprocessor and built-in temperature sensor to monitor the battery’s condition while charging and maintaining that charge. It can charge just about every type of lead-acid battery from AGM to GEL to a standard wet battery, all while being shock and waterproof. Its reverse polarity protection also protects against any unfortunate accidents. 

 

Autel MaxiCheck MX808

FCP Euro 2021 Holiday Gift Guide Autel MX808

A basic code reader is a necessity for any vehicle owner. The OBD-II system enforced in 1996 connected all cars under one system, allowing anyone to check what was causing the engine light quickly and easily. However, scanners like the Autel MX808 are more capable than that. For starters, it functions as any code reader would. Plug it into the vehicle, and it automatically reads the VIN to detect any manufacturer-specific codes. Beyond that, it will read every other code and come back with whatever the problem is. The MX808 helps during servicing, too. Modern Mercedes and BMWs require the electronic parking brake to be retracted for servicing, and the MX808 is able to make that happen. It can also help code new fuel injectors, bleed the ABS, reset and program tire pressure monitors, program keys, and read live data in real-time. Anyone servicing their European car made in the last ten years would benefit greatly from having an MX808 in their toolbox. 

 

Wash

An often overlooked part of being a vehicle owner is the responsibility to keep it clean. It’s the easiest way anyone can take care of their vehicle without any mechanical skill and will leave you with a sense of accomplishment in the end. Of course, using the right tools or wash products, in this case, is mightily important. Dish soap may sound like a good idea but can damage the paint surface, as can the brushes and sponges found around the house. Instead, check out the products below for safe and effective soaps, sponges, and shammies. 

 

Extra-Large PFM™ Edgeless Drying Towel

FCP Euro 2021 Holiday Gift Guide Griots XL PFM Towel

There’s no sense in washing your car if you aren’t going to dry it afterward. Letting the water evaporate leaves water spots around the vehicle, and household towels and rags can be rough on a painted surface so it’s best to use a dedicated automotive drying towel, like Griot’s Extra-Large PFM® Edgeless Drying Towel. The key to any good towel is its ability to absorb and hold water, and that’s where the XL PFM towel from Griot’s shines. Its 1120 grams per square meter marks it one of the thickest and most absorbent towels on the market, while the overall 29" x 36" size ensures that there is plenty of drying surface to go around. Plus, its edgeless design means there is nothing but soft, water-absorbing material from end to end. If you’re going to end up with any drying towel, there isn’t a reason it shouldn’t be this one. 

 

THE BOSS™ Foam Cannon

FCP Euro 2021 Holiday Gift Guide THE BOSS Foam Cannon

THE BOSS Foam Cannon makes washing your car a snap while being the ultimate in paint safety—and you don’t even have to be Bruce Springsteen to use it. Traditional washing methods allow you to get up close and personal with the paint surface, but that isn’t always a good thing. Applying and agitating the soap will get the dirt off but not before the sponge, or mitt wipes that dirt all over the paint and causes swirls in the clear coat. The cannon shoots out the soap and water mixture in a foam covering the vehicle’s surface. Because of science, the foamy mixture breaks down the dirt and lifts it off the paint without the paint-damaging effects of agitating it with a sponge. THE BOSS foam cannon positions itself as a contender against any competitor with its intensive stainless steel use for all components handling the force from the pressure washer. It also comes with a quick disconnect fitting, three different nozzles, and an auto-mixing system that’ll produce the perfect soap to water ratio every time. This is the way to go to ensure optimal paint care. 

 

Sonax Wheel Cleaner PLUS

FCP Euro 2021 Holiday Gift Guide Sonax Wheel Plus

Whether you’re building a show car or hitting the race track, brake dust is something you’re going to contend with. Carbon, organic, and ceramic materials of brake pads along with the ground-away steel rotor surface naturally coat the wheel surface as you drive to the McDonalds parking lot you’re about to get kicked out of for doing burnouts. Those materials will eat into and permanently bake into the wheel surface, leaving your wheels needing a refurb. Grabbing a bottle of Sonax’s Wheel Cleaner PLUS is the way to prevent that from happening. Their ultra-strong “PLUS'' formula is the strongest they offer and cleans away grime and brake dust better than anything we’ve tried at FCP Euro. Using the Sonax cleaner reveals every dirt particle sitting on the wheel as the formula turns a purple/red while it cleans. It’s a very aggressive-looking product, and it is on brake dust, but the cleaner uses a pH-balanced formula making it safe for anodized, painted, and clear coated wheel surfaces on alloy wheels. Once the wheels are clean, you can wash away the cleaner, knowing that it utilizes an environmentally safe composition. 

