It’s time again to try and find the Dad in your life another gift. Dads are notoriously tough to shop for, responding to gift requests with such classics as “I don’t want/need anything” and “How about a million bucks?” Instead, save yourself the eye-roll and groan, and browse through our Father’s Day Gift Guide. Below you’ll find all sorts of handy tools and products for your automotive-focused father figure that he’ll actually use.
A torque wrench is one of the best tools to have in the toolbox, but tool technology has come a long way in recent years. While very important, torquing wheel lug nuts is tedious and more easily accomplished with an electric impact wrench. But simply driving on lug bolts without setting the proper torque can cause them to be too loose or too tight, resulting in the wheel potentially falling off. However, Astro Pneumatic has come up with the perfect solution in the form of torque-limiting extensions.
These unique extensions have a torque-limiting feature built in, meaning that once the specified limit is reached, the extension prevents the lugs from being tightened any further. The set has four extensions, each with its own torque limit starting at 90 ft-lbs and ending at 120 ft-lbs. Also included in the group are impact sockets with an outer plastic covering to protect the wheel from any damaging marks that a standard impact socket may cause. This tool set is perfect for anyone regularly removing their wheels.
Check engine lights can be scary, but it takes just a few minutes with a handheld scanner to find out what’s going on. Autel makes more than a few scanners, but the MaxiAP AP200 is their most modern and compact yet! Instead of a cable connection to your OBD-II port, the AP200 is a BlueTooth dongle that plugs into your vehicle and connects to your phone. From there, you have all of the functionalities of a regular OBD-II scanner and a few extra handy features for modern cars, like an electronic parking brake reset, a steering angle sensor reset, and a tire-pressure-monitoring-system reset. It’ll even record live data and save it as a PDF for you to print out later. Toss the MaxiAP into the glove box and have the perfect scanner on the go!
Although the AP200 is the new and fancy kid on the block, there’s still nothing wrong with the classics. The AL329 is the perfect gift for the less DIY oriented, as it’s a bit simpler and quicker to use. With that said, it’s still packed with all the features you need from a basic OBD-II scanner, making it a must-have in any toolbox. It will read all generic and manufacturer-specific code, pending and non while providing useful emissions data. The scanner also includes free updates for life, so it’ll always be equipped to scan the next generation of vehicles!
We all know the importance of using protection in our daily lives—from anti-virus software to hard hats and high-visibility vests; you have to be safe. But did you know that you can add some to your engine? LIQUI MOLY has been producing high-quality engine oils for over 65 years, and their product line also includes oil additives explicitly designed to improve and protect your engine’s lubricity.
The CERA TEC oil additive contains microscopic ceramic particles that sit on bearing surfaces and reduce friction within the engine. Not all European vehicles have the best track record for bearing surfaces, and CERA TEC has proven to reduce wear. On top of the reduced bearing wear, the friction reduction has also proven to help improve fuel economy as the engine doesn’t have to work as hard to run.
Whether the car or the lawn mower, a dead battery is a serious buzzkill. It puts a damper on the day, throwing your plans out of whack and forcing you to break out the jumper cables or hit the auto parts store. That is unless you have a jump pack like this GB40.
The GB40 is a compact lithium-ion battery pack that punches out 1000-amps to jump-start your boat, car, or truck. The quality design features a durable case with leads that disconnect, making the battery pack useful in more than just jump-start applications. The cable ends are brightly colored, so there isn’t any mistaking them. If they are placed backward, the NOCO pack won’t damage the vehicle’s electrical system thanks to the reverse polarity protection. And when it’s not being utilized through its primary intention, it has USB ports to charge mobile devices and a 100-lumen LED flashlight for nighttime assistance wherever you are.
