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Tool Time

You don't need to be a shifty-eyed grease monkey to do basic work on your car-but you do need the proper equipment.

1. Work Light
While a fluorescent light isn't the most flattering, it won't burn your hands or ears when you're in tight quarters with it.

2. Strap Wrench
Whether you're applying extra force to a reluctant oil filter or preventing hoses from searing your arm, a good strap wrench solves a lot of problems.

3. Jack
Unless you recently adopted a kryptonite-hating boy you found in a spaceship, you need a hydraulic jack-ideally made of lightweight aluminum.

4. Sockets
A 3z8" drive socket set in both standard and metric sizes, along with a reliable ratcheting handle and a few extensions, will get your nuts off with ease.

5. Cutter
You'll reach for this tool to cut, scrape, pry, strip wires, and threaten the bitch who's trying to steal your man... OK, maybe all but that last one.

6. Duct Tape
Is there anything it can't do?>

7. Screwdriver
Cars have lots of screws-who knew? Tame them with a screwdriver with Torx, square-drive, and hex-drive bits.

8. Gloves
Professional-grade gloves offer maximum protection without sacrificing feel.

9. Computerized Tuner
By fiddling with 0's and 1's you can alter your fuel mixture, improve ignition timing, and even enhance automatic-transmission shift points.

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