"but now at least I know why I should go buy a 30.00 crimper..."
More like $50 for the crimper. That would be a ratcheting one with removable/replaceable dies at the business end.
And, you need proper crimps as well. The cheap stuff at the auto store is junk. Real crimps are carefully designed and made on machinery that was not worn out and then sold to someplace in China. They are matched to SAE or AWG wire sizes, and include an inner seamless copper sleeve to grip over the wire. No inner sleeve? Then it is junk, not a proper crimp terminal.
With the right wire, a good crimp, and a good crimping tool, you should be able to wrap the wire around both hands and PULL and not have it come out of either side of the crimp. The wire should break first, if need be.