There are many reasons why a Euro ride might need a splash of oil between oil changes, but the most important thing is that the owner has the necessary oil on hand. Unfortunately, a lone bottle of oil sliding around your trunk isn’t so great to look at, and it can be a disaster waiting to happen if something were to open it up. Instead, pick up this LIQUI MOLY oil travel case and solve both issues in one shot. The velcro strips on the back will keep it secured, while the leak-proof case protects the one-liter oil bottle that fits inside.
Few things are more frightening to hear while working on a car than the *tink* *tink* as a socket, wrench, or fastener falls into the abyss. The danger of tight spaces speaks for itself, and loose metallic objects are never good around a drivetrain. Having a Lisle Mini Flexible Magnetic Pick-Up Tool on hand takes much of that danger out of the equation by giving the DIY’er the right tool for the job. Its flexible head and telescoping shaft make it perfect for reaching into those seemingly impossible places and pulling out whatever fell in. This may not be the first tool anyone thinks about putting in the toolbox, but its no-shortage of uses will have it a regular go-to.
For under $10, the Fluid Transfer Pump from Performance Tool is one of the handiest in the toolbox. Fluid changes are incredibly important for a healthy drivetrain, and this pump is the perfect tool for gearbox and differential refills. Both components are typically free of the oil-fill necks and, instead, use a simple fill hole somewhere on their exterior. That makes filling them tricky as there isn't a way to tilt the bottle and pour in the new fluid. But the Fluid Transfer Pump solves that problem by threading onto the gear fluid or oil bottle and allowing you to pump it into wherever via the attached tubing. It makes those pesky fluid changes a snap and quickly proves its value in the DIY arsenal.
The electric impact wrench is one of the most valuable tools for an avid DIY’er. But did you know that they require special sockets? The shock loading they put on a chrome socket can be enough to crack it thanks to its metallurgy, so specific impact sockets made from a tougher material are necessary. These Torx Bit Sockets are meant for an impact wrench, and their ⅜” drive makes them just as useable on a standard ratchet, too. With sizes ranging from T25 to T70, there isn’t anything that this set shouldn’t cover, so pick it up and never worry about another Torx fastener again!
As easy as it may seem, pouring in fresh engine oil isn’t always the cleanest task. Fill ports aren’t enormous, and big oil jugs are unwieldy to hold over an engine for so long. A funnel is the best fight against a messy oil change, and the best one we’ve found is this one from CTA. Combined with an adapter that threads into the engine’s oil fill port and seals to the funnel via a couple of o-rings, this no-spill kit is guaranteed to ensure that your engine’s exterior stays oil-free during a refill.
Whether you call them spoons or picks, these two tools are the ultimate in radiator hose management. European vehicles are no strangers to coolant system issues, and many of those require radiator hose removal during a repair. Unfortunately, engine coolant’s chemical makeup has minerals that gather around the ports, which the hoses clamp around, essentially sealing the port and hose together. Picks and screwdrivers can be effective tools but risk puncturing the hose. These two spoons from Lisle are the tools for the job and will make quicker work of stubborn hoses without any damage risk of other tools.
Every home garage always has that one wash mitt meant for cleaning a car, but that’s all there’ll ever be for most. The wash mits are easily dirtied and, if not washed, can trap harmful contaminants that will scratch the paint surface. Replacing that single mitt with a fresh pair from Griot’s Garage is a simple way to upgrade anyone’s car care game.
This mitt set comes with two; one in green and one in orange. While not different, specifying them for specific areas of the car will prevent any further paint damage from improper washing techniques. Brake dust is highly detrimental to a quality paint finish, and separating the wash mitts and giving them their own soap and water is one of the easiest beneficial changes you can make.
Although these are some of the most useful products the father figure in your life could use, there are still plenty more to choose from on fcpeuro.com! Visit our site to shop everything we offer!
Car and motorsports-obsessed writer/editor for FCP Euro's DIY Blog. Constantly dreaming of competing behind the wheel or searching for another project. Owner of a turbo Subaru Forester and a ratty Porsche 914, neither of which are running.