BASIC TOOLS FOR D-I-Y CAR MAINTENANCE
Doing your own car repair and maintenance, especially for minor problems, is perfectly possible. You will only need basic knowledge and auto tools to help you checking and troubleshooting small issues, like precision problem or loose nuts.
Tire checking can also be done at home and, with some learning, you’ll see that you can even be knowledgeable on engine condition up to a certain level.
When choosing what auto tools to keep at hand, always pick multifunctional items that you can use on multiple things – a car, motorcycle, bicycle, parts of the house, furniture, toys, and many others.
We’ve compiled a list of basic tools to get you all set and ready to perform simple repair to save you the trouble of going to a garage.
1. Jack and lug wrench
A jack and a lug wrench are must-have items. A car owner should never leave without them, nor should they be removed from the vehicle. When you run into problems with your tire and suspension, these items are your rescue. Use the jack to lift your car and the lug wrench to lose nuts and bolts on the wheel.
2. Open end spanner and offset ring spanner
Both open end and offset ring spanners help you remove nuts and bolts. These spanners have U-shaped openings on each of their opposite end. The most common sizes used are 6-7mm to 30-32mm spanners.
3. Adjustable wrench
An adjustable wrench has a moveable lower jaw to adjust the size of its opening. This tool is helpful to remove nuts and bolts that can’t fit in a spanner.
READ ALSO: UNDERSTANDING THE AUTOMATIC GEAR SHIFTER
4. Spark plug wrench
Spark plug wrench is another important item to keep in your vehicle in case you need to remove or tighten the spark plug in your engine. It is made specifically for spark plugs, which have a universal design. A spanner or an adjustable wrench can be an emergency replacement, but they shouldn’t be used interchangeably as these may damage a spark plug’s thread.
5. Hex key
Also known by the manufacturing company’s name, Allen Key, a hex key is L-shaped and is ideal to remove or lose a square or a hex nut. Hex keys have a range of sizes from 2 mm to 22 mm. They are thin, but very sturdy.
A common tool, screwdrivers come in different tip shapes, such as flat tip and star tip, which can you choose according to the shape of screw heads you need to replace.
Always choose screwdrivers made of strong materials and use them according to purpose to avoid damage.
The pliers have many uses: to pinch, remove, turn, loosen, or cut an item. They also have different types according to their function. Ideally, you want to keep yourself handy by having the linesman, diagonal, long nose, and locking pliers.
8. Cleaning liquid
Cleaner and liquid lubricant, such as produced by the WD 40 brand, have multiple usages. The name “WD” stands for water displacement and its products can lubricate, degrease, clean, protect, and remove rust.
9. Jumper cables
When a vehicle’s battery is not working properly, you may find you can’t get your car or motorcycle to start. In this situation, you’ll need jumper cables to connect between batteries. Make sure you connect the positive and negative cables appropriately.
10. Tow hooks
When all else fails, prepare your tow hook out and get your vehicle to an auto shop.
A tow hook will also be useful in case your car breaks down in the middle of the road and needs to be towed to the nearest repair shop.