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5 strange mechanic’s tools and what they do

We all love having a fine collection of tools, but do any of your toolboxes play host to these weird and wonderful mechanic’s aides?

If they do, we salute your dedication to tinkering. If they don’t, it’s time to make some space and do some spending! 

01 Oil filter wrench

01 Oil filter wrench

Your oil filter is a serviceable item, meaning you should be changing it at least once a year. Yet when the job comes around you’ll probably end up fighting with the old filter before resorting to the old trick of spearing it with a screwdriver and wrenching it off that way. And for your trouble you’ll get covered in oil. If only there was another way!

There is! It’s the oil filter wrench. They come in various shapes and sizes, but the one featured is the most common. Quite simply, it fits over the filter, you pump the trigger until it’s tight and then turn away.

Because the grip in the filter is spread evenly around the circumference, you don’t bend or buckle the metal. As such, it comes off with ease and you don’t get covered in oil. Sweet joy! 

02 Ball-joint splitter

02 Ball-joint splitter

Suspension is important, so when the factory bolts it together it generally does it very well indeed. It’s not meant to ever come loose or fall off, ever. If it does you and your car will be in severe danger.

So really, it’s good that the factory nips every nut and bolt up so tight. Until that is, you have to change any worn out bits. Happily though, there is a solution for ball-joints – the most troublesome suspension part.

This little metal knuckle may look like a medieval torture implement and frankly, you could use in such a manner if you were so inclined.

You could also loosen it right off, fit it over that stubborn ball-joint, then tighten it until the joint separates. In fact that’s the only way you should use it. It’s 2018, not 1218.

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03 Endoscope

03 Endoscope

When it comes to tech, it tends to be the medical field at the cutting edge. After all, saving lives is pretty damn important. That’s why we have things like the MRI machine, the X Ray machine and of course, the endoscope – a tiny little camera that the doctors can shove into your innards in a bit to see what’s making you poorly. It’s some seriously clever stuff.

As is the case with all technology, as soon as the components become more widely available, people like you and I can get our hands on it.

And never has that been truer than it is with the endoscope. Want to see into cylinder one without having to take the head off? Now, by spending about £50 on eBay, you can. What a time to be alive. 

04 Spring clip pliers

04 Spring clip pliers

If you’ve ever had to change any hoses on your car, be they for the cooling system, the turbo system or something else, you may well have noticed that the jubilee clip isn’t the only play in town, or in this case the engine bay.

That’s because we’re seeing more and more spring clips. You know the ones, they look like someone has bent a paperclip around the end of the pipe. Or even worse, they look like a normal jubilee clip, but with no screw.

They are right sods to get off, too. You always have to fight with them, unless that is, you have some spring clip pliers. Use these once and you’ll be glad you bought them.

They make a 15-minute fight nothing more than a 5-second grab, squeeze and release. Which sounds ruder than we imagined.

05 Ratchet extender

05 Ratchet extender

No, we’re not talking about the one that comes in every socket set. We know you know what one of those is. And you’ll also know that a normal extender does nothing to improve your angle of attack. If there’s a nut or bolt that’s at the wrong angle, your standard extender isn’t going to do much to change that.

What you need is one of these chain-driven extenders. Using one of these means you can get into small spaces with your socket, as it effectively moved the ratchet about 10 inches to the side.

It looks a bit like a robot’s arm, but that’s no bad thing. Especially considering the time it could save you!