Owning a car creates all kinds of exciting opportunities, not only for travel but also for DIY car repair and upgrade projects. Imagine enjoying your weekend in the garage tinkering with your vehicle, the radio playing in the background and a cold drink collecting condensation while you work. It’s also a great way to save money by avoiding costly auto shop bills. Before you pop the hood, here are 16 tools you’ll want to keep handy.
1. Work Lights
Even if you’re working outside in the driveway, it’s difficult to see what you’re working on under your car or in crevices under engine parts. Floor lights, hanging lights, and handheld light bars give you all the visibility you need
2. A Creeper or Roller Seat
Do yourself a favor and invest in a creeper and a roller seat to make your work more comfortable. Easily slide where you need to go, and avoid possible injuries from constantly bending over or lying on a hard floor.
3. A Set of Jack Stands
Most cars come standard with a scissor jack, but it only lifts up one part of the car at a time. That’s fine for changing a flat tire in a pinch, but if you want to lift your car all the way up and get a better look at the chassis, you’ll need jack stands.
Especially useful for changing oil, ramps let you get both your front wheels off the ground. If you don’t have a floor jack or a set of jack stands, ramps enable you to get a lot of other work done under the car just as well.
5. A Funnel
Another essential tool for oil changes is a funnel. Of course, it’s possible to pour new oil in without it, but a funnel almost guarantees you won’t spill all over the rest of your engine.
6. A Set of Screwdrivers
You’ll want a wide range of screwdriver types and sizes. Philips head, flat head, offset, and small electrical screwdrivers are all useful tools for various kinds of repairs.
7. A Set of Wrenches
When you’re working on your vehicle, you won’t get too far without a set of wrenches. There’s always a bolt to remove or tighten. Make sure to get a full set so you don’t find yourself without the right size in the middle of a project.
8. An Impact Wrench
You can remove lug nuts by hand with a lug wrench; however, an impact wrench will save precious time and energy. If you want to be able to quickly remove and replace your wheels, this power wrench should be in your tool box.
9. A Torque Wrench
It’s important to make sure your nuts and bolts are properly tightened. That’s where a torque wrench comes in. It allows you to choose the proper amount of torque to apply, and it even clicks to let you know when to stop.
10. A Set of Sockets
Sockets help you tighten and loosen nuts and bolts faster than you can with a regular crescent wrench. You can also use sockets to reach areas that wrenches cannot, especially if you use an extender.
11. A Set of Pliers
Pliers come in handy for a lot of auto shop work. There are many useful types of pliers available, from basic needle-nose to pliers with rubber on the tips to prevent damage when you handle spark plugs.
12. A Scriber
Sometimes you need to remove a lot of parts to get a repair done, and when it comes time to reassemble everything, all the pieces are jumbled up or you’ve forgotten what goes where. A scriber is a metal tipped pen that you can use to scratch labeling marks on metal parts.
13. A Dead Blow Hammer
This is a mallet crafted specifically for knocking loose stubborn bolts. The head of a dead blow hammer is usually made with hard rubber or another forgiving material, so you won’t mark up the metal you hit with it.
14. A Multimeter
A multimeter is a device that measures voltage. If you’re dealing with an electrical issue in your vehicle, a multimeter lets you quickly pinpoint the problem wire. You’ll probably want to start off with a handheld digital multimeter, but there are also larger analog devices for more advanced work.
15. A Tire Pressure Gauge
As its name implies, this device is for testing the air pressure in your car’s tires. Maintaining the pressure specified on the tires is crucial, and it is an easy way to start taking care of your vehicle at home rather than going to a mechanic for every minor issue.
No matter how careful you are, it’s not always possible to avoid spilling oil or another fluid on your driveway or garage floor. Having desiccant ready to go can be the difference between a clean floor and a permanent stain.
What Are You Waiting For?
Don’t rush to the nearest auto shop every time you have a little car trouble. Pick up these tools and start your DIY car maintenance today.