Can you repair your car at home? While it tends to be best to bring your vehicle to a repair shop for an expert to diagnose and fix your vehicle, you may want to do at least some of the repairs on your own at home. Having some basic auto repair skills is worthwhile, in case you need to replace a flat tire, for example.
Many people want to do repairs because they think it will cost them less, and it may, depending on your skill and the type of project. Maybe you even want to become a mechanic yourself. Whatever the case, you need to have the right tools for the job at hand. Here are a few things all vehicle owners should have on hand in their tool kit.
Ratchets and Sockets
Many of the tasks you will need to do include removing components. Ratchets and sockets sets are the best to use for this. You will find various sizes for ratchets ranging from small up to large (¼ to 1 inch, or approximately 6 mm to 24 mm). It is best to have a range of options on hand, but you do not necessarily have to have a full set of sockets, since most are compatible with multiple ratchet sizes. It is still a good idea to have sockets measuring ¼” to 1” on hand. One thing to note is that American cars typically use standard sizes (measured in inches), and foreign cars typically use metric sizes (measured in millimeters.) If you are unsure of which to use for your vehicle, simply search online for “standard or metric” and your car’s make (Ford, BMW, etc.).
Wrenches are also very important to have for your vehicle and for your home in general. You will need them for tightening and loosening components during auto repair. You will want to have a range of sizes on hand including those as small as ¼” (~6 mm) up to those that are as big as 1 ¼” (~30 mm), though you likely will not have to use the largest sizes that often.
Screwdrivers are really helpful tools. You should also have several sizes on hand in your repair kit. If you buy a larger socket set, it will likely come with a few screwdriver heads. It is also relatively inexpensive to pick up a few different sizes for your toolbox.
Handheld pliers are another helpful tool because they will be necessary to do delicate jobs, such as cutting wires, with ease. You will need to have a pair when you are fixing any type of electric cable or your car’s brakes. Have a few of these on hand in various sizes.
You may not think of a hammer as a tool for repairing your vehicle, but it can be very important. There are plenty of instances in which you will need to pry something loose that is stuck in place. Choose a quality hammer, but not one that is so large it will not fit within the vehicle’s tight spots. Ensure it is lightweight, too. A standard ball-peen hammer tends to be a good option for your auto repair kit because of its size and comfort.
A Car Jack
You should have at least one (if not more) car jack available to you. Jacks are necessary for any car repair that requires you to get under the car to access the part, and they are also helpful for jobs that require just a little more space between your car’s undercarriage and the ground. Jacks are designed to safely and easily lift your car a few inches off the ground, so quality is very important. It will cost you a bit more to buy a quality jack, but it will also last a lifetime and save you lots of headaches along the way.
A nice component to add to your auto repair kit is a multimeter. It allows you to determine if a range of different types of problems are occurring. You will be able to check the battery level, for example, to determine if it is low or dead. You can also use it to determine if fuses are working or to measure the amperage and voltage during certain repairs. You will find a range of options available, but you do not necessarily need to spend a lot of money to buy one that reads accurately.
Chemicals to Have on Hand
You will also need a few chemicals on hand for various tasks. For things like oil, you may want to buy this when you need it rather than storing it for long periods of time at home. However, it is worth purchasing a few lubricants and cleaners to have on hand. Look for those designed to fit your vehicle’s needs, such as a silicone-based cleaner to help to reduce friction and squeaking in your car, particularly when you need to remove rust.
It is also a good idea to pick up an oil drip pan, since one of the most common types of at-home repairs is changing the oil in your car. Additionally, have some solvents available in case used or clean oil splashes or spills while you are working on your car.
Finally, add in a pair of mechanic’s gloves. You will appreciate them whenever you need to work on your vehicle.
The Better Option? Bring Your Vehicle to Us
When you reach out to Borst Automotive Tucson, you will have a professional who is licensed and certified to run diagnostics and complete the repairs you need. Head to our website today to contact our team and make an appointment.