Being able to do basic maintenance and repairs on your own car can save you a lot of time, money and hassle. It can also be an interesting way to understand your car better, and can even set you on the path to a bigger hobby, like renovating old classics. It is easy these days to learn how to do simple to intermediate things on your car, thanks to the wealth of online resources, like video tutorials. Of course, to perform even the most basic car repair or maintenance tasks, you need some good quality auto body tools you can rely on. Here, we take a look at the first pieces of kit to add to your car tools arsenal.
A Good Socket Set
The classic socket set is an iconic piece of equipment for people who work with cars, with many professional mechanics owning one they are quite fond of. Containing sockets of different sizes and often also ratchets and wrenches, the socket set is essential for most of the things you will want to be doing when you lift the hood of your car. They come in different sizes, with some offering many, many different pieces to allow you to work on just about any part of any vehicle, and others more conservative in size. They tend to come in nice, robust cases that help keep them organised, and a good socket set can last you for life!
You’ll definitely need some screwdrivers when you are working on your car, but make sure you have the right type. Typically, on a car, you will find screws that call for both flathead and Torx screwdrivers – Torx being the kind with a ‘star’ shape. It can be a good idea to invest in a screwdriver set with different sizes in each, and it is also generally nice to have some short ‘stubby’ screwdrivers for when you need to work in tight spaces.
Cars are full of hoses and wires, and when you need to work with these or even just move them out of the way, pliers are the best tools to use. You operate them much like scissors, using the hand grip to create tension to grip or cut the hose or wire (depending on what you need to do). There are pliers designed for cutting (often called ‘snips’), and those designed for bending or gripping things. Choose the right style and size of pliers for the jobs you are likely to be doing inside your car.
Of course, essential as these tools are, they are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to things you may find useful when starting out in car maintenance. Other items like jacks, hammers, saws and mallets can be important for some tasks, so as you prepare to do any work and are reviewing instructions or tutorials, always pay attention to the tools that are needed and expand this basic toolkit as and when needed!