What do you do when your car starts making weird noise or just breaks down? Obviously, you race to the mechanic because it is a valuable investment and you need it for your traveling needs. But, it is a hassle to first drop and then pick your car, not to mention the trouble you have to deal with when you it is in the shop. Plus, taking it in for auto repairs can also poke holes in your budget that you just cannot afford. Rather than face the frustration, it is better that you get some auto repair tools at home and do some basic repair and maintenance yourself.
But, what tools should you get? If you go on a hunt, you will find that there is a world of choices available and it can be quite confusing. Luckily, here are the 10 essential auto repair tools that you can get at a low price and use them whenever your car needs some fine-tuning:
Tool 1: A socket set
This is the most basic tool set needed to fix a car as most of the vehicle is held together by nuts and bolt. With a good socket set, you can take it apart easily. Beginners can easily find starter kits that include the most basic sizes and drives needed in most cases and they are quite reasonably priced too.
Tool 2: A set of wrenches
When you want to do some car repairs, you will find that a good set of wrenches can go a long way in helping you do so. You can use them instead of sockets in a variety of places and they might even be the better option. There are different types of wrenches available and in various sizes and you can even specialty wrenches. Most commonly, people have the metric set, which accommodates everything you may need for basic auto repair. The other option is the standard set, which is used in some cars and safe to have around rather than get frustrated later on.
Tool 3: Screwdrivers
Another one of the basics that every toolkit needs to have are a bunch of screwdrivers. The most common ones you need to have include Phillips, Flat, Torx and Allen. Get some stubbed ones as well because they help you in working in reduced spaces. Get some regular length ones too, as you will need them for removing clips, clamps and lots more.
Tool 4: A Code Reader
Most people don’t think of a code reader when they are stocking essential tools for car repair, but this is a must-have. There is a variety of these you can find in the market for different budgets, but even the $50 one can serve you well. It can be used for checking codes that have been set for turning on the engine light and you can remove them yourself. If the failure is persistent, light will turn on again and then you need to consult a professional as the problem might be more serious.
Tool 5: Pliers
Some kind of plier has to be used for doing most jobs in auto repairs. You will require them for removing small electronic connectors or for brake jobs. They will come in handy when have to work on reduced spaces with long nosed pliers and also for cutting wires. It will also be quite helpful if you can get a jaw plier that can adjust to various sizes.
Tool 6: Hammer
Yes, this seems rather predictable, but it is something most people forget. You need to have a hammer handy because things often get stuck with rust, grease or dirt. That joint ball or rotor will come right off as long as you whack it with a hammer. Things tend to get hard when you are working with the brakes or suspension and a hammer can help here. You should get a nice rubber handlebar as this will provide a nice grip.
Tool 7: Jack and Jack stands
It is true that you will not need to lift the car up every time you have to make some repairs, but in a lot of cases, you will speed things up by lifting it. But, you should remember that hydraulic jacks are only lifting tools and not to be used for securing the car up. That can only be done with jack stands and you should have a pair of those around too. They are typically sold as a set and you can use them for replacing front and rear brakes, changing the oil or even changing a flat tire.
Tool 8: Ramps
If you want to work comfortably on your car, you are going to need ramps. You can use them for lifting the car up securely and even the most inexpensive ones do quite well. As compared to jack stands, they are a bit bulkier to store, but can come in handy when you don’t want the wheels to move like during an oil change.
Tool 9: Funnel
These are a very helpful too, even though they are quite simple. You can avoid spills when you have to pour liquids in any mechanic procedure you are performing. Funnels are used quite frequently during an oil change to ensure the oil doesn’t spill around the engine. If it does spill, the oil causes gases and odors and makes the engine dirty.
Tool 10: Brake Cleaner Spray
Rather than taking your car to the mechanic every time the brakes start to give you problems, it would be better to invest in a brake cleaner spray. As the name indicates, this spray cleans brakes and is one of the most useful products available. If your brakes are covered with unwanted grease or brake fluid, it is what you need for cleaning them right up and saving a trip to the mechanic. Brake cleaner spray can even clean super hard joints and kick start old engines.
Get these basic tools and you will be able to handle your auto repairs without breaking the bank.