If you want to repair or fix your own vehicle so that you don’t have to depend on a professional mechanic who charges up to $100 per hour, you’ll need to invest in getting the right tools.
Whether you want to do oil changes, rotate the tires, or test the battery, you’ll need tools specifically manufactured for those tasks.
You might be wondering about where to start. That’s a legitimate concern. While there are dozens of tools you can get, you can start off with some basic must-haves and then go from there.
Here’s a look at 8 car repair tools you’ll want to have in your toolbox so that you can take care of your own vehicle from your garage or driveway.
1. Screwdrivers Should be Among Your Car Repair Tools
You’ll definitely want a comprehensive set of screwdrivers if you plan to do any maintenance or repairs on any of your vehicles. It doesn’t hurt to buy various sets of screwdrivers so that you can get various sizes and lengths.
Remember that there will be times you’ll need to remove or fasten screws that are positioned at odd angles. So buy screwdrivers that you can use for different applications. This will help you to avoid needless frustration.
2. Socket Wrenches
Sock wrenches should also be in your arsenal of tools if you’re looking to become a backyard mechanic. These tools, which are also called ratchets, are manufactured to allow for one-way turning.
You’ll notice the benefits of one-way turning when the time comes to loosen or tighten bolts that are situated in hard-to-reach places. Using incremental movements, you’ll be able to get the job done with minimum fuss.
It’s important that you get many different socket sizes. So ensure that you buy a set that includes a wide variety of sizes.
3. Impact Gun
Do you want to be able to rotate your car’s tires so that the wear patterns on your tires are even? Would you like to be able to switch from all-season tires to winter tires — and vice versa — at appropriate times of the year?
If so, you’ll want an impact gun. This tool will make tightening and loosening wheel nuts a breeze. You’ll also find this tool useful when working on other areas of your car, like the suspension system.
You can get cordless impact guns, corded impact guns, and air-powered impact guns. For maximum flexibility, a cordless impact gun is a good idea.
You should also have a set of pliers if you want to repair a car. If you are working on brakes, for instance, pliers should be among your car tools.
There are different types of pliers like needle-nose pliers, slip-joint pliers, stripping and crimping pliers, bent-nose pliers, and diagonal pliers. You can also get pliers in different lengths and sizes.
Don’t get just one or two types — make sure you get a full set so that you’re prepared to repair a car or to build a car if you decide to take on a more ambitious project.
5. Oil Filter Wrench
Do you want to do your own oil changes? This maintenance task requires, among other things, removing the oil filter and then replacing it with a new oil filter. But you’ll want an oil filter wrench to get the job done properly.
An oil filter wrench is designed to properly grip the oil filter so that you can remove or install one without possibly damaging the oil filter. So ensure you get an oil filter wrench to change your oil properly.
There are different types of oil filter wrenches. They include strap-style wrenches, socket-style wrenches, and universal oil filter wrenches.
If you try to use another tool instead, you’ll have difficulty. And you might damage the new oil filter that you wish to install if you use the wrong tool.
6. Wrenches and Sockets
If you’re interested in learning how to repair cars, you’ll also want a good set of wrenches and sockets in various shapes and sizes. That way, you’ll always have the right tool for whatever automotive task you have before you.
There are many types of wrenches available on the market. You can get open-end wrenches, combination wrenches, adjustable wrenches, pipe wrenches, and more. Ensure you have a wide range of socket sizes as well.
One thing’s for certain. You’ll be grateful for your quality tools if you’re a car enthusiast who gets amped about tackling customization projects.
For instance, Jeep enthusiasts who want to build a Jeep Gladiator can use their arsenal of tools and the ultimate building guide to tackling this project. With the right guide, products, and tools, you can take on any project.
7. Torque Wrench
You’ll also want a torque wrench if you’re serious about doing your own car maintenance and repairs. While torque wrenches resemble ratchets, they are different tools altogether.
You can use a torque wrench to tighten bolts to precise manufacturer specifications. This means you won’t run the risk of over-tightening — and possibly breaking — any bolts. So you’ll definitely want one of these tools.
When the time comes to buy a torque wrench, you might want to choose one with reads in both lbs. and ft. Nm.
When you need to check out car parts like electrical components, you’ll want to have a multimeter. This tool will allow you to assess things like amperage and voltage if you’re experiencing difficulties with your electrical system.
Get Started on Your Tools Set and Keep Adding to It
If your goal is to do at least some maintenance or repairs on your vehicle on your own, you’ll definitely want to invest in some quality car repair tools. You can start with the aforementioned tools and build from there.
Ensure that you invest in quality tools rather than in low-quality tools. No, you don’t have to buy the same tools at the highest price point. But you won’t want to get cheap tools that won’t last more than a handful of years.
The key is to get started on building your collection of car repair tools. As your confidence grows, you’ll want to take on bigger tasks that will require other tools. You’ll then be able to add more tools as needed.