Quality Service – Five Tools to Make Servicing Easier

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By Chris Pollitt

To own a classic car is to maintain a classic car. Yes, we could just fire it off to the garage every time something needs doing, but where’s the fun in that? By doing the work ourselves, we get to know our cars a little bit better, we get a chance to check on more of the mechanicals than we normally would, and we get the peace of mind that comes from knowing a job has been done well. 

Of course, there is no escaping the fact that regular maintenance can be a fiddly, messy affair, which serves to take some of the fun out of it. What you need, then, is this selection of kit that will make servicing that bit cleaner, that bit easier and that bit more enjoyable. So let’s have a look at what you need. 

1) Oil/Fluid Extractor 

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Say you want to change the brake fluid, or perhaps you accidentally overfill the engine with oil, or maybe you need to extract the diff oil but you don’t fancy cracking the diff plate off. Whatever your quandary may be, you’ll need this fluid extractor. It does exactly what it says on the tin, and removes fluid via a hose, a container and a manual pump which creates a vacuum to pull the fluid through. It’s a simple, but incredibly handy little bit of kit. 

2) Oil Filter Wrench

service, car repair, motoring, automotive, classic car, retro car, home car repair, vehicle maintenance, classic car, retro car, motoring, automotive, carandclassic, carandclassic.co.uk

There is nothing more infuriating than an oil filter that won’t budge. It’s crucial to the whole service, you can’t leave it. But you can’t get a spanner on it. You could smash a screwdriver through it, but that’s a messy affair and you’ll only slice your hands on the exposed metal. Avoid all that and buy this oil filter wrench from Draper. The chain loops around the filter before hooking into the arm, which then levers the filter as you pull it. The filter will be off in seconds. 

3) Caliper Wind-back Tool

service, car repair, motoring, automotive, classic car, retro car, home car repair, vehicle maintenance, classic car, retro car, motoring, automotive, carandclassic, carandclassic.co.uk

If you need to fit new pads, you’re also going to have to contend with pushing the caliper piston back so you have enough space for the new, meaty pads. You could try and lever it with a pry bar, or perhaps a big wrench will do it, though you’re going to wreck the piston edge with either of those. You could buy one of these wind-back tools, which has all the fittings to match most cars. It makes winding the piston back the work of but a moment. Our Editor has one and he swears by it.

4) Work Stool

service, car repair, motoring, automotive, classic car, retro car, home car repair, vehicle maintenance, classic car, retro car, motoring, automotive, carandclassic, carandclassic.co.uk

Working on cars can be hard on the joints, especially the knees. With this handy and comfortable stool, you can avoid all of that pain. Firstly, it’s padded so you won’t get a numb bottom! Then, there are the castors, which will let you glide around with ease, and furthermore, in the case of this particular stool, you have three little storage drawers for tools and parts. You could be a very small, mobile mechanic! And just think how much your knees will thank you!

5) Oil Catch Can

service, car repair, motoring, automotive, classic car, retro car, home car repair, vehicle maintenance, classic car, retro car, motoring, automotive, carandclassic, carandclassic.co.uk

The messiest and most horrible part of any service is without a shadow of a doubt, the changing of the oil. Old oil is nasty, horrible stuff that’s classified as a carcinogen. It’s horrid if you get it on you, it’s a pain if you get it all over you drive, it’s just awful. That’s why you need this catch tank from Sealey. Simply take the plug out, drain your oil into it from the car, wipe off the excess and then pop the cap back in. Then, you can use the same tank to transport the oil to the local recycling centre, where you can empty it via the main spout. No mess, no fuss.

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