If you consider yourself a shade tree mechanic, the affectionate nickname for those who roll their vehicle out of the garage and get to work right there in the driveway, you probably have a sense of pride and satisfaction whenever you change your oil or put new spark plugs in the engine. If you want to graduate to more serious car repair solution, you will need a whole new type of automotive resources and tools. The more difficult the part, such as transmissions or Graco pumps, the more likely you will need some of the following tools in your lineup. If you find that some of them aren’t affordable or you won’t use them very often, some automotive stores offer loaner programs. You can rent the tool and bring it back when you are done. This makes it easier for anyone to develop the skills necessary to restore that old classic or give their current vehicle a tune-up.
- Impact Wrench
When you are dealing with finicky bolts or rusted, corroded lug nuts, you can take a knuckle off if you aren’t careful. With a battery-powered impact wrench, you can blast loose a variety of products without breaking a sweat. If you are a fan of prowling around a scrap yard for your automotive parts, the battery-powered options make it portable and reliable. If you want one just for your garage, check into an air-powered impact, as you will get more torque for the price.
- OBDII Code Reader
If your check engine light keeps coming on, the quickest way to address the problem is to know exactly what it is. You can buy one of these handy diagnostic readers and save yourself a trip to the mechanic. It plugs into the car’s diagnostic port which is usually found near the steering column under the dashboard. It can come as small as a smartphone, and most of them will read codes dating back to car built after 1996.
Half the battle of fixing a car is getting down to eye level with the undercarriage of the vehicle. If you are ready to work like a professional, a comfy and study creeper is what you need. Spend a little extra for one with a padded surface, rotating caster wheels, and an adjustable headrest. This can maximize comfort and mobility while you are working.
This is just a start of what could be a lengthy list, as you will want vise grips, a torque wrench, a grinder, and most definitely, a hydraulic floor jack. Browse around your local auto parts providers and see what new things could come in handy in your garage.