Cars and Motorcycles have become an integral part of our lives. Some people love them and for others, it’s just a convenience. Whichever category you fall into, if you own a vehicle it’s bound to break down on you at some point. No one likes to deal with a situation when your beloved steed starts acting up and ends up causing a lot of frustration and trips to the mechanic.
Is there a better way to deal with it? Yes, get to know your vehicle by getting your hands dirty. Doesn’t matter if you like it or not, everyone should know how to perform basic maintenance on their vehicles. Now, before you start learning anything, you need to have some basic garage tools. This is a good list to start from-
1) Socket Set-
No matter the project you are working on, if it involves nuts and bolts, a socket set can be very handy. A typical socket set contains a Ratchet and detachable sockets with a few extensions. Some kits even include screwdriver with interchangeable screw bits. Picking the right kit depends on what you intend to use it for and what tools you already have. I personally have this socket set- Force 1/4 Inch Socket Combination 46Pcs Set because it has a combination of Torx, Allen, and screwdriver bit sockets which is a great addition to any tool kit. And then I also have a dedicated socket set-Taparia S14MXL 1/2-Inch Square Drive Socket Set which includes bigger sockets and 1/2inch drive instead of 1/4-inch for heavy duty work. One can even buy a ratchet and sockets separately if it suits you. That said, it’s better to have a complete kit in front of you when the need arises.
2) Torque wrench-
Most people don’t know much about torque wrench. In fact, most of the mechanics in our country don’t use it. In every service manual, the manufacturer specifies the recommended torque for every nut/bolt on the vehicle. A torque wrench basically allows us to apply a precise amount of tightening torque. Amateur mechanics often tighten the nut as much as they can, thinking that it should not loosen up. Overtorquing sometime results in stripping the thread of the fasteners. That is a nightmare! Now, the bolt and nut need to be replaced. And if the thread is built into something like a frame, then you will need to redrill and rethread the hole. Scary right? I agree that using a torque wrench on every nut is not practical. However, there are certain bolt and nut that you need to be careful with like- wheel lug nuts, engine mounts, suspension mounts, engine oil drain bolt, motorcycle wheel nut, brake calliper bolt, etc. The torque wrenches are categorised according to the torque range they can handle. This one is a good torque wrench to start from- Torque Master 1/2” Sq.Dr 25-135 NM Non- Ratcheting Torque Wrench
3) OBD Diagnostics Tool-
As the vehicle technology is advancing quickly, the cars are getting equipped with several computers. In the yesterday’s, opening the bonnet and inspecting the engine bay visually was often times enough to diagnose a broken down vehicle. Good luck doing that now. Modern cars will often warn the driver of the problem by lighting up the engine check light. But to know the culprit, you need a diagnostics tool like Launch Easy Diag 2.0. You need to plug this device into the OBD Port of the vehicle and it will show the error codes on your laptop or phone.
4) Air pump-
The most important thing on a vehicle is probably tyres. And a tyre without air is useless. Here’s when an Air pump can be invaluable. Apart from maintaining the recommended tyre pressure, it can also be handy when you are stranded on the road because of a tyre puncture. Just quickly fill the tyre with air and take the car to nearest puncture shop. We recommend- Windtek Digital Tyre Inflator
5) Puncture Repair Kit-
Tyre punctures are a very common occurrence if you drive on Indian roads. Being a developing country, there’s a lot of construction going around cities and that means a lot of nails on the road. Now, nails are not always the reason for punctures, it could be any other foreign object. Whatever be the case, it’s important that a puncture kit is always stashed away in your car’s boot. They are inexpensive but can get you out of a tricky situation someday. Buy from here
6) Maintainance fluids-
Modern car requires fluids like engine oil, brake fluid, and coolant for its operation. The vehicle owner’s manual recommends checking the fluid levels at regular intervals. Therefore, it’s good to have these fluids with you when you need to top-up the level. Buy Shell synthetic engine oil (discounted)