12 Essential Tools for DIY Auto Maintenance
Changing your car’s fluids and oil plugs is a pretty simple job once you get the hang of them. Outfitting your automobile workshop with these key tools will ensure that you’re ready to tackle basic DIY automotive care.
A vehicle jack is a device used to lift a vehicle in order to perform maintenance, such as changing a tire or performing an oil change. Vehicle jacks are typically either hydraulic jacks or scissor jacks. Hydraulic jacks use a system of pumps and pistons to lift a vehicle, while scissor jacks utilize a cranking mechanism to lift the vehicle. Vehicle jacks are typically small enough to fit in the trunk of most vehicles and are generally used to lift only one corner of the vehicle at a time.
Tire Pressure Gauge
A tire pressure gauge is a tool used to measure the air pressure in a vehicle’s tires. It is typically a handheld device with a digital or analog display that reads the pressure in either psi (pounds per square inch) or bar units. The tool can be used to ensure that tires are properly inflated and to identify any potential tire issues.
Tire Iron and Breaker Bar
A tire iron and breaker bar are two tools that are used together to remove and install lug nuts on a vehicle. The tire iron is used to loosen the lug nuts, and the breaker bar is used to break the nuts free from the wheel hub. Both tools are essential for changing a tire, as well as performing other types of wheel maintenance.
- First-aid kit: Band-Aids, antiseptic wipes, aspirin, scissors, gauze, and tweezers.
- Food and water: Non-perishable items such as canned goods, energy bars, and bottled water.
- Tools: Flashlight, knife, multi-tool, screwdrivers, pliers, and duct tape.
- Clothing and blankets: Extra socks, hats, scarves, and blankets.
- Communication: Cell phone, walkie-talkies, and extra batteries.
- Navigation: Compass, map, and GPS device.
- Personal hygiene items: Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, and shampoo.
- Fire-starting materials: Matches, lighters, and fire-starting fuel.
- Emergency shelter: Tent, tarp, and sleeping bags.
- Emergency lighting: Candles, lanterns, and glow sticks.
Chocks are designed to keep vehicles in place when they are parked, especially on a slope. Chocks are typically made of wood or rubber and come in a variety of sizes and shapes. They should be placed securely under the wheels of the vehicle to prevent it from rolling.
A torque wrench is a tool used to apply a specific torque to a fastener, such as a nut or a bolt. It is usually in the form of a socket wrench with special internal mechanisms. A torque wrench is used where the tightness of fasteners such as nuts and bolts needs to be controlled accurately. It allows the user to set a desired torque value and then apply that torque to the fastener.
Spark Plug Gap Tool
A spark plug gap tool is a tool used to measure the gap between the electrodes of a spark plug. The tool is typically a simple gauge with a sliding indicator that can be adjusted to measure the gap between the electrodes of the spark plug.
Auto Work Light
An auto work light is a light source that is used to illuminate an area that a mechanic or technician may be working in. The light typically consists of a powerful LED light, a heavy-duty stand, and durable, weather-resistant housing. It is designed to be used for extended periods of time, providing a reliable source of light for tasks that require illumination in dark, cramped, or otherwise poorly lit areas. It may be used to work on a car engine, diagnose wiring issues, or examine a broken part.
Ratcheting Socket Wrench Set
A ratcheting socket wrench set is a set of tools designed to make it easier to tighten and loosen nuts and bolts. The set typically includes an automobile ratcheting wrench handle as well as a variety of sockets that can be attached to the handle. The ratcheting wrench handle has a lever on the side that allows it to rotate in one direction, while the sockets can be tightened or loosened in either direction. This makes it simpler to quickly loosen and tighten nuts and bolts without having to constantly turn the wrench handle back and forth.
Pliers are a type of hand tool used for holding objects firmly, bending, and cutting materials such as a wire. Pliers are typically made of a strong metal alloy, such as steel or stainless steel, and have curved or serrated jaws for gripping objects. Pliers are commonly used in repair and car construction tasks, such as tightening and loosening nuts and bolts, and they are also used in jewelry making.
Oil Filter Wrench
An Oil Filter Wrench is a tool used on a car to remove and install oil filters on motor vehicle engines. It is designed to fit the specific shape of the oil filter, allowing it to be easily removed and installed. It typically has a handle and is made from metal, plastic, or rubber.
Fluid Drain Pan
A fluid drain pan, also known as a drip pan, is a shallow receptacle designed to catch and contain fluids and other liquids. It is commonly used in automotive repair shops and commercial kitchens to catch oil, fuel, and other cooking liquids as they are drained from vehicles or cooking equipment. It is also used in the home to catch condensation from auto/car air conditioners, refrigerators, and other appliances. It is usually made of metal or plastic and has a spout or other outlet to allow the liquids to be easily drained away.