If you plan on working on cars, trucks, or most anything with an engine you will need some basic automotive tools to fix your car. There are lots of places to buy tools from, it really comes down to how much you want to spend, and how long you want them to last. Tools can be bought from Craftsman, Harbor Freight, or even go as far as buying from Snap-On. There is a difference between them on some things. For the most part as long as it’s the correct tool for the job it will get the job done.
To start with you will want at least one socket set, understanding that the more sockets you have the easier a job becomes. If money is an issue start with a 3/8″ drive
metric set. It’s suggested to have a 1/4″ drive set, and 1/2″ set also. What you are going to end up wanting is socket sizes starting at 5.5mm going all the way up to 19mm with a 21mm,22mm, and 24mm. Make sure that when buying a metric set that it includes all the sizes. Some of the cheaper sets skip sizes like 16mm,17mm,18mm, some of them will go as far as selling only metric sizes that aren’t close to standard sizes. Harbor Freight likes to skip the 13mm socket because it’s the same size as the 1/2″ socket, thus requiring you to buy the standard socket set if you want all the sizes you’ll need.
There are two more options when buying sockets, you can get deep-well sockets or standard, along with 6 point or 12 point. Deep-well sockets are very usual. Most of the time a deep-well socket is better. If you have the space. When working on cars space to get a socket where you want it, is a premium so get the standard sockets first. The difference between 6 point and 12 point, is pretty simple. A 6 point socket only has six points that match the six points on all hex nuts. The 12 point has 12 points so it is easier to put on a hex nut. Buy 6 point sockets, they have less chance of rounding off the points on a hex nut.
The next thing you’ll need is a set of combination wrenches. Harbor Freight sells a set of metric and standard long reach wrenches that are great for the price. You will want to buy both standard and metric with these sets, as they leave out odd sizes. Over the years you’ll end up with multiple wrench sets. Including ratcheting, flex head, stubby, and flare wrenches. Always remember the closed end of the wrench is for breaking nuts and bolts loose, the open end is for turning loosened nuts and bolts. Don’t try to break loose stuck bolt with the open end. You will round off the hex or break your wrench.
The next thing you’ll want to have in your basic automotive tools is a three different sets of screwdrivers. You’ll want a set of flat-head screw drivers but most of the time you’ll use them for prying things. The next set will be a set of Phillips head screw drivers in #1,#2, and #3 sizes. The last set you’ll want is a good set of Torx drivers. These are also called star drivers. If you are trying to get the biggest bang for you buck I’d suggest a ratcheting screwdriver set.
There are plenty of more tools you may need when fixing cars. No matter how many tools you own. Eventually you find a tool you still need. No matter what the job you are doing on your car you will need at least one of the tool discussed in this article. Buy these before you start buying specialty tools and you will never regret it.