The holidays are upon us and it’s time clue relatives in to what our fuel-pumping hearts desire, or perhaps you are seeking a useful item for a car guy or gal who seems to have everything they need. Well, you’ve come to the right place.
Brace yourself because you are in for a massive list that will get any automotive enthusiast’s heart racing. Don’t worry, the beginning of the list may seem daunting, but it’s in order from highest to lowest. The more you scroll, the easier it gets.
MaxTrax traction mats have been proven in the world’s toughest off-road events and expeditions as the safe, quick and easy method for sand, mud, slush and snow vehicle recovery. Starting at $299.99 per set of two, this is the perfect gift for the off-road addict.
The Craftsman 299-Piece socket set is the ultimate package for the wrencher who needs to expand their tool selection. It includes inch and metric sizes in standard and deep lengths, for 1/4", 3/8" and 1/2" drive sizes. It’s a great feeling to have every imaginable socket at your fingertips covered by a lifetime warranty, and it’s on sale at Sears for $289.99
VIAR portable air compressors: Onboard air is a necessity for vehicles harboring air lockers or an air suspension system, but it is also great to have one in the case of an emergency, especially for off-road vehicles that need frequent PSI adjustments according to trail conditions. An ultra-light duty version is available for $129.99 or medium-duty for $259.99.
The Victor Technologies torch kit is an excellent addition to any fabricator’s garage. It has ability to cut metal up to 8” thick or a 3/4” wide swath. Welds can be made up to 1/8” wide or 3” deep. This medium-duty portable cutting torch has everything included for most cutting, welding, and brazing jobs for $237.99.
Eastwood hydraulic wheel dollies are great for the multi-vehicle owner, or for those who store their cars for the winter. It’s also great for anyone with limited storage space and a need to move vehicles around on a regular basis. A pair can be purchased for $199.99 on Jegs.com, but if two pairs are bought, that will get all four wheels off the ground.
CoverCraft makes the highest quality car covers, hands down. Corners are never cut when it comes to quality and craftsmanship. You get what you pay for; prices start at $192.
The Precision Instruments torque wrench offers refined quality for the mechanic who needs an upgrade. Its range meter allows for expert precision. However, if the $152.97 price tag is too high, keep scrolling down for a basic torque wrench for under $50.
Viking Tow Ropes are a thoughtful gift for the off-road enthusiast. These ropes stretch by another 30% at breaking point as opposed to standard straps that immediately give up. A high degree of elasticity makes for reliable vehicle recovery. Prices start at $127.58.
AutoGeek’s complete microfiber kit is a welcome addition to any garage. Though the towels are multipurpose, microfibers are among the softest, safest fabric for vehicle detailing. The complete kit is $119.95.
For $99.99, the Complete Car Care Kit allows car owners to embrace their paint perfecting OCD and detail vehicles to a glossy, buttery sheen. Yes, there is such a thing as “buttery wet wax” and yes, it’s as pleasant as it sounds, and it’s at ChemicalGuys.com.
The BlueDriver Bluetooth OBDII Scanner was developed by licensed and certified professional Apple and Android Engineers. Its ease of use is similar to a code reader, but it has all the capabilities of an expensive handheld scan tool, plus the benefits of using it with a smartphone or tablet. Considering the free app updates, portability, data storage, and troubleshooting capabilities, $99.95 is a small price to pay.
Every garage needs a heavy-duty floor jack . A bulletproof three-ton low-profile jack can be found for $95.99 at Harbor Freight.
Crescent 170-Piece Mechanics Tool Set: For $85, you’re getting all the essential components to working on vehicles. The kit includes various sized ratchets and sockets (deep and shallow), adjustable pliers, adjustable wrenches, screwdrivers, screwdriver bits, hex wrenches, and socket extensions. Best of all, it’s wrapped in a nice package that’s perfect carry the trunk.
The Aickar 800A compact jump starter can start any gas engine or up to 4.5-liter diesel engines up to 30 times on a single charge. It reaches an 800-amp peak current and doubles as a power bank for a smartphone, all for $79.96.
The OBD performance gauge by Ultra Gauge measures performance, assesses engine parameters and troubleshoots codes. It’s an important tool to have for engine monitoring. The purpose-built wired version is $79.95
An under hood work light is handy for late night tinkering. It’s not just for clamping across the hood; it easily props up on pavement for working under the car or clamps to shelving over a workbench. This one is on sale now for $69.99 from Jegs.com.
Yep, Forza Motorsport 7 made the list. After all, motoring fanatics still need something to do when the weather doesn’t allow for outside playtime. Starting at $59.99 for the standard edition, this is the most realistic, full-featured simulator made for the Xbox One console. Or for the same price, Gran Turismo Sport is the popular edge-of-the-seat game for car nuts with a Playstation 4.
