It is a smart idea for drivers to have a few essential car tools, so they can take care of their cars on their own.
However, many car buyers open the hood of a new car and say, “no way”. All they may see is a black covering with the automaker logo. Long gone is when opening the hood and seeing an engine, air cleaner and radiator. However, all is not lost. Car buyers can still open their best rolling tool cabinet and find some uses for the tools they may contain.
Though the car makers have tried to hide the engine, there are some things that can still be done by the novice car owner. Start with these top 6 tools that blend everyday essentials with next-generation apps that simplify auto maintenance;
1. Lithium Auto Battery Jumper Pack
Lithium battery jumper packs stay charged longer than their predecessor, the lead acid battery pack. Plus, they come with USB ports to charge cellphones and optional laptop charging capabilities, too. With one of these in the car, drivers will be able to jump start a dead battery and get back on the road instead of waiting for roadside assistance. But remember, when working with a battery, safety is always number one.
2. Electric Impact Wrench fro Auto Repair
This handy tool makes fast work of tire changes. An electric impact wrench lets drivers remove the lug nuts from their car quickly. It works without an air compressor, unlike its cousin, the air-powered impact wrench. While drivers who own air compressors can select the air-powered version, this is a budget-friendly pick that makes a common task easy.
3. Automotive Socket Wrench Set
This is one of the most useful tools drivers can invest in, as many household tools use hex or star fasteners, which require a socket wrench. Not only can drivers work on their car, they can fix lawnmowers and other garden tools, too. Pick up a basic set of socket wrenches or look for impact-rated extension bars and a universal joint to use the socket wrenches with the electric impact wrench.
4. Auto Repair Apps
For the DIY mechanic, apps are necessary. Mobile Mechanic is a user-friendly app that lets drivers search for symptoms and diagnose common auto problems. Photos and step by step instructions let ambitious drivers tackle the repair on their own. Those who decide to take the car into the mechanic will have a better understanding of what is wrong. They also see how it should be fixed. And that can increase the comfort and confidence at the mechanic’s workshop.
Drivers who own an OBD-II scanner, which uses the car’s computer to harness diagnostics information, may want to download the OBD Car Doctor app. Drivers scan the car with the OBD-II scanner, then use the app to interpret the data. Diagnosis complete, drivers can decide whether to tackle the repair on their own or take the car in to the mechanic.
5. Jack Stands for Cars
While the average driver may not be able to install a lift in their garage, they can invest in a few jack stands with safety pins, which allow drivers to jack up the car. This makes all sorts of repairs easier by providing more working room underneath the car. Drivers should select the right jack stands for their car based on the vehicle’s weight.
6. Air Compressors for Tires
An air compressor is expensive, but it is worth it. With this tool, drivers can inflate tires, blow-dry and dust off auto parts, and open up the wide world of air-powered auto repair tools. Elsewhere in the home, an air compressor lets homeowners spray paint or use pneumatic nail guns and staplers. The general rule of thumb with an air compressor is to buy one size bigger than you think you need, because most people underestimate the capacity they’ll use.
With these tools in the garage, drivers can deepen their knowledge of auto repair. They can also gain the skills to tackle everyday tasks and more sophisticated repair. It might not save time due to the learning curve with auto repair, but it can save money and boost confidence.