For the serious self-mechanic, a few wrenches and an oil pan floating around the garage just won’t cut it for big jobs. It can be fairly simple to transform an ordinary garage into a well-stocked home auto shop as long you have a clear plan of action. Here are five tips to help you stock your home auto shop:
Tools, Tools, Tools
You need to determine for what tools you need to perform the type of auto repair and maintenance tasks you will typically perform. Certain things are pretty universal, though. Our first tip is to make a list of what you need before you go anywhere near the auto parts store, with all its shiny accessories and “mechanic’s helpers.”
Keep it simple. You need a quality hydraulic jack, drain pans for flushing fluids, tire stoppers, air compressor, your favorite brand drill set, an array of torque wrenches, a drop light, a headlamp, and a mechanics tool kit.
Comfort and Accessibility
If you’re going to work on your vehicle at home, you need to be able to get under it and out from under it quickly and safely. You also need to be comfortable while you’re under there. For this reason, it is worth buying a creeper. Expect to spend anywhere from around $60 for a cheap model to upwards of several hundred dollars for higher-end creepers.
Get It Wholesale
If you’re looking to save a few bucks, you can buy bolts in bulk rather than as needed. You can also buy large quantities of screws, nuts and fasteners to get discounted rates.
Keep It Clean
Stock your home auto shop with industrial soaps with grit that help scrub your hands clean without making them raw. Many popular varieties are orange-scented and some are antibacterial.
If you have a sink in the garage, that’s great; if not, washing your hands using an industrial hand cleaner and a bucket of water or nearby hose will suffice. Don’t forget to keep plenty of shop rags on hand.
Let’s Get Digital
Finally, if you haven’t already, why not join the modern age and invest in your own automotive digital code reader? By hooking this relatively inexpensive gadget up to most newer model vehicles, you can save yourself hours of troubleshooting when dashboard lights start glowing. You can pick one up online or at the auto parts store for under $100.