Essential Auto Repair Tools

Cannot fix your vehicle issue? Consult a professional!

With the arrival of connected-car apps and services, like OnStar and Zubie, it’s understandable that motorists have actually become complacent with regard to breakdowns. After all, it’s simple to contact roadside support with your smart phone, and even with your vehicle itself.

However, it’s always important for anyone who drives a vehicle to know the best ways to accomplish basic repairs — and to have some important repair tools on hand.

The most essential auto repair tools that need to be in everybody’s trunk:

Tire-Pressure Gauge

If your tires are feeling a bit soft — or if the warning symbol illuminates when you start the engine — you’ll have to examine your tire pressure. In truth, some specialists advise doing this routinely.

Tire blowouts can certainly be dangerous, but tires that are under-inflated can have a negative effect on your fuel economy. So use the very first tool on our list often: a tire-pressure gauge.

Top quality digital gauges are best. These will cost you about $30, but the peace of mind they offer makes it a worthy investment.

Lug Wrench and Jack

Should you actually experience a blowout, you’ll require these next two repair tools (although we’re listing them together as one product, given that they work hand-in-hand): a jack and a lug wrench.

Surveys have found that only 42% of Americans feel relatively secure when it concerns replacing their tire, but the task isn’t really that tough. Consult your manual for information. It’s even acceptable to “cheat” by Googling it if you feel the need.

Jumper Cables

If you’ve ever forgotten to turn off your interior lights before exiting the car and come back the next day to find your car unresponsive to the usual turn of the key, you recognize that sinking feeling. Getting back on the road may require a new battery, but first you should try to jump it off with jumper cables to help determine the root of the problem.

As with all of these tools, don’t necessarily look for the least expensive. Buying a top quality set of cables with spring-loaded clamps is your best option.

Duct Tape

Think duct tape isn’t really a tool? MacGyver would beg to differ. When it comes to quick vehicle fixes, it’s as useful here as it is in your home.

Hide a roll of the magic silver stuff in your glove box or trunk for when you need to use it to connect a side mirror, loose headlight cover, windshield wiper, even a bumper. Of course, it’s a short-lived fix, however that’s better than being stuck on the side of the road.

Emergency Kit

Again, some might balk at naming these items automobile repair tools, however they just might save your life, or at least help you complete your journey.

You can assemble your own emergency auto kit or buy one that’s premade. In either case, ensure you bring the fundamentals, such as:

  • non-perishable food items
  • bottles of water
  • first-aid materials
  • flares
  • a flashlight and additional batteries
  • a blanket and/or warm clothing
  • rags or paper towels
  • a fire extinguisher

Being prepared is one thing, and significant, however knowing what you’re getting when you purchase a pre-owned car at a bargain price is also important. There are indicators you should look for that may send up some flags.

How to Recognize a Flood Damaged Car

After experiencing one of the worst hurricane seasons in years and record-setting rainfall nation wide, flooding has actually taken its toll on cars. It is essential for anyone considering buying a pre-owned car to be mindful and look for indications of water intrusion or contamination.

Buying an pre-owned car and discovering later that it has actually been flood damaged can be extremely challenging and cause expensive issues in the future. Even more concerning is that these cars can be unhealthy to drive because of potential bacteria and mold growth in the carpet or ventilation system.

It comes down to how extensive the water incursion was. Take the following steps to judge if the car was flood damaged and what it might cost to set it right:.

  • Take the sniff test. Close all the doors and windows and let the vehicle sit for about 5 minutes, then open a door just a bit and take a sniff. Mildew and mold have very unique odors and it does not take very long for them to emerge.
  • Try the touch test. Press some clean paper towels into the low spots on the carpet. They’ll draw the wetness out and expose if the carpet is damp below the surface. If the paper towel becomes damp it could suggest water has been inside the car.
  • Examine the interior. Check beneath the seats and dashboard for rust and corrosion, and look for untreated exposed metal. The springs under the front seat are usually unpainted and will reflect rust damage if the car has suffered flood damage. Also, mud and debris anywhere inside the car is an indicator the car was probably exposed to flood conditions.
  • Inspect the instrument panel closely. Switch on the key and perform a bulb test. Make certain every bulb illuminates. If a system has challenge, removing the caution bulb can conceal it. Often cars that have actually flooded have breakdowns in their anti-brake and air bag systems. Making sure the light turns on and then off after the bulb test is an indication that the system is working properly and currently has no active faults.
  • Take it to a professional. Let a service and repair specialist inspect your car. They can raise the vehicle up and examine the undercarriage to find out if there is any mud, sticks or rocks in the suspension. An expert can check the oil in the differentials to ensure they contain no water. Make the investment to have it examined to provide you some assurance.
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Car Care Council

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of routine automobile care, repair work and maintenance to customers.

For a copy of the council’s Car Care Guide or for more info, see





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