Even if you aren't an expert in auto repair you might be able to take care of some vehicle maintenance at home. But before you get started it is important to make sure that you have all of the right equipment. It can be a struggle to have the car apart and realize that you have to go to the store to get something! Make a plan and be prepared for anything you might encounter. It might also help to have a local phone number on hand for just in case.
A Place to Work
When working on any type of auto repair, you need room to work. There should be enough space for you to open the hood and be able to walk all the way around it, unhindered. If you plan to work under the vehicle, you need to be able to get in and out without anything in the way. In addition to the space, you need plenty of light. If you are working in the garage, the garage light may not be enough. Consider bringing out a lamp from the house or purchasing a light that will hook onto the car for whatever area you are working on.
Specific Parts and Fluids
Depending type of auto repair or maintenance you are going to be completing you may need replacement parts. For an oil change you will need oil and an oil filter. If the battery is going bad you need a replacement. If you just need some regular maintenance you might want to pick up some spark plugs or a new air filter. Before you get started on the project, make a list of everything that you will need and head over to a car part shop or dealership to get the necessary supplies.
It's a good idea to have some crucial tools with you for any type of auto repair. You need a ratchet and sockets for removing different parts that hold the car together. Wrenches (especially the adjustable type) and pliers are also perfect for helping your remove parts. If you haven't done anything like this before, it is going to take some good old fashioned elbow grease to get some of these nuts and bolts off the car. Don't be afraid to really put some force behind it as you work.
Most people already have a screwdriver set around the house so just make sure yours is out in the garage. Hex key wrenches are also important. If you can't find any, check the junk drawer of your home. Many people have a set and don't realize it because they don't use them very often. If you have a hammer and bit driver you can bring these along as well.
Most projects are messy work. There are all types of fluids and oils that are used to keep the vehicle running correctly. When you put your hands under the hood or under the car, you can bet you are going to walk away dirty! Because of this, keep extra older towels or shop rags around to clean your hands. If you want to try and stay mess free, pick up a pair of gloves. When you get back in the house, plan to toss you clothes aside and wash your hands several times to get off all the excess dirt and oils.
by Aloysius Aucoin
About the Author
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