Is there any better way to spend a weekend than tinkering away in the garage? Breathing new life into classic cars is our favourite pastime. We also love getting down and dirty with the engine in the family run-around. There’s nothing more satisfying than finding and fixing a problem with your car. But, in order to do so, you need the right tools for the job. Here are seven of the essential tools every mechanic needs.
- Wrench – The wrench comes in handy on just about every mechanic job. As you’ll know, our cars are held together with a series of bolts. A wrench is your go-to tool for prying them loose. You’ll want a good range of sizes here, so pick up the full spectrum. When it comes to tighter bolts, we tend to use a hydraulic torque wrench from Torq Lite. A breaker bar will also help you loosen the toughest nuts.
- Screwdrivers – No toolbox is complete without a set of screwdrivers. You’ll need them for your everyday, household DIY too. So, it’s well worth investing in a good set of screwdrivers. We use a ratchet screwdriver, which gets the job done faster and with less strain on your arm. You’ll also want a mixture of Phillips head, flat head, stubbed and Torx screwdrivers handy.
- Ratchets – If you love tinkering with your car, you’ll need a selection of ratchets. They form the basis of most car parts and it will become invaluable. There are three basic sizes and almost always come in a set. You’re looking for a ¼, a ⅜, and a ½.
- Hammer or Mallet – You might worry about hitting your precious car with a mallet or hammer! But, trust us, sometimes you need to give it a hard knock. Car parts are locked together in a series of tight designs. Components are built to fit snugly, and they often become stuck. If you’re worried about the finish of metal parts, use a plastic mallet.
- Pliers – Pliers are essential for changing coolant hoses and holding other components together. You’ll reach for the pliers every time you touch the brakes too. As always, a good range is advised here. Alongside your typical set, we also suggest getting your hands on a vice grip for those tricky parts.
- Jack – A jack is crucial when it comes to getting a good look at the undercarriage. It’s a safe way to inspect the chassis and access those difficulty under-areas. It’s also vital for changing a tyre or taking on any wheel work. We suggest keeping a spare jack in your boot at all times too. You never know when you’ll next burst a tyre.
- Flashlight – Finally, every mechanic needs a flashlight. It’s not always easy to see into the nooks and crannies inside the engine. It’s even tougher to see what’s going on underneath the car. We like the flashlights that strap to your head. That way, your hands are free to get on with the work.
How many of these tools have you got? Start to build them up slowly, and you’ll kit yourself out in no time.
Photo from D&W Autos.
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Emily is a British writer whose love of car culture is augmented by a fascination with both the European and American automotive markets. Her perspective is uniquely fish and chips.
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