Parts are not often the biggest cost associated with maintaining and repairing your car. No – it’s the price of labour that often makes things annoyingly expensive, and the answer to this if of course to do whatever you possibly can yourself. You’ll save money, have new skills, and feel as though you’ve accomplished something as a result. Now, aside from the knowhow, you’ll also need the right tools for the job, which will mean a little initial investment. Here is a list of the main things that you’re going to need, broadly covering the most common likely repairs.
Jack, stands and chocks
You’ll be getting underneath your car more often than you might think, which means having the required tools to do so. A good quality jack, stands and wheel chocks are all absolutely essential. You should never ever rely on the basic jack that comes with your car if you’re getting underneath, as they’re designed for emergency use. Never compromise on safety.
Socket and Wrench Set
A socket set is going to be your best friend when making car repairs. Nearly everything on the car will be bolted on with a variety of different sized heads, and you need a full set to ensure that you can get everything off and on again. Some cars will have more obscure types, such as Torx heads, so be prepared with a few different types. Having a torque wrench is a good idea too, because this will allow you to tighten things to the specific recommendation.
General Tool Set
Rather than buying all the little common tools individually, get yourself a decent tool set. You never know when you might need a hammer to loosen something, or a clamp to push back brake pistons. It’s far better to have too many things than too few. It’s also a very good idea to keep all of this kind of thing in a chest or cabinet, as lost tools can be incredibly frustrating.
There is simply no substitute for a good manual for your car. If you’re lucky, then you’ll be able to get a third party one such as a Haynes or Bentley manual. Many cars from a few generations back also have their official workshop manuals freely available. On the other hand, you may simply need to keep a good record of all the helpful articles you’ll find on the internet.