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  • Auto repair tools – The basics

    Posted on July 10th, 2015 admin No comments

    DIY auto repair can be fun, informative and save you a considerable amount of money; but it is not something that should be considered lightly. Preparation is essential, as well as having the correct equipment. Here are the basics to get you started.

    car engine tools

    Safety First

    As always, safety is paramount and should never be ignored.

    Eye protection – Correctly graded eye wear for the task, and specialist equipment if welding is taking place in the workshop.
    Gloves – A simple item but they will save your hands from a multitude of injuries.
    Fire extinguisher – Make sure this is the appropriate type for the fire hazards. This should include liquid and propellant fires as well as electrical so more than one type may be required.
    Spillage kit – Inevitably there will be spillages and having a kit on hand allows you to deal with it safely, minimising the potential for accidents.

    The basics

    There are some tools that you cannot do without and here they are.

    • Open ended and ring spanners – You should consider a set of both metric (mm) and imperial (SAE). European cars tend to be metric and US motors are SAE. However Japanese cars can also have SAE fittings too so both are necessary.
    • Hexagonal & Torx keys or wrenches – Many modern vehicles no longer use the hex bolt, in favour of the more secure Torx bolt. A set of each is therefore essential. Detailed information on the Torx wench can be found here.
    • Ratchet drive – These are available in a number of sizes: 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2″ drive. The bigger the drive, the more force it is capable of withstanding. It makes good sense to have a least two of these options available. Each generally come with their own set of sockets and having metric and SAE available for each makes practical sense. It is also essential to have a set of extensions to allow you to remove and fit nuts and bolts in difficult to reach areas.
    • Pliers – Cutting, flat nosed, long nosed and adjustable. All these will be invaluable at some point. Not everything is within easy reach and pliers make those difficult tasks far easier.
    • Strong arm or breaker bar – Far longer than a standard spanner or ratchet drive, this is designed to remove wheel nuts or other fittings that are tightened to a very high torque rating.
    • Hydraulic jack – For lifting the vehicle or holding heavy engine components.

    These are only the basics and the more involved you become, the more you will discover about auto tools and their uses.