Most car-lovers have put years into ensuring their car runs as smoothly as possible. While most people take their car to a workshop, the hourly rate for these jobs often runs higher than $70 an hour. While this is the best way to ensure your car passes inspection, simple jobs can be handled on their own without the need for the high shop bills.
From replacing headlights to dropping a transmission, any person who is handy with a ratchet wrench can do a task themselves. The difficulty arises when jobs require specialized tools. Most of these are tools used in auto shops but if you have the money it could be worth buying them out-right.
These tools are used for some specific jobs or don’t come in a standard toolkit, so it is useful to have them around to handle a problem as it arises.
A torque wrench is the most versatile tool that does not come in a standard toolbox.
This tool is essentially a large ratcheting wrench. However, you can adjust the settings of this wrench to indicate to you when you have tightened a bolt or nut up to the proper pounds per square inch. This comes in handy since ever single bolt on a car or motorcycle needs to be tightened to a certain foot-pound. The torque wrench can be used for every project and will save you a lot of time and frustration in the long run.
A slide hammer comes in handy for projects where you can’t get the necessary angle to remove a joint or bearing.
This tool allows you to gather momentum and pressure by sliding a weighted chunk down a metal bar. This means you can get the power needed to remove something that previously could not be removed. Shops use this to remove ball bearings, seals, joints, and to pull dents from a vehicle.
When you inherit an old car, the majority of the bolts will be rusted to some degree. This is nothing to worry about, as often when water touches metal and it’s left to the open air, rust will occur.
However, rust makes it difficult to remove bolts as they become stiff or fused to the metal. This is where a heat gun comes in handy. This gun can heat the metal to high temperatures causing the bolt to expand. Then when you have let it cool it will shrink making it easier to remove. You can then clean the bolt of rust and fix it back on.
This gun can also be used to melt paint, remove stickers, and any other gunk that has built up on the car.
OBD Port Reader
The most valuable tool you will find in any workshop is an OBD port reader.
The shops use this to scan the computer of a car and diagnose any issues. The scanner reads the computer and puts out codes that are specific to your car engine. These codes can then be looked up online or in a manual to see what issues are happening with an engine. An OBD reader should be the first purchase for any DIYer and the first tool used on a car.
Most cars nowadays come with a scissor jack that is used to change tires. These jacks, however, are extremely dangerous and if your car falls off the jack it can severely damage your car or more importantly you.
A hydraulic jack uses fluid to raise the car and air pressure to lower it back down making it much safer than the standard jacks. It is important to use a jack-stand any time you plan on getting under a vehicle just to ensure you will not get hurt.