5 Essential Tools for Car Repair and Maintenance

Whether you’re driving a brand new car or maintaining a vehicle with 100,000 miles on the engine, having a few basic tools can save you money and help you out of a sticky situation. 

Many of the tools can be used in your home, but you might want to keep an extra set in your car or garage just in case. When you purchase any of the essential tools, you should learn how to use them. From socket sets to battery chargers, here are a few essential car tools.

1. Work Light

If you’ve ever looked under the hood of a car or truck, you know it’s not easy to see what’s going on, especially at night. There are many different types of work lights, from a simple handheld light to one that has a strong magnet for adhering to a metal surface.

Most work lights have rechargeable batteries, and also plug into your car’s power supply outlet. At the very least, be sure to keep a heavy-duty flashlight in your trunk. If you ever get a flat tire at night this will be a lifesaver. 

2. Socket Set

Mechanics and do-it-yourself experts recommend that you have a good socket set for car repair and maintenance. A mechanics set will include a variety of socket sizes ranging from ⅜ inch to ½ inch, and include standard and metric sizes, as well as extenders to get into hard to reach spots.

3. Factory Owner’s Manual and Service Manual

One of the best things you can have for your car is the owner’s manual, which can help you troubleshoot problems if a light comes on or tell you things like correct tire pressure or when to change your oil.

To take it a step further, the service manual for your car provides you with the exact specifications for your make and model, and often includes tutorials for different tasks such as repairing the brakes or changing spark plugs.

4. Multimeter

You can purchase a meter designed especially for checking your vehicle’s electrical components to check current, voltage, and other resistance readings. The multimeter may also have settings for measuring engine speed and dwell angle, the amount of time that contact breakers close in your car’s distributor. 

You can also check your car battery’s voltage by connecting the meter to the two terminal posts. As mentioned before, be sure to read the manual and take all safety precautions before using any tools on your car.

5. Impact Wrench

If you’ve ever tried to change a tire and discovered the lug nuts are too tight for you to loosen by hand, this tool will make that job so much easier. This type of wrench can make quick work of loosening, tightening, and removing lug nuts. 

Before attempting any car repair or maintenance, be sure that everything is working properly so you don’t end up in an accident and need the help of a Bay Area car accident lawyer. Saving money is important, but your safety and the safety of those you’re sharing the road with comes first.