 

Griot’s Garage Microfiber Wash Mitt Set

FCP Euro 2021 Holiday Gift Guide Wash Mitt Set

You can never have too many wash mitts. There are only a few items required for the most basic car wash, and some sort of agitation tool like a mitt is one of them. This two-mitt set from Griot’s Garage is the perfect inclusion into the start of a car care setup. Their microfiber tendrils use the safest material possible for interacting with a painted surface while being tough enough to lift and remove the pesky dirt and road grime. The pair included in this set are different colors, allowing you to have different mitts for other sections to prevent cross-contamination. It may not seem too important, but having the right mitt can be the difference between swirl-free and damaged paint. 

 

Griot’s Garage Track Spray

fcpeuro-gift-guide-griots-track-spray

Going to the track in your prepared vehicle is an activity that’s second to none. The adrenaline and sense of accomplishment gained from hitting clean and consistent laps is unlike anything else and all you want to take away from a track event. However, even the cleanest laps aren’t actually clean. Race tires are incredibly sticky but come with a relatively short life. They degrade gradually while being pushed to their limit, leaving rubber bits all over the track and in their wake. That rubber then gets thrown around by the cars driving by, leaving rubber marks on paint and wheel surfaces. Griots specifically designed their Track Spray to remove those pesky rubber marks from whatever you’re driving at the rack. It’s safe on paint and vinyl, ensuring it always cleans the surface without harm. It also doubles as a protective coating, with the thick formula leaving a residual protective surface wherever applied. While not impenetrable, the Track Spray will reduce the number of rubber marks left if used after the first session. Keep your track ride clean at all times with Griot’s Track Spray. 

 

Griot’s Foaming Surface Wash

FCP Euro 2021 Holiday Gift Guide Griot's Foaming Surface Wash

As discussed earlier, the foam cannon is the ultimate solution for scratch-free car washes, but they need the right soap to be most effective. There are many foam cannon soaps out there, from the most prominent names in the detailing business to much more niche companies, though sticking with matching brands is often a good idea. Products are developed in tandem and have their best results paired together. If you’re looking at THE BOSS, then there isn’t a better choice for soap than Griot’s own Foaming Surface Wash. The soap’s formula was designed from the ground up for THE BOSS™ Foam Cannon’s Auto-Mix system to provide maximum cleaning power from an extended dwell time. It’s a two-layer, pH-neutral formula that attacks the dirt and road grime from two different angles while doing the minimum to any waxes or sealants on the paint’s surface. Pair this soap with THE BOSS™ foam cannon, and you’ll never have to worry about swirl marks again. 

 

Griot’s G9 Random Orbital Polisher

fcpeuro-gift-guide-griots-da-polisher

Stepping beyond a simple car wash takes car care up a level. Restoring surfaces and paint finishes takes more time, respect, and skill than spraying foam all over the exterior. However, it is a gratifying process and can be a lot of fun. When it comes to eliminating those swirl marks to bring back the ultimate shine and color, it’s hard to beat a random orbital polisher like Griot’s G9. It was designed with a handful of ergonomic features in mind to make it accessible and comfortable no matter your dominant hand. Also aiding in keeping you comfortable is the speed at which the G9 can apply the product and work the surface. The 1000-watt, 8.5-amp battery gets the polishing head up to 6400 orbits a minute to apply the product quickly and safely with its vented backing plate. Getting the technique down will take some practice, but the random orbital polisher is the safest and easiest way to revive your vehicle’s shine.

 

Wrench

If they’re into detailing, there’s a good chance they like to get their hands dirty, too. Servicing your own vehicle is the easiest way to teach anyone about how they work and what it takes to maintain them, and part of that is having access to the right tools. With a basic set of tools, all of the maintenance jobs like brake pad and oil changes become infinitely more achievable. Set up yourself or someone you know with these few tools that are sure to come in handy.  

 

Volvo Weatherstrip Bone Tool

FCP Euro 2021 Holiday Gift Guide Volvo Bone Tool

Sometimes the most straightforward tools are the most useful. As our cars age, parts need replacing; that’s how it’s supposed to be. Unfortunately, a significant amount of components that may need replacing are behind hard and occasionally brittle plastics that’ll crack if you even think about removing them. They require considerable finesse for removal, where pulling a wrong way too quickly will leave nothing but a destroyed trim panel. That’s where the bone tool comes in. It’s nothing but a flat thin, and long piece of plastic with a tapered end. About every major automaker uses one because the magical little tool pops those pesky trim pieces off with much greater success than anything like a screwdriver or even your hands. At around four dollars, the tool will easily pay for itself within its first use and will likely become a go-to for prying around delicate objects.

