Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

Christmas gift ideas for dad

Tool Christmas and Father’s Day gift ideas for guys

It’s that time of year and you’re looking for cool Christmas gift ideas or Father’s Day gift ideas for dad.  Here’s my 2017 list of the coolest tools he’d like to have in his toolbox.

Scan tool to diagnose engine problems

I’m listing two scan tools to fit your budget. The first one reads trouble codes for the engine, transmission, ABS brakes, and Airbags. It has some live streaming ability to examine the engine while it’s running, but it doesn’t have two-way communication like a professional scan tool. The second model does have that capability.

Launch Tech 301050116 ‘CRP123’ ABS, SRS, Transmission and Engine Code Scanner
It blurs the lines between a code scanner and a

scan tool for engine diagnostics

Launch Tech 301050116 ‘CRP123’ ABS, SRS, Transmission and Engine Code Scanner

professional mid-line scan tool. With features far beyond the typical read and clear codes, it takes you to a new level of diagnostics with added capabilities such as Enhanced Data Stream for ABS, SRS, Transmission and Engine. It is a full coverage ABS, SRS, Transmission and Engine Code Scanner – not leaving you behind with coverage for only a few makes and models. Technicians looking for a traditional ABS/SRS Code Reader but want much more functionality, such as the addition of live data stream, ability to scan transmission, and coverage for Asian, Euro and Domestic, should look no further than this.

Now you’re getting into a professional style tool.

Retrieves OEM enhanced and transmission DTC’s.
Diagnoses ABS codes on 1996 and newer GM, Ford and Chrysler vehicles.
Backlit display.

Best ratchet

GearWrench 81204P 120XP Cushion Grip Flex Teardrop Ratchet Set, 2-Piece

Access – Adjustable flex head has six positions and

gearwrench ratchet Christmas gift ideas for dad

Flex head ratchet set

gives additional clearance where needed for increased access
Speed – 120 positions give a 3Degree ratcheting arc, so you can turn a fastener in tighter confines
Speed – Double-Stacked pawls deliver 180% of ASME torque performance
This set includes both 1/4″ & 3/8″ drives sizes with a dual material cushion grip
Also included is a high-quality foam storage tray

GearWrench 81230P 120XP Full Polish Flex Teardrop Ratchet Set, 4-Piece

Access – Adjustable flex head has six positions and

ratchet set for home mechanic

GearWrench ratchet set

gives additional clearance where needed for increased access
Speed – 120 positions give a 3Degree ratcheting arc, so you can turn a fastener in tighter confines
Speed – Double-Stacked pawls deliver 180% of ASME torque performance
This set includes all 3 drives sizes; 1/4″, 3/8″ & 1/2″ in a full polish finish. In addition it also includes a 3/8″ Drive full polish Stubby ratchet
Also included is a high-quality foam storage tray

Best scraper for gaskets

Titan Multipurpose Razor Scrapers – 2-Pc. Set, Model 17002

This is technically a razor scraper set, but if you escraper set to remove gaskets, caulk, paintquip it with the non-marring plastic blades, you can use it on aluminum engine parts without damaging the delicate aluminum surfaces.


plastic scraper blade

non-marring plastic scraper blade







Best locking extension bars

Neiko 00295A 3/8″ Drive Locking Extension Bars for Removing Sockets and Sparkplugs, 3″, 6″, 10″ | 3 Piece Cr-V Set

FOR HARD TO REACH SPOTS: Three-piece set of 3/8-inch locking extension bar set for socket setdrive extension bars for loosening and tightening hard to reach fasteners
NO MORE LOST SOCKETS: Unique spring-loaded slide lock mechanism grips on to prevent parts from slipping deep into engines or machinery
DURABLE CONSTRUCTION: Made of extremely durable drop forged heat-treated chrome vanadium and corrosion-resistant mirror/chrome polish finish
FITS IN TIGHT SPOTS: Slim design makes accessing tight spots easier and sockets connect to extension bars with easy-to-use slide and release collar
A MUST HAVE: Includes the most commonly used extension bars in 3-, 6-, 10-inch sizes for use on a wide variety of foreign and domestic vehicles

O-ring assortment

If your guy works on cars he’s going to run into a spot where he needs a replacement O-ring. That’ll mean a trip to the store and a lot of cuss words. O-ring assortments are cheap, so buy him both sets SAE and metric and keep him on task.

