By on December 25, 2012


Bah! Humbug!


The new car commercial with the pretty ribbon on a Lexus/Acura/Mercedes/BMW/Canyonero has received countless exposure over the years.

The United States is one of the few countries that celebrates Christmas, in part, by commercializing four to five figure debts. A lot of folks like to look at Saint Nick as the Coca-Cola drinking, car giving, Red Rider rifle distrubting, jolly red cheeked saint with magic flying reindeer. Only when we are older do we find out that the real fellow was a bit more secretive and modest than that.

So what if instead of all that Christmas cheer, you simply received a tool that helps with your equity? Specifically, your automotive equity.

What would it be?

I have a weakness in my life that goes far beyond old beaters and pernicious frugality. Tools!

Now mind you, I am not the type that tries to buy and horde them all. I usually share my booty with folks who I know are good for their word and in turn, I try to borrow a few things while I can as well.

Does someone need a Mityvac? Or a good torque wrench? I’m all there.

Is there someone who can house a 30 year old convertible with an original worn out top? A semi-retired fellow with his own shop has given me the access. Gratis.

There is a beauty in not believing in a suburbia that requires 30 lawnmowners and 30 Lion King videos for 30 houses. Everything gets passed to those who have the greatest need and in turn, you get the means and the expertise when you need it.

Every once in a while though, you long for what the late Frank Zappa calls, “nuclear powered pansexual roto-plooker“. A tool that is so useful and versatile, that your favorite hobby wouldn’t be the same unless you had one to call your very own.

So what is it? What is the one tool you would love to see stuffed in that elongated stocking stuffer of yours?

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24 Comments on “Question Of The Day: What Would Be Your Best… Stocking Stuffer?...”

  • avatar

    I’m not sure it’s the ultimate tool but I was pretty excited to see a hammer and dolley set under the tree this year. I will be in the garage for many hours pinging away at various dents and imperfections in my old Peugeot and I’ excited!

  • avatar

    A shop Vac. That {A} really sucks, and [B] lasts longer than 3 years.

  • avatar

    I’d like a professional crimping tool for making up hydraulic and A/C lines.

    Alternatively, if Santa felt like performing the complete “front of engine service” on my Porsche 924S that would be appreciated too.

  • avatar

    I was going to mention the battery terminal spreader, wire brush, and puller. Those tools have proven their value to me many times over the years. But things change, things change…I’ve never touched a battery terminal on either my 1999 or my 2009 Accord or my 2003 Silverado. I still need them for the RX7 though – it tends to sit a long time in our wet winters, and once in a while I’ll need to get the battery recharged.

  • avatar

    A car bow.

  • avatar

    A precise and easy to use and put away tire pressure air compressor unit. Make it quiet too.

    • 0 avatar

      Yep… I use mine all the time. Finding a gas station with air these days is actually difficult. Since I’ve got three vehicles, two bikes, plus a boat trailer I’m willing to beat right now a tire someplace is little low on air. I keep a keen eye on the trailer’s air levels and my 350Z has a built in gauge (not just an idiot light) which is awesome.

      My 2nd best tool would be a combo of: an electrical wire stripper/crimper, a small heat gun for shrink tubing and 12V circuit tester. I’m a 12V stereo/accessory lights kind of guy, so I don’t really touch the greasy bits. The circuit tester ( has saved countless WTF moments. Unlike a normal circuit tester this model has several LEDs that quickly indicates correct voltage at the battery or alternator level of the system. It is a cheap and handy tool for tracking down basic electrical issues.

  • avatar

    An LS7 with T56

  • avatar

    Best present ever!
    Best “tool” ever!
    By far the best tool-present I ever got from my wife is the used tow-dolly we foud for $300. Had to drive 175 miles… no it was 350 miles round trip… and we had to jump on it within an hour of it coming up on craigslist. It just wasn’t going to last!
    It has paid for itself many-many times over. And it gets loaned out to friends more than I thought it would. Its way better than having a tow truck… better for piece of mind now that both kids are off at college… even tho Ive never needed it for that yet. I store it under a tarp out behind the garage so as to not have to look at it or have the neighbors have to look at it. But the piece of mind that it gives us is beyond compare! Plus… everytime we see a broken… but easily fixed car… its a no brainer… we just hook up the tow-dolly and go get the dang thing… and toss the idea of paying for a tow truck out the window. We only use it once or twice a year, but the piece of mind it gives me is wonderful.
    BTW: Its a real factory built dolly, not one of those homemade jobs… heck it even came with built in electric brakes… … it puts a smile on my face everytime I think about it. Best tool ever!

  • avatar

    “There is a beauty in not believing in a suburbia that requires 30 lawnmowners and 30 Lion King videos for 30 houses. Everything gets passed to those who have the greatest need and in turn, you get the means and the expertise when you need it.”

    What you’re describing is a sense of community that is sadly missing from most subdivisions and so-called neighbourhoods. Pity, too. In the near future, it might be wise to know who lives to the left and right of us. I feel the same way about my tools.

  • avatar

    I gave a friend a gift certificate for a complete interior/exterior detailing. It also includes headlight cover refurbishment. She’s owned her car for about 4 years and never washed it. So it seemed to cover the “would never buy it for themselves” rule of gifts.

  • avatar

    A lift.

  • avatar

    A lift for the garage. Something pretty heavy duty able to lift a 3/4 ton truck and anything else smaller than that.

    That to me is the ultimate tool for working on your 4 wheeled passion.

  • avatar

    Anything fun with a motor. A Chinese scooter would be fun. Or an old SJM.

  • avatar

    a check for an FR-S. Next, something that would be capable of getting rid of all the pits and scratches on my windshield.

  • avatar

    1 year subscription to TTAC!

  • avatar

    Since I plan on keeping my ’06 Wrangler forever, I’d love to have the dealer scan tool known as the DRB-III in my stocking. The aftermarket scanners simply cannot do some of the things the DRB can do.

  • avatar

    Not on topic, but I have to say that the caption on the photo above is spot on! The car actually looks like it’s pissed off dressed in Christmas-y outfit!

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    Mrs. W. surprised me with an item that will be very handy, a tripod flashlight.

    PS. She hates holding the flashlight.

  • avatar

    While a lift would be awfully nice, I don’t have anywhere to put it at my current residence.

    A scan tool would probably be the most useful thing, given that California no longer allows parts stores to provide you with error codes when the CEL comes on (only authorized automotive mechanics are allowed to provide these diagnostic services).

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