If you hope to perform regular repairs on your car from the comfort of your garage, it is likely that you have a few questions. How can you make the most of the space that you have? What are the most important tools to consider? Are there any safety issues involved? Let’s us address each of these questions so that you have a good idea of how to approach this rewarding hobby.
Keep it Simple
One of the best pieces of advice
is to only choose the tools that you know that you will need. Many enthusiasts make the mistake of spending a great deal of money on unnecessary equipment. The end result is a cluttered work area and even the inability to find the single tool that you are looking for. Some of the essentials include ratchets, car movers and a socket set.
Choose the best Storage Methods
is another important concern that needs to be considered ahead of time. How much space to you have to work with? If you are like most, such space is decidedly at a premium. The traditional solution here is to purchase sturdy tool storage cabinets to house your equipment. However, it never hurts to think outside of the box sometimes. If you have overhead space, consider storing non-essential and lighter items such as tyres, boxes of rags and oil crates here. Or, you could instead choose to install a pegboard on one or more nearby walls. Tools can quickly be hung and accessed whenever they are needed. Remember that a clean garage is one that will allow you to perform even the most challenging of tasks.
From a safety point of view, your garage MUST be provided with adequate ventilation. If it is not, a dangerous and even deadly buildup of fumes can occur in no time at all. An exhaust fan is a great way to prevent this situation from occurring. Ideally, you should employ two. One could be placed close to the floor and another may be installed on the roof. This arises from the fact that some gases will rise and others will fall. Also, two fans will provide you with an excellent source of cross ventilation.These are three basic areas that you should address when converting your garage into a work area. While safety is always an important concern, the floor plan and all associated storage solutions are likewise critical areas to keep in the back of your mind.
What are some of the differences between a novice and a professional automotive repair specialist? While knowledge and experience are obviously necessary, choosing the most appropriate tools is just as critical. It therefore stands to reason that we should have a quick look at a handful of the most relevant equipment to have close by.
A respectable socket set
is the first must-have item in any repair shop. The reason for this is that sockets are rather ubiquitous in their nature. They can be used for multiple purposes and as opposed to loosening bolts by hand, a socket wrench can take on this work quickly and efficiently. Both electrical and manually operated units can be chosen.
A vehicle mover can be helpful for a number of reasons. A standard jack may not be able to support larger vehicles. A professional repair shop will need to make absolutely certain that the car in question is handled as safely as possible. It is for this reason that many prefer to use professional-grade car movers such as those offered by Stringo.
Most vehicles are extremely modern. We know this by the rather bland “check engine” light that often activates if there is trouble. Many professionals will now employ the use of electrical testing equipment. This could be as standard as a common multi-tester (such as is used around the household) or a computer system that is specifically designed to detect faults within an engine and provide a diagnosis. Some of these units can be extremely expensive, so comparing and contrasting the top brands is a good idea.
Airless Paint Sprayers
It is likely that you will become involved with a certain amount of body work at some time in the future. Airless paint sprayers are therefore fundamentally important. These will provide an even coat to any car; helping to restore it to a factory finish. Such sprayers are relatively cheap to purchase but once again, make certain that only respectable models are chosen.
Such tools will see almost daily use around any repair shop. Knowing which ones are the most essential will help to start your business off in the right direction.
One of the easiest yet most essential jobs on an underperforming engine is to change the air filter. Once the bonnet is lifted, it’s pretty easy to see. It’s the big round thing held on by clasps. Undo them, take out the paper thing (that’s the filter) and then put the new filter in and replace the cover.
How about having a go at changing a blown bulb? They don’t go often, but when they do, don’t panic. Lights in older cars are very easy to change, but can be a bit more of a challenge on a modern motor. However, half an hour with a socket set should be enough to remove any panels to get to the bulb. Think of it as a challenge, like Jenga, and it can even be fun.
Replacing a fuse is easy too. The hardest bit is finding the fuse box. Your manual will tell you where it’s hiding, but it’s usually under the bonnet or under the steering wheel. Find the one you need to fix, pull it out, and pop another one in.
Windscreen wipers are another easy fix. They’re pretty self explanatory once you have a look. Usually a clip or a hook is all that’s responsible for holding them on.
More of a challenge to the uninitiated is to change a spark plug. The best tip is to replace them one at a time, so you know which one you’ve done. They’re easy to mix up! With modern spark plugs, you don’t even have to check the gap, as it’s all done during manufacturing. Again, a socket set is essential.
There. See? Easy.