It’s the middle of a hot summer day and your stranded on the side of the road with a car that does not run and not a clue of what to do. You could have your car towed to a mechanic and put yourself at their mercy or you could attempt to diagnose and repair your self. This article will lay out three very important “tools” that will be invaluable to your journey into doing some do it yourself auto repairs.
The first and most important tool for diagnosing and repairing your automobile is actually a book. An automobile repair manual specific to the year, make, and model of your car will be indispensable. They can be purchased at most auto part stores and are usually under $ 30. Begin by reading the general information section at the front of the book to familiarize yourself with the structure and layout of the book. These books will allow you to understand the inner workings of your vehicle with their complete step-by-step tear down and rebuild of all the major components in your car including photos to help you along.
Now since we have the gift of understanding of our vehicle the next most important thing will be the appropriate tools. A basic mechanic’s tool set will due just fine and can be purchased at pretty much any place that sells tools. Important information to keep in mind when purchasing a tool set is whether your vehicle is built with metric or standard measurements, as a metric tool set will not work on a standard car and vice versa. The set should include; 2 ratchets(one small, one medium), at least 5 different size crescent wrenches, flat head and philips head screwdrivers, and a set of alan wrenches. With the right tool the repairs will be much easier and on larger repair jobs always check with your auto parts store, since most will offer free specialized tool rentals for the more difficult tasks.
The last tool that that will help tremendously is a hand held code reader.
If your vehicle was built in 1996 or later you will look for a OBDII model and if it was made before ’96 then you should ask your auto parts store employee to find the exact model that will work for you. These code readers allow you to plug into your car and see what your vehicles computer is saying what is wrong. They come with instructions that explain how to use them and exactly what each code that your car gives out means. This little tool can be normally purchased for less than $ 60 and will save you valuable time and frustration.
With these three tools, the next time you run across a problem you will have more options. Doing auto repair yourself in is reach and even if you do not repair the problem yourself, you will have the knowledge to diagnose your problems and talk with your mechanic intelligently saving you time and money.
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