Tools For Thought

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Ever experienced a time when you had to do a small fix on your car but you didn’t have the tools on hand to get the job done? If you fancy your self a DIY (do it yourself) kind of a guy, then some basic tools would be nice to have around the garage. A basic combination wrench set would be fine. A set of screwdrivers and some pliers would also be nice. But if you love to work on your car, then you may need more than your basic wrenches, screwdrivers and pliers.

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Now you would have to define up to what kind of work would you to do on your car. For me, having some sort of tools nearby was always a must. I was into plastic and wooden airplanes and remote control cars. Besides learning how to build and repair them, I also learned the art of hoarding. Now you ask why is it necessary to learn this? Because you need to learn how to justify why you need to buy something that you will or may just use once or may use in the future. Very important. My parents gave a mountain bike when I was in college. Again with the help of my friends, I learned how to do repairs on my bike. A friend lent me his special tools, Shimano brand, and I was servicing and tuning my own bike. Then my first car. I applied what I learned in shop class and did tune ups, oil changes, valve adjusting. Why? No money to pay a mechanic? All done with your basic set of tools.

But if you decide to do an engine rebuild, you would have to invest more on other tools to get the job done. A valve spring compressor, piston ring compressor, a torque wrench, piston ring remover… the list can go on. Now, these kinds of tools fall into the category “if I invest in them, how often will I be able to use them?”

I have been working on cars for a few years now. And still I have a lot of tools that I don’t have but really need. My mechanic helps me out fill in the gaps. But since I have tools here with me already, he doesn’t need to bring all his tools with him. I even have a gauge set and a makeshift vacuum pump to help me service airconditioning systems. A bit too extreme but from where I stay, you need to be a bit self-sufficient.

As you spend time on your car, you will know what other tools you would need. There are some who would add tools for basic body repair and re-spraying. If you are working on cars that require you to use an ECU (electronic control unit) scanner to help diagnose a problem, you can buy code readers that help you access fault codes at a fraction of the price compared to the ones used by the dealers. If ever you do decide to invest in tools, you don’t need to buy the really expensive ones. There are brands out there that are of good quality but are way cheaper.

So If you are spending time under the hood on a regular basis, I would recommend having a fire extinguisher on hand. It’s better to be on safe side just in case.

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