Being a car enthusiast you are usually the “Jeremy Clarkson” or “Chris Harris” of your circle of friends and family. What I mean is non car enthusiasts go to you for opinions on cars, car tools, car maintenance, and all suggestions related to cars. With the exception of all the automotive writers and photographers I know, I also am used as a go to car resource. So I thought why not make a “Car Enthusiast’s Garage Guide” showcasing the best quality products for your money and the cheapo alternatives if there are any.
Best quality: There are plenty of directions who can send your money when it comes to a floor jack. The normal best choice for floor jacks is a Snap Op jack, but the highest quality most expensive floor jacks are made by Brunnhoelzl. Brunnhoelzl floor jacks are the jacks used by NASCAR pit crews.
Cheapo alternative: There is one go to jack for race teams around the world. Hit up Formula Drift pits, Baja pits, Rally pits, even your local track day events and you will see everyone with a trusted Harbor Freight floor jack. I know Harbor Freight tools scare some away, but their floor jacks are definitely a diamond in the rough.
Best quality: There is one choice when thinking car ramps that everyone wants, Race Ramps. There are Race Ramp options that allow you to drive your car up on the ramp then slide out the angled part you drove up on to provide greater access for oil changes and other maintenance.
Cheapo alternative: Back in the day I used homemade wood ramps. In my opinion, if you buy any ramps above homemade wood ramps you will eventually upgrade to a set of Race Ramps anyway or just want a set for the rest of time, so just save your money and stick with wood or go all in.
Best quality: GarageBOSS oil pans are the best choice. There are product options that include tear away strips for easy clean up.
Tire Pressure Gauge
Best quality: There is one tire pressure gauge company I have seen used extensively at the track and with race teams, Longacre Tire Pressure Gauges. They have plenty standard gauges as well as premium digital gauges.
Cheapo alternative: Getting a tire pressure gauge from your local shop will do the job, but most noname gauges have a +/- of up to 4 lbs or more which is not much if you daily your car, but if you are hitting the track you want to know at least within 1 lb where your pressures are.
Best quality: I have friend with a steep driveway dip to get to the road. We did some research to find a ramp to stop scraping his front bumper. Top choice on the web was Bridjit Curb Ramps. The ramps perfectly mold to the rolled curb and are made out of recycled tires. From being made from tire material, they grip the ground and do not slide around.
Best quality: I recently bought my first house and needed to buy a water hose and an air compressor hose. I did some research and discovered the top choice was Flexzilla.
Cheapo alternative: I get it, a hose is a hose, but if you do not put some money into your hose investment you will end up with a kinked up pile of hose and a lot of cursing.
When building things, everyone says “Measure twice cut once”. Well I go by “Buy it nice, not twice”. I have seen many people buy items where they buy a crappy version first. It breaks or does not do the job they thought it would then they end up buying the quality item next. They basically bought the same item twice when if they were informed they would have made the right choice first.
There are plenty more garage items to feature in follow up guides. I wanted to leave some meat on the bone incase this guide is well received. Let me know in the comments below or reach out to me via social media if you liked the guide and what you would like to see discussed. Twitter @DKorecki / Instagram @DKorecki