There’s no greater satisfaction than when you’ve just done something all by yourself, which is why so many car owners love getting their hands dirty by working on their car themselves.
Sites like eBay Motors help connect DIYers to the things they need. Every day thousands of parts and tools are available to you and your inner mechanic to help you get exactly what you need to get the job done. Also, things like tires, wheels and other important car parts are easily available and can be delivered right to you, taking a lot of stress out of the equation.
There’s a long list of communities out there that aim to teach more about a given vehicle, or how to do certain procedures yourself; but for those looking to do it all, the right tools are necessary. But before you get started, here’s a list of what you’ll need. Interested? Consider looking for these tools on eBay Motors.
Jack and Jack Stands:
These are a necessity in the world of wrenching. You’ll need a jack to raise the car even to do simple oil or tire changes, so be sure to grab something that’ll lift your car. A simple floor Jack isn’t sturdy enough though, and you’re asking for trouble if you plan on getting under a car that’s held up by just a jack. Jack stands are used to keep the car propped up, and is much safer than relying solely on the jack. A good jack is a bit expensive, but is worth it since it’s almost always in use.Rand, Torin, and Pro-lift all provide some solid examples of Floor Jacks and Jack Stands.
Socket Set with Wrenches
A socket set is another item in the garage that will never go dusty. Try and find a kit with a wide assortment of sockets and sizes, like the ones from Gear Wrench or Blackhawk. Some kits come with sockets for special scenarios like spark-plugs. For those looking for more power in a wrench, there are impact wrenches which are ideal for bigger, longer and more intense projects.
OBD II Scanner
OBD (On board diagnostics) are little computers that you plug into your car to determine what’s wrong with the vehicle. The entire health status of a vehicle is logged in the vehicle, and by using a scanner you can pull that information from the vehicle’s OBD port. Early scanners used a cable attached to a PC, but now you can get an add-on for your mobile phone that uses either a USB cable or Bluetooth connection to talk with your car’s OBD port. Actron and ScanTool are very well-reviewed manufacturer of OBDII Scanners.
Spotting an air system in a gear-head’s garage means that they’re ready for serious work. Air compressors use SCFM (standard cubic feet per minute) to measure how much air the machine delivers. There are two main types of air compressors, single-stage and two-stage, and they are quite different in terms of price and performance. Makita is a company that makes high-quality compressors. But, once you get an air compressor, the tools and hoses are the next purchases on your list. Air ratchets and impact wrenches make any job significantly easier, and are usually worth the purchase. Look to Ingersoll Rand for high-quality air tools.
BRAKES AND WHEELS
Changing brake pads is a fairly simple affair, but to make things easier and quicker, C-Clamps will really help. When changing brake pads, C-Clamps can be used to push back the pistons on the calipers, allowing you to install your new pads and pushing back brake fluid into the master cylinder in the process. Look at Irwin Vise-grips or Neiko clamps if you plan on changing your own brake pads. The tiny bit of cash you’ll fork over to get some C-Clamps might be the best money you’ll ever spend.
Most cars have a wrench to remove a wheel’s lug nuts in the spare tire compartment, but these might not stand up to frequent use and abuse. Some cars aren’t even equipped with a spare tire kit, or have a small, non-ergonomic wrench which is not made for constant use. Consider buying a wrench that’s easier in your hands, or get a lug nut kit for your impact wrench to help remove stubborn nuts. Neiko makes both impact wrenches, and torque wrenches and are easily available through eBay motors.
OIL CHANGE TOOLS
Oil Drain Pan and Funnel
Oil changes can be messy, but not if you have the right equipment. A big, wide oil drain pan is useful, but it’s ideal to get a pan that has a lid and spout, so you can recycle the old oil easily and cleanly. While a drain pan is great for removing oil, a funnel is necessary for putting oil back into a car. Additionally, some fill-ups use different sized openings, so having a funnel with a long spout, or having multiple funnels like the ones from Lisle is a good idea.
There are several types of oil filter wrenches. A band-type uses a metal band or chain to grip the filter. These are good, but can be a hassle when there’s little space. A better option is a socket style wrench filter, which fits onto the oil filter and works with a typical ratchet. The only problem with these is that they’re not versatile, and would only work with one size of oil filter, so if you’ve got numerous cars to work on, you may need numerous sockets. Cal-Van makes some heavy duty band-type wrenches, and there are three-jaw oil filter wrenches that will adapt to your oil filter.
The cleanest method of oil change is to use an oil extractor like the Mitivac. These don’t require you to slide underneath the car and limit the chance of spilling oil on your garage floor. An oil extractor takes oil from the car’s dipstick opening and by using a hand pump, creates a vacuum that sucks oil into a container. Also handy is the fact that you don’t need to rely on gravity and the viscosity of the oil to get it out.
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