Tools Worth Purchasing for Beginner or DIY Mechanics
Car tools can be expensive, but some of them are truly worth purchasing. In the end, sometimes it is easier to fix things on your car and or truck yourself, rather than taking it to the shop. So if you want to try out taking care of simple car repairs on your own, there are a couple basic tools that you will most definitely need.
We recommend every DIY mechanic (of any skill level) purchase a complete set of socket wrenches (including swivel sockets with extensions of various lengths and angles) and a complete set of open-end and box wrenches. These tools are used on all types of maintenance and fixes because almost anything to do with the engine has bolts or nuts that will need to be loosened and tightened. Here are some specific examples in which these tools are needed:
- Brake Pad replacement.
- Spark Plug adjustments, cleaning and replacement.
- Brake pad and/or rotor replacement
- Replacing worn or broken belts.
- Replacing an alternator.
- Changing the car’s battery.
Keep in mind each car is different and requires different versions of these tools, so do your research before purchasing! Some cars require tools with standard measurements while others require metric, and some domestic cars even requires a mix of both for car repairs.
Got your tools? Here are two common car problems that require some tools, but can be fixed fairly easily on your own.
Flat tire replacement
Sometimes, stuff happens. If you are driving and your tire blows or just goes flat. Sometimes it’s quicker and safe enough to do it yourself rather than waiting on AAA or Roadside assistance. Sometimes you don’t even have one of the roadside programs mentioned above either, so to have a service come out and help you replace it or tow your vehicle can be pricey. So, it is always good to know how to replace a tire.
Tools you will need:
- Spare tire
- Lug wrench (the tool to remove the bolts that hold the wheel on)
- If driving, find a safe spot to pull over. If you are on the highway, it is suggested to try to make it off the next exit, but if you can’t, pull as far off onto the shoulder as possible but keep the flat tire on the paved surface. Then, turn your hazards on once your car is off.
- Use the lug wrench to loosen the lug nuts, but do not remove them completely. To do so turn the wrench counterclockwise (or to the left – “righty tighty, lefty loosey”).
- Use the jack to lift the car approximately six inches off the ground. To make sure the jack is in the right spot, check the manual for your car’s specific instructions.
- Remove lug nuts completely (but keep them close by and secure), then take the wheel completely off of the vehicle.
- Replace the old wheel with the spare on the vehicle, and put the lug nuts back on, but don’t fully tighten them.
- Now, use the jack and lower the car back onto the ground. Once the car is completely flat on the ground you can use the lug wrench again to tighten the nuts completely.
- You are done! Be sure to put the flat tire in the trunk.
Battery replacements are a hassle and can run at a high price when service is involved. If you have a car for a while, at some point the battery will need to be replaced. So, learn how to do it on your own and save some of the costs when the inevitable fix needs to be done.
Tools you will need:
- Correct replacement battery
- Battery cleaning solution or baking soda
- Anti-corrosion solution
- Wire brush
- Socket wrench and proper socket
- First, make sure the vehicle is off, and the hood is open and secured. Then, remove the black wire from the current battery carefully after loosening the terminal connection.
- Next, remove the red cable from the battery using the same exact method mentioned above for the black cable.
- After the cables are detached, remove the battery hold-down clamp.
- By grabbing the battery underneath, remove the battery from the battery tray.
- Now, use either your battery cleaner or baking soda mixed with water to clean out any corrosion left behind by the old battery. Also, clean the battery terminal connections with the wire brush.
- Finally, place your new battery in the tray and secure by pushing down the hold-down clamp.
- Spray both terminals with the anti-corrosion spray and reconnect the battery. Attach and tighten the cables, first the red and then the black.
- Double check the security of your battery by trying to move it up and down and forward and back. If it is secure, you are done! Pretty simple if you ask us.
We hope we helped save you some cost when it comes to service and repairs. Looking for your next car? Check out our full inventory at Drivers Auto Mart here.
Photo source: Shuttersock