 

5-Piece Trim Removal Tool Set

FCP Euro 2021 Holiday Gift Guide Trim Removal Set

The bone tool works great, but it isn’t perfect for every situation. If you’ve ever had to pull plastic pop rivets out of fender liners, then you’ll know that screwdrivers will mangle them on their way out. One of the five trim tools included in this set with their forked ends will work much better. Each tool is made from durable plastic with just enough flexibility to work gently but firmly on stubborn panels. Each tool has a different width and features unique tips to match any needed situation. This is a must-have set for any automotive audio junkies or custom upholsterer.

 

CTA European Tool Set

FCP Euro 2021 Holiday Gift Guide European Tool Set

The basis of any toolbox revolves around the wrenches and the sockets. They’re the two most widely used tools whose importance cannot be overstated. As you may know, European vehicles solely use metric hardware, making the SAE tools that are included in most tool sets a complete waste. To avoid that, look at CTA’s European-specific socket set. The 69-piece set comes with a ⅜”-drive ratchet, extensions, and 54 sockets of varying sizes and applications specific to European vehicles; all fitted neatly into a red carrying case. It’s the perfect toolset to keep in a trunk for an emergency or for that new enthusiast just getting into automotive repairs.

 

BMW & MINI 14mm 12-Point Spark Plug Swivel Socket

FCP Euro 2021 Holiday Gift Guide Swivel Spark Plug Socket

The N54 marked a distinct change in BMW’s internal combustion engines. Their first mass-produced turbocharged engine featured a handful of new technologies that have since become a staple worldwide. However, lost in all of that advancement was BMW’s switch to a new spark plug design for the direct-injected engines. Now, just about every engine fitted to a BMW or MINI uses those plugs and requires this specific tool. You’d be lucky to find a 12-point 14mm socket in the local parts store, let alone a spark plug-specific socket with the rubber inside designed to grip the plug. Performance-enhancing modifications have become easy, necessitating the need for frequent spark plug changes, so why not pick up this socket and never worry about removal or installation again? 

 

Thin Wall Lug Nut Socket Set

FCP Euro 2021 Holiday Gift Guide Thin Walled Lug Socket Set

Your vehicle’s wheels are likely to see the most removals of any component. They come off for everything surrounding the suspension and brakes at the minimum, giving them significant exposure to potential damage through constant handling. While not always the most apparent, that damage is likely to occur around the lug nuts. Typical impact sockets are thick, and their tough metallic exterior can hit the wheel during removal or installation of the nut. The contact is often enough to scratch the wheel around the socket. To avoid that, CTA offers their thin-walled lug nut socket set. They’re a thinner impact socket design with a durable but wheel-safe external plastic coating to prevent any marring on the wheel. The set includes 17mm, 19mm, 21mm, and 22mm sockets to fit a range of manufacturers and their various lug nut and bolt sizes. This is a great little kit for any vehicle owner looking to ensure the condition of their wheels stays the nicest it can.

 

4-Piece Mini Stubby Screwdriver Set

FCP Euro 2021 Holiday Gift Guide Stubby Screwdriver Set

Hard-to-reach places like behind dashboards and the tops of fuel tanks can present numerous challenges to even the most seasoned DIYers. To make matters more difficult, packaging in vehicles has naturally become more crowded with the inclusion of so much electronic technology that there are more hard-to-reach places than ever before. With that in mind, having a set of stubby screwdrivers is a great way to avoid any space-related hiccups. It comes with a pair of Phillips-head and a pair of flat-head drivers with differentiating tip sizes for use with a range of fasteners. This Performance Tools mini stubby screwdriver set makes a perfect stocking stuffer for less than three dollars.

 

Wheel Hanger Set

FCP Euro 2021 Holiday Gift Guide Wheel Hanger

There are multitudes of wonderful things about European vehicles. However, the extensive use of lug bolts is not one of them. Used by many modern BMW, Mercedes, Audi, and Volkswagen, they make wheel removal and installation a challenge that they don’t need to be and present a real danger of cross-threading. To alleviate the lack of stud, CTA offers this wheel hanger set. The hangers are aluminum tubes with a rounded end and a threaded end. Select the pair with the correct thread pitch from the set and thread them into your hub to hold the wheel in place. That then allows for a smooth installation of the other lug bolts and a perfectly installed wheel. Although they may not seem like much, they have come in handy more times than I can remember, and I’ll never personally be without them as long as one of my vehicles uses lug bolts. 

So there you have it. These are some of our favorite tools and best deals of the holiday season, but they aren't the only ones! Keep shopping our site to take advantage of all of the other available deals and treat that enthusiast in your life. Happy holidays!

News, Deals, and DIY's for your car


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Written by :
Christian Schaefer

Owner of a flat-six swapped 1998 Impreza 2.5RS and a 1973 Porsche 914. Horizontally opposed views, only.


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