- Car Care & Maintenance
Basic Tool Kit
Home Tool Kit
Open End and Box wrenches
Ratchet Wrenchs and Socket Set
The Home Tool Kit
Doing regular maintenance and routine repairs on your car and home will save you a fortune in repair bills. However, you will need to have a basic tool kit to do the job right.
Your basic home tool kit should have the following tool:
A set of sockets standard and metric/ plus the ratchet wrench
A set of box wrenches standard and metric
A set of open end wrenches standard and metric
Assorted screwdriver flat head and Philips head (at least one of each)
A pair of pliers
A pair of vise grips
An adjustable wrench standard and metric
A combination battery, alternator, starter tester
A spark plug tester
A rubber mallet
A work light
Car repair manual for your particular vehicle
This list is by no means extensive but it is a good start for a tool kit for the home and a basic car tool kit. Don’t go out and buy all these tools at once. Acquire tools as you need them. Before you know it, you will have a fairly extensive tool set which can handle most car repair and home repair jobs.
Your First Tool After The Wrenches
One of the first tools you should buy is a combination battery, alternator, and starter tester. When your car won’t start, it is usually one of these three components causing the problem. This diagnostic tool is a must in a basic home and car tool kit.
For example a simple routine problem that we have all encountered, the car won’t start. You hear a clicking sound but the engine does not turn over. This means the starter motor is not engaging so you have some kind of electrical problem. But what is it? Well the first thing you need to do is to check the cable connects and make sure they are tight and free of corrosion. If that checks out, put a voltmeter on the battery to see if it is above 12 volts but no more than 14.5. If the battery reading is below 12 volts then the chances are you have a dead battery.
Removing The Car Battery
Take the battery out, using your adjustable wrench remove the positive terminal post (Red) first then the negative terminal post (Black). At the bottom of the battery tray you will see a hard rubber block this is the battery clamp down. Using your socket wrench remove the block and the battery is free to come out of the car. Before you head to the auto parts store, look at the battery cables again to see if they are corroded and causing a short, if the cables are fine, then take the battery to the auto parts store and have them check it. They will be able to tell you if the battery is bad. If it is ok and only needs a charge they can do it for you and in most cases it is free.
Replace the recharged battery or new battery. (caution: connect the positive cable first then the negative cable) try starting the engine. If the car starts you’re done. It was just a dead battery, an easy fix.
Other Great Toy to Save up For
The Cost of A Basic Tool Kit Will Pay for Itself
Now that you have the car running, you need to check the alternator and starter motor. Take your combination tester and connect the positive clamp to the positive battery post (Red) and the negative clamp (Black) to the negative post. Follow all direction in the manual for using the tester and you will get an accurate read on each component. It will tell you if the component is Good or Bad. If it was just a dead battery, which you have replaced or recharged, than you will get a good reading on all three components. If that is the case then you’re done and, at most, it only cost you the price of a new battery. You have saved yourself a tow, the labor charge and the battery charge, which at a minimum would run you about $125.00. The Component diagnostic tool has paid for itself.
Remember always read and follow all safety instruction when you work on your car or use any diagnostic tool. All cost are estimates at the time of this writing.