Choosing to repair your own vehicle can save you money as well as time. If you handle the problem at home you no longer have to rely on expensive mechanics that may hold your car in the shop for several days leaving you without transportation.

In order to properly work on your vehicle you should put together a tool kit with necessary tools to fix most standard car problems. You will also need replacement parts for your specific car. To get these parts you should shop online stores. There you can find replacement parts like shock absorbers, pulleys and belts, and different lights and body parts.

Hand Wrenches

Most maintenance or repair jobs will require the use of a hand wrench at some point. Also called combination wrenches, they come in various sizes to handle all nuts and bolts found in a car. You’ll want to purchase a set that has open and closed end wrenches or you’ll need to purchase one open end set and one closed box set. If you’re worried about the sizes of the wrenches get one set in metric scale and one set in standard SAE. You should also look for a set made from corrosion resistant material like drop-forged tempered alloy steel.

Socket Wrench Set

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Socket and ratchet wrenches can work better and faster than other wrenches. You’ll want to buy six point sockets instead of 12 point sockets because the six points usually work better with rusted fasteners. Add on a couple of extensions or a swivel adapter to get better versatility out of your set. Like with hand wrenches you may want to buy one metric set and one SAE set. You won’t regret it – they’re very useful for everything from replacing shock absorbers to fitting a new exhaust.

Specialty Wrenches

You’ll also want to pick up some specialty wrenched to loosen large flare nuts or to hold a bolt in place. Something like a crescent or monkey wrench will come in handy.

Screwdrivers

You’ll also need both a flathead and a Phillips screwdriver in your kit. You can buy individual screwdrivers or you can be more economical and get them in a set. These sets usually come with a variety of handles (different lengths) and tips. You should also make sure that the handles have a good grip and that the tips of the screwdriver are corrosion resistant. You should also pick up “Torx” head screwdrivers, which have a six-point star shaped tip.

Pliers

Put a pair of regular pliers and a pair of needle-nose pliers in your tools kit. You’ll also need a pair of interlocking pliers. They should all be made of tempered steel, have a good grip, and have corrosion resistance. A vice grip is also a necessary tool. This is an adjustable locking pair of pliers that will grip anything you need. If you have intentions to do larger repair jobs you’ll also want to add a pair of snap ring pliers to your kit.

Oil Change Tools

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To change your oil you’ll need an oil filter wrench to fit your car’s oil filter since they come in various sizes. Depending on your car you may have to buy an oil filter wrench that is fitted with a socket-like top that reaches filters with limited access. You’ll also need a catch pan to collect run-off and a storage container to store the oil for proper disposal. You’ll also need a floor jack or some other means of raising your vehicle to change the oil as well as safety stands.

Tire Pressure Gauge

Even if your car has a Tire Pressure Monitor System (TPMS) you’ll want to keep a tire pressure gauge on hand. You should check this pressure once a month in cold weather months. Make sure to follow the instructions on the gauge as well as your tire inflation decal in your car or in the owner’s manual.

Other Necessary Tools

While the above tools are necessary to have in your tool kit you may want to pick up other tools as well. These tools may not be necessary for your specific vehicle but they may come in handy in some cases.

  • Spark plug gauge and socket (if your socket set doesn’t have one)
  • A trouble light (flashlights may not be bright enough under the hood0
  • Jumper cables (not specifically for repairs)
  • Post puller (for prying cables off the battery posts)
  • A wire brush (for cleaning terminals)
  • Battery charger (for emergencies)
  • Code reader or scan tool (to help diagnose problems when check engine light comes on)