32 DIFFERENT SIZES: Assortment includes 407 O ring assortment for cars and plumbing projectsO-rings in 32 sizes ranging from tiny to large
UNIVERSAL APPLICATIONS: A wide assortment of universal SAE sizes, O-rings provide a secure seal for oil, air, gas and water applications
MADE OF FLEXIBLE RUBBER: Pliable rings are made of flexible rubber to seal contact and connection points
PAYS FOR ITSELF: A better alternative than running to the hardware store to buy expensive packs of O-rings, will pay for itself
INCLUDES HARD CASE: Complete with secure-fit latched storage case that keeps each O-ring size separate
Performance Tool W5203 Metric O-Ring Assortment, 419-Piece
Good abrasion resistance and resistant metric o ring assortment for plumbing and autoto compression
Suitable for many Hydrocarbons, Fats, Oils, Gas, etc. Not suitable for use with brake fluids
Nitrile rubber, Buna-N
High tensile strength

Nut and bolt assortment

ATD Tools ATD-344 800 Pieces Metric Nut and Bolt Assortment

If you want to hear cuss words, just wait until nut and bolt assortmenthe drops a nut or bolt and it disappears somewhere in the engine compartment. If you get him a nut and bolt assortment, he can shrug off the loss, find a replacement and get right back to work. He’ll never buy this for himself which is why he’ll appreciate it so much more.

Grade 5 hex cap screws.
Grade 2 flat washers.
Lock washers and nuts in coarse thread sizes 6mm to 16mm.
(40) heavy-duty plastic bins with printed identification labels.
Individual bins measure 3 x 4 x 5.

Best wrenches

GearWrench 32 Piece Combination Ratcheting Wrench Set with Stubby Wrenches and Carrying Case

Total of 20 combination wrenches: 1/4, 5/16, 3/8, 7/16, 1/2, 9/16, 5/8, 11/16, 3/4 and 13/16 inches ratcheting wrenches
Also: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17 millimeters wrenches
12 stubby wrenches: 5/16, 3/8, 7/16, 1/2, 9/16 and 5/8 inches, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 millimeters
12 points / Need only 5 degrees of swing /Straight handles / Made of alloy steel
Polished finish / Blown plastic carrying case

Best headlamp />

Coast HL8 Focusing 390 Lumen LED Headlamp

You never have light where you need it, especially

led headlamp with lithium battery

Professional grade LED headlamp

when you’re working in tight spaces under the hood. This pro grade headlamp isn’t like all the others. It puts out lots of light and lets him focus the beam where he needs it. It’s a bit more than the toys that sell for less, but it’s worth every penny.

Pure Beam Focusing Optics with Twist Focus Technology
Light control dial
Light output: High – 390 lumens; Low – 25 lumens
Runtime: High – 2 hours; Low – 83 hours
Beam distance: High – 217 meters (711 ft); 55 meters (180 ft)

Our most powerful headlamp, the HL8 has a blazing light output of up to 344 lumens and a runtime of up to 19 hours 15 minutes using 4 AA batteries. The low beam gives you 66 lumens and a runtime of up to 79 hours 15 minutes, making the HL8 a fantastic choice for heavy professional and industrial users or outdoor use where batteries may be scarce. Our Pure Beam Focusing Optic produces our largest flood beam, giving you the ability to shed light on a very large area and the Bulls-Eye Spot Beam can illuminate targets as far as 207 meters (678 feet) away while still giving you an enhanced field of vision with its transition halo. The removable battery pack is easy to clip on a belt or gear webbing and includes a 3 foot extension cord. The HL8 can also be used with a HARD HAT style safety helmet using the included helmet clips. Backed by Coast’s lifetime guarantee against defects in materials and workmanship. Tested and rated to ANSI/FL1 standards by an independent laboratory.


Posted on by Rick Muscoplat

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