So, you have decided to do your own automotive repair and maintenance work. Now you just need the right tools to do the job efficiently and safely. You can’t afford to buy all the tools that the pros use but there are some items that you simply must have.
Whether you are doing a brake job or patching a tire, you need a floor jack to safely lift the vehicle. Bumper jacks and bottle jacks are fine for emergencies but they are unstable and slow. You will need a quality floor jack to get the job done right. Get a jack that is large enough for the vehicle/s you plan to service but not too large. Usually a 2 ton unit is good for most car and light truck applications. Follow the manufacturer’s safety recommendations and always use jack stands (also called safety stands) when you will be getting under a raised vehicle.
Scanner or Code Reader
I suggest that you initially purchase a code reader instead of a scanner. Scanners are much more helpful when diagnosing a problem but they can be very expensive and most require costly yearly software updates. You can buy a good quality code reader for less than $100 and use a digital volt/ohmmeter to access live data. The code reader should retrieve and display codes, as well as clearing them.
Funnels and Drain Pans
A good selection of funnels and drain pans will enable you to tackle fluid changes without making an amateurish mess. They will allow you to catch fluids as they drain from the vehicle and transfer them to suitable containers for proper recycling. It is a good idea to have an individual drain pan for oil, coolant, and transmission fluid.
Check out AA Auto Protection for more professional tips for the home mechanic. While you are at it, look into our award winning extended automotive warranty coverage programs.