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Hagerty Employee

Wrenchin' Wednesday: 3 duct tape hacks for your tool kit

Without our lord and savior of adhesion, the automotive world as we know it would probably not exist. Tape is one of those shop consumables you rarely think about twice unless you're in dire need of it—or have none of it. Today's Wrenchin' Wednesday will show you three hacks to make the most of your adhesive tool kit.


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New Driver

Are any of these Duct tapes approved by NASCAR?

New Driver

They just call it 200 mph tape. They dont wanna sound like a bunch of red necks LOL.


5/32 wrench is often used to adjust points. I use it weekly on my fleet. But then I am 70 years old and run the old stuff. 46 Indian, 47 Indian, 34 Chevy DB, 49 Ford F2, 48 Plymouth. Old Guys Rule !!


Old guy??  70??   You're just a pup, son!  76 here and just beginning to have trouble getting in and out of my '72 TR6.   Much easier in 1969 coming back from RVN for the second time and getting into my new '68 TR250......

Intermediate Driver

I had an ill running BMW a while back. Inspection revealed a crack in a rubber air intake

hose that was upsetting an air sensor. I quick wrap of duct tape solved the problem.

Also used black duct tape to patch up some rusty rocker boxes mostly so the police wouldn't notice from a distance.


Advanced Driver

Duct tape is for ducts.



False.  I have seen it used a thousand times in situations where you can't stroll down to the hardware/parts store to pick up the proper OEM window gasket, etc.  I worked in the oil field, North Slope, all over the west.  Every mechanic (and some very talented ones working on high pressure hydraulic vibroseis equipment) all had it in their tool boxes.  Call me a duct anytime.

Intermediate Driver

Duct tape is the worst possible thing for ducts.  Dries out, falls off, doesn't do the job.  If you're actually taping ducts, you want aluminum tape.


The anti-wobble approach can be a miracle solution when you have a longer distance connection to make under the dash... saved hours of cussing when working under 96 corvette dash to replace power break vacuum booster 


I use duct tape to hold a nut or bolt in place in a socket when fishing it into tight spaces. One of the most frustrating things is having the nut or bolt fall out of the socket when trying to align the threads. This way, it stays in place, and easily comes off when the nut or bolt is secure. 


Good idea. I use Vaseline for that but I will try your trick next time.

New Driver

Ditto x 10 when you work on  Large Boats Any fastener , socket driver bit , ect ends up under the engine, Gas Tank or a thousand places that only the bilge rats see. I just bought a magnetic retreiver to get my universal back.

New Driver

I've certainly used duct tape to hold a nut in a socket. But if space allows, stick a magnet to the socket extension. This also works well on any non-magnetic screwdriver.


I put seats in a cobra kit car had to tape two open end wrenches together to reach under the seat and also taped the nut on the end just to get it started, when it gets really cold outside duct tape does not stick, strips of tar sealer used on 60's cars, little piece on the rim of the socket will hold speed nuts in place for body trim

Advanced Driver

I use a piece of bicycle tire inner tube to de-wobble my wobbly extensions. Works great, doesn't leave goo behind, lasts a very long time -- 20 years so far.

New Driver

We always called it "Racer Tape", because we used it to keep the fiberglass together when our driver crashed the old Crosley Formula Ford. I did not know what people were talking about when they mentioned "Duct" tape; I did not realize it had mundane uses like taping ducts . . .   

Intermediate Driver

I dropped my camera on the concrete floor at a car show at the Hadfield estate.The little door that holds the battery would no longer stay closed. Chris Hadfield (the astronaut) offered to fix it for me. He proceeded to duct tape it together. He remarked that he'd never go into space without it !

Pit Crew

It got Apollo 13 back. Jim

Pit Crew

Wrap the first wrap of tape upside down or sticky-side-out so you can remove it easily without damaging painted surfaces or other stuff. You can cover the sticky side out with a wrap the conventional way if you want to hide the sticky stuff

Pit Crew

You seem to have forgotten a blown Radiator Hose when far from home and tools.  Or, a split radiator.  Both of these can get you home and avoid a tow to the nearest shop.  Also, broken or cracked car windows can be held together longer enough for a proper repair (very helpful during a rain or hail storm while traveling).  Just my two cents worth..John

Intermediate Driver

Recommend Gorilla brand Duct Tape, more stickier, and thicker material than most big box varieties. 

New Driver

“Lord and Savior” in caps?  You lost me with that opening line. 


Duplicate post... sorry.


Phillip, first off, my compliments on the EXCELLENT photography — I’m a former pro myself.


Another idea for keeping that “patch” of tape handy, would be to apply it to a piece of wax-paper, making it easy to use; and then using either a rubber band or a very small piece of tape to keep it wrapped around the wrench, (or whatever you want.)


All good ideas. For more permanent projects I have discovered a product called ZIP Tape. It is to seal the exterior joints of plywood sheathing. It's costly but you will want to add this to your duct tape collection. Be is quite permanent and does not deteriorate like duct tape after exposure to the elements. My wife absconded with my garage roll once she has discovered it so now I have get my own for the garage.


I recall Click and Clack saying years ago that with the way modern cars are made the only tools you need to carry in your car anymore are a roll of duct tape, an adjustable crescent wrench, and a couple of screwdrivers. If you can't fix it with that, the car needs to be towed to a shop.

