Whether you're stranded on the side of the road or wrenching in the comfort of your garage, using the wrong thing to do the right job is not as bad as it sounds. You should never compromise safety under the excuse of ingenuity—there's no shortcut to a proper jack stand. However, in the right circumstances, a spontaneously repurposed "tool" can be the best way to get the job done. Here are six unlikely toolbox heroes that you might already own.
Read the full list over on Hagerty.com: https://www.hagerty.com/media/maintenance-and-tech/6-odd-things-you-should-keep-in-your-toolbox/
I keep an aluminum water heater drain pan for messy breakdowns. When not assigned to a specific project, it hangs out under the Mustang's little transmission leak. For syringes and needles, I go to the veterinary supplies section at my farm supply store. Also, I finally bought a quality head-mounted flashlight with a gazillion lumens and it's changed how I work on cars. Huge amount of freedom!
I have two that are funny but hard to get unless you are a doc or know one. The first is a inferior vena cava filter device that was once used to place little wire basket vena cava filters in in vessels in the body to keep blood clots from passing as pulmonary emboli. It is great for reaching down into very inaccessible spaces and grappling things back out like a nut or washer, etc.. The second is a weighted speculum and it is also an old medical tool that has great uses in the old car tool box. I have been offered an old colonoscope but have politely declined that. Too bad as it has not only a camera but dual forceps on it and you could probably reach the bottom of the engine through the top to look around, retrieve etc..
I’ve had a silicone spark plug boot from an Accel harness kit in my tool box since 75. Use it whenever changing plugs to start them easily and without cross threading on everything from HiPo cars with snaking headers, motorcycles and lawn implements. May not use it on a newer car, but if you’re on Hagerty it’s because you got something older!
For a small subset of us, the flavor injector syringe has another purpose. I use one to add motor oil to the gas tank of my 1994 RX7 R2 when I fill up. While I've been told that this is unnecessary if the factory oil injection system is working, the previous owner did it religiously for 25 years (the original 13B rotary engine is at 54K miles, completely stock, without a rebuild) and I'm not going to mess with success.