The growing number of DIY mechanics continues to expand by leaps and bounds. More and more car owners are becoming garage jockeys, learning to appreciate getting grease under their nails and discovering how much more they love driving when their vehicle performance is powered by their own labor.
But to be an effective home mechanic, you have to compile the right tools. This isn’t about just having the right wrench or lug nut. We’re talking about compiling the top 12 professional grade mechanic resources that will up your game considerably.
Depending on your work area, a good ratchet extender will always ensure you can reach even the tightest spaces. The Tite-Reach 3/8 Inch Wrench can drive from either side. It has a low friction bushing to ensure the tool works like new at all times.
Spark Plug Pliers
A good set of spark plug pliers are a preventative measure for boot and wire damage. The Lisle Spark Plug Pliers has a pair of pulling positions. They make removing spark plug wires an easy and safe job. The pliers are specially shaped with cushioned jaws in order to grip the boot from the side and straight on. The plastic grips will prevent shock.
If you regularly perform oil changes, you know how messy things can get. With a funnel – a flexible funnel – you can mold, shape and bend the product until it’s draining into a pan regardless of area constraints. The Form-A-Funnel Flexible Draining Tool holds any shape and promises to be leak proof for draining auto fluids. There’s a layer of pliable nitrite rubber that allows thousands of shapes.
A Comfortable Creeper
Pulling yourself up and down to climb under vehicles is more work than you need. You should have something like the Pro-Lift C-2036D Grey 36″ Z-Creeper Seat. This item is not only a thick padded comfortable base for easily accessing and moving quickly while working under vehicles, it also converts from creeper to seat. The six swivel casters ensure maneuverability.
Toss Out the Crates and Buckets
From grasping for those hard to reach spaces while buffing or working on a truck engine, too many of us are falling off apple crates or paint buckets. You lean a little too far and – boom!- you’re on your back. But with something like the Heininger HitchMate TireStep, you completely eliminate the risk of falling while you safely reach and stretch.
This tire mounted step works with all types of RVs, SUVs and light trucks. It adjusts to three positions for height and weight, fitting all tires up to 12.5 inches. You’ll be able to safely reach inaccessible spots, work on engines, change wiper blades and more without precariously balancing yourself.
Insufficient lighting only enhances safety risk and hinders doing the job you need to perform. Good lighting has to be a priority. But you also want a durable, sturdy product that won’t break easily. The Bayco 26-Watt Double-Brite Pro Grade Fluorescent Work Light comes with a six foot cord for reaching the most uncomfortable spaces. You can set a full or half power output setting.
We’ve all encountered a rusted nut that refuses to give. A nut splitter can get the job done without damaging threads. You slip the ring over the nut and turn the teeth until the nut gives. The Steelgrip Nut Splitter Set contains two hardened steel pieces for large and small splits. With a span for covering sizes starting at a half inch and going up to seven-eighths of an inch, this set is ready to remove while saving nuts that refuse to give.
Universal Tool Set
Trust when we say you can never have enough tools when you’re under the hood. The 85-Piece Universal Max Axess contains over 80 pieces in a molded case designed to keep everything organized and easy to reach without a lot of fuss. There are screwdriver bits in 20 sizes, ratchets in one-quarter and three-eighths sizes with adapters, and extenders.
Screw Pitch Gauge
The Woodstock Screw Pitch Gauge comes with over 50 sizes, some so small you may need a magnifying glass to use them. Chances are you won’t get around to using half of them, but neither would we deny you shouldn’t count any of these screw gauges out.
Pen to Track Disassembly and Reassembly
The smart mechanic doesn’t rely on memory alone to break down and rebuild components. Many carefully mark or number pieces as they disassemble. This simplifies the reassembly process significantly. But markers and pens won’t do here. You need something like the General Tools 88CM Tungsten Carbide Scribe and Magnet.
Engineered with a carbide tip, the pen can mark ceramics, glass and hardened steel. The magnet can also retrieve small parts and steel chips to help keep work areas clean and capture parts in hard to reach places.
See into the Corners and Tight Spaces
A good magnetized mirror set will be invaluable in any DIY-er’s toolkit. It’s not unusual to need to see where you just can’t or be in the position of finding a lost part. Telescoping and swiveling mirrors which can be extended and used to view into corners and other awkward spaces will be an asset.
The OTC 4650 Mirror And Magnet Set comes with several swivel mirrors, including a large rectangular, and several smaller mirrors with magnets that can lift up to eight pounds.
Air Tool Holder
It can be hard to store air tools. They don’t belong in drawers or just being laid across shelves. A mounted holder like the Lisle Pneumatic Tool Holder will organize air tools, nesting them safely. The item can store up to five pneumatic devices. It can be mounted on a wall, tool box or can for quick access. It can be locked to prevent light-fingered thieving.
You don’t need to be a pro mechanic to keep professional tools like the best car buffers within your DIY reach. With the above even dozen tools close at hand, you’re guaranteeing all your home automotive projects are always prepared for any task.