Intermediate Driver

I have several old cars, and carry a basic tool box in each of them. A roll of duct tape takes up a lot of space in a little tool box. So I wrap a couple feet of tape around the plastic cap from an old aerosol can, makes a nice mini-roll.


The tape on the wrench seems ok but don’t try to fly with it.

 I used to own an adjustable wrench that was only about three inches long, I had on my key ring, as it was handy to have. My daughter was over to the house and she needed to tighten something that was in a tight spot I gave her my adjustable and before she remembered to give it back, her and her husband flew out of Toronto to Florida. The airport security confiscated it, said she could not fly with it in her purse. 🤬 I mean it was handy but I don’t think she would be able to dismantle a plane, on during a five hour flight. 😂😂

Intermediate Driver

Years ago I read in a motorcycle touring tips article to wrap duct tape around a can of chain lube. Space is at a premium but this doesn't us any to speak of. Sure enough, about a week into a 3-week cross country trip a fellow rider - who hadn't read the article - needed some tape, as well as tools, and I was able to bail him out.


Not as old as some of you, merely 64, but I always wrapped a few feet of duct tape around my m/c mirror stalks. Wrapped tight, it stayed weatherproof and always handy. The 'wobble' trick is a good one that I've used many times. They always flop, like an ice cream cone in a little kid's hand!

Pit Crew

Before duct tape came out, I used electrical tape. That’s how old I am.

New Driver

You're not alone dchappy!

Cloth electrical tape, not the plastic stuff?!?!


Just saw this little trick on YouTube using masking tape, but duct tape would work just as well.  Place two strips of tape across the channel in a paint can so they meet in a vee, then press the overlapping ends together, forming a small triangular pouring lip.  After pouring the paint exactly where you want it, you can remove the tape and the channel in the can will be clear of paint so the top can be replaced without squirting any paint out.

Intermediate Driver



All great little ideas...  Back in the 60's we would slip a SPRING over the wobble joint on "speed-handle" and extension to remove spark plugs from Cadillacs whilst standing straight up outside the fenders.  Worked great for something that was used several times a day.  I have often used tape like suggested here and also to secure nuts in sockets to get them started in hard to reach places as well.


Studying the photos above and being an old guy myself... carefully using the tape may be an ED solution as well...



Intermediate Driver

love the ED comment

Pit Crew

What I use is Zip Tape, its that black tape they use to seal the seams on exterior sheating (Green or Brown, Zip Board) on new construction.

It has a bit of elasticity and it stick like no tomorrow.

Try it.


Pit Crew

I've never seen it but I wish they'd make double sided duct tape.  The glue on it is just thick enough and strong enough to do things other tapes won't do.  Also, pictured is a universal joint.  I've heard guys call them a wobble before, but they're not the same.


A roll of duct tape saved my bacon many years ago.  My dad and I were flying on the East side of Lake Winnipeg, Manitoba (no roads on that side) and a storm forced us down (no visibility).  I was flying a 1946 Aeronica Chief (fabric, no electrics, etc:).  We waited out the storm keeping the engine going into the wind.  After an hour or two the storm passed by but we were low on gas by that time.  I had a 5 gallon gas can in the back so dad & I got out but without the motor running and no weight the plane tried to flip over.  My dad put his hand through the fabric but I had a roll of duct tape on board and pathed it up so that we could get home.

Intermediate Driver

I once had to use duct tape as an emergency fan belt when mine broke miles from nowhere. It took a bunch, but it got me to the nearest parts store for a replacement belt.


I've  also used it on my woods tractor to repair a pinhole leak in a radiator hose one time. Both worked pretty well to get me back to where replacement parts were available.


I always keep a fresh roll in my detailing box or on the tractor for emergency repairs and it has saved my bacon at least the 2 times I mentioned.

Intermediate Driver

At 17 years old I’d wrap the split radiator hose on my Chevy Cheyenne.  It’d go for a week of so before the heat would start to melt the tape.  Re-tape and good for another week until friends did an engine rebuild for me.   Okay, not exactly what the author had in mind.  

Advanced Driver

Used duct tape on 3/8" universals of all kinds and to hold sockets on semi-permanently for years in the automotive world (approx. 50 years?). Best use was long reach-ins with a long 1/4" set-up under dashes and in the dash/ heater core/ HVAC plentum areas.

The blue "painter's" tape is crazy useful for many, many things, even painting!

We need to mention packing tape as a quick and willing assistant with many jobs.  


See the Red Green show if you want some ideas on duct tape.

New Driver

I had a window gear strip one time in the family van while in Yellowstone.  While the family looked at Ole Faithful, I pulled the door cover off, got the window up and taped in place.  Made all the way back to NC without issues. I also keep a supply wrapped around a popsicle stick for miscellaneous use when camping.  Its a great quick temporary fix for tent poles that break. 


"Our Lord and Savior..." (L and S in capitals) refers to Jesus Christ.  Please don't use His name in that manner.  Instead, use "Our lord and savior..."  (No capitals and therefore a generic term not referencing the Savior.)

Community Manager

Thank you for your feedback @Robin76706, I am making that change now!