Chances are you’ve seen a wheel lock, sometimes called a boot, on a car that’s violated some parking ordinance — if not in person, at least on TV. The concept is to make the car stay put by completely immobilizing one of the wheels until the owner pays a fine. The Wheel Chock Lock from Curt Manufacturing uses the same concept to keep your trailer or camper from disappearing, only now you have the key.
The Wheel Chock Lock will expand to fit a variety of tires. It has a powder-coated yellow finish to resist corrosion and make it stand out. The Wheel Chock Lock comes with three keys and runs about $75.
Not everybody needs an ultra-low profile jack, but if you’re regularly working on high-performance cars you probably run into the problem of getting the jack under the car from time to time. With a saddle height of only 1-7/8, it’ll be hard to find a vehicle too low for this new jack from OTC tools.
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Got a pile of bungee cords that are the wrong size or the hook at the end just doesn’t quite fit the application? The Joubert Smart Bungee System lets you connect bungee cords together, swap ends, create a three ended bungee, or create complex combinations you may’ve never imagined.
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If you need to check drive pulleys to see if they’re out of alignment, one way to do it is to use the Gates Drive Align laser alignment tool. It can show you if the drive pulleys are offset or angled with respect to each other.
Gates’ tool uses a 650nm (red) laser diode powered by a replaceable lithium battery which provides 20 hours of continuous use. It can be used on all automotive serpentine belt drives with four or more ribs.
The Drive Align Laser includes glasses that help you see the laser better, a bungee cord to secure the laser tool to the pulley, and an Allen wrench to align the light beam. The tool comes in a high-impact plastic carrying with space for the other accessories. Overall the Laser Drive Alignment Tool will run you at least $125.
It’s a familiar scenario: you twist the lever to clean your windshield, and the fluid mostly misses the glass and goes up over the roof. Though it could be worse; you could be in a convertible. I don’t know how many vehicles still have fixed nozzles (the ones on my truck are mounted on the wipers), but if your vehicle does, you can use this windshield washer jet tool from Klann Tools to aim them.
You can use the tool on ball head or fixed nozzles. Just stick one of the needles into the nozzle and use the pen-like body to move it to the right position. If the nozzle is clogged, sticking the needle in will unclog it if you’re lucky. Both ends have screw on caps to protect the needles or your chest when you use the pocket clip to store the tool in your breast pocket.
Klann’s Windshield Washer Jet tool will run you about $6 before shipping. Whether it’s worth the money when you can probably do the same job with a straight pin is your decision.
You need a funnel to direct a wild-flowing fluid into a barely-accessible opening, but you also need two hands to steady and hold the fluid container. If you can get the funnel to wedge in place so you don’t have to hold it, consider yourself lucky — otherwise you either need a helper or a tool like the UniFunnel.
Made from a glass reinforced polyamide, the bright yellow Unifunnel resembles a pair of spring-loaded pliers. When you release the handles, four stabilizing prongs expand to grip any opening from 1-1/4″ to 2-1/4″. Then just insert any standard funnel into the adjustable rings and pour.
A single UniFunnel will run you $15 shipped. Note: Not advisable for beer consumption.
UniFunnel [Corporate Site]
At what point do you throw in the towel with your car? As a card-carrying stubborn gearhead, I haven’t found the line yet. A few months ago I refreshed the top end of my 1990 Oldsmobile — a terrible old slushbucket — to fix a coolant leak from the cylinder head. The transmission no longer moves the car, even though it shifts, and this is after I did two wheel bearings and replaced a broken climate-control computer. Considering that the car has about 240,000 miles on it (I’m not sure because I replaced the cluster to fix a broken speedometer a while back), and has a Kelly Blue Book retail value of less than $700, why exactly did I bother? Because as long as I’m around, it’s not dead yet.
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