Fire extinguishers are the best weapon against flames and should be mounted in cars, garages, and home closets and cupboards. The 2.5-lb H3R Performance MaxOut extinguisher is rated for A, B, and C fires and is $59.97 from Summit Racing.
The Griots Ultimate Interior Kit has everything needed to keep a vehicle’s interior clean and fresh for $56.99.
Everyone gets tired of outdoor crust lodging itself under cheap floor mats. WeatherTech floor liners are laser measured for a perfect fit, which keeps debris, mud and slush in the liner where it belongs. Prices start at $54.95 for universal mats. Prices vary for custom mats, but it’s highly recommended.
This 90-piece emergency roadside kit keeps your loved ones safe when on the road for just $49.95 on Amazon.com.
The TEKTON torque wrench is the toned down version of the one listed above. Every single garage needs some form of torque wrench. This one does the job and retails for $44.97.
A Deltran Battery Tender is choice for those who store any vehicles for a period of time. Safe to use and Spark proof, the junior 12V charger is just $39.95.
Detail King cleaning brushes are made to immaculate every square inch of a vehicle’s interior and exterior, even the most hidden cracks and crevices. The supreme detail kit is sold for $36.95.
Bionic Driving Gloves aren’t just for style (although it helps). These gloves are meant for those who thoroughly enjoy driving. Driving gloves offer optimum grip and control, reduces hand fatigue, and preserves the steering wheel. Men’s and Women’s sizes start at $34.99.
Spectra Automotive offers a reusable drop in air filter that allow for better performance in any vehicle. Prices start at around $30, but are dependent upon the vehicle’s year, make and model.
A GearWrench 10mm Socket Kit will cure the notorious missing 10mm socket woes. It includes flex, deep, mid-length, standard and magnetic 10mm sockets for $27.77 on Amazon.com.
$25 and Under
Microfiber cloths were mentioned previously, but here’s another plush set worth considering: The Gold Plush Microfiber Combo from Pinnaclewax.com includes two large and two extra-large towels for $24.99.
The JEGS Performance deluxe tire pressure gauge measures tire pressure accurately with the easy-to-read white-faced scale. At the time of this writing, it was on sale for $15.99 on Jegs.com, original price $19.99.
Valve View is a great gadget for the avid welder. It simply snaps onto the welding gas cylinder valves so you can make sure its turned off from across the room. It prevents the loss of expensive gas by saving money at a glance for just $19.95.
Custom shift knobs are a fun gift for the hot rodder you know best. American Shifter offers a huge variety starting at $19.95.
Fender covers protect paint from spills, scratches and scars that could be incurred while working under the hood. This Craftsman fender cover is just $16.99 from Sears.
For those who spend extra time purifying their vehicle’s paint, the Mother’s Clay Bar Kit will help that process along. For $15.37 on Amazon.com, the kit helps grab impurities out of the paint for a flawless shine.
Work gloves are a consistent need. Even if it’s an extra pair, it’s accepted with gratitude. Mechanix Work Gloves are rugged and comfortable, and a pair can be purchased for $15.
An Adam’s Polishes’ glass cleaning towel isn’t your average towel. It’s a promise of finally reaching that seemingly unobtainable streak-free shine, starting at $14.99 for a two-pack.
Keychain gadgets with designs ranging from mini pistons and tiny turbos to nano-scale NOS bottles and pinky finger size full-face helmets make great stocking stuffers. A Christmas tree is certain to represent your holiday spirit.
Those who wrench tend to wear through clothes, so it’s a good thing T-shirts can be purchased for around $25, give or take. BlipShift.com and EnthusiastApparel.com make great enthusiast apparel. ShopRoadkill.com is perfect for the DIY wrencher. HardTuned.com tailors their threads from scratch for those who cannot resist Tuner cars. WrenchWear.com for men’s hot rod and muscle car shirts. CarChix.com hooks car gals up with a variety of quality clothing and accessories.
Magazine subscriptions such as publications from The Hot Rod Network , Four Wheeler and DSport Magazine are gifts that keep on giving through the year. There’s nothing that quite matches up to the feeling of turning crisp, glossy pages by hand, even in our bright digital world.
Authentic license plates make a unique gift, but can be tricky. Finding the desired year and issued state may take some research on your part because certain years are near impossible to find. Good places to start looking include Tim’s Plate Store, Mad Max’s Authentic Plates (for Michigan residents), eBay, and various swap meets. Anyone who has an old car, even if they don’t use the plate, will still love it for wall decor.