posted ago by CheapChinesePlastic ago by CheapChinesePlastic +26 / -1

With the price of new and used cars becoming increasingly inflated and outrageous as well as a nationwide shortage of mechanics and outrageous shop labor rates, many people are getting into the hobby of auto repair.

Unfortunately many were not lucky as I was to have a father who taught them basic mechanical skills. However, the benefit of living in the information age is that we have access to unlimited free content on YouTube and public forums to educate us on general mechanical knowledge, as well as a wealth of information on specific make/model repairs and troubleshooting.

In fact, my number one advice to anyone looking to get a basic mechanical knowledge would be to start watching as many videos as you can on things such as identifying play in steering/suspension, how to service and bleed disc brake systems, basic electrical troubleshooting, identifying and determining root causes for misfires, proper bolt and fastener maintenance, understanding and applying torque, and how to interperate and extrapolate on your vehicles readings and diagnostics.

Next, you'll need tools.

For a basic jack I recommend strongly the harbor freight Daytona super duty. This particular model is actually a rebranded Snap-On for about 20% of the price. Many professionals and amateurs swear by it.

Then there is the question of power/air tools. Air tools are by far cheaper to run and without the hassle of batteries dying, however they require an air compressor and annoyig hose lines. You can of course do everything by hand and that is fine as well.

Here is a list of basic hand tools i recommend. As far as brands go, don't get the cheapest junk avaliable but also there is no need to spend a fortune when starting out. Husky and GearWrench for example are very affordable decent tools that can get you through a lot of jobs. note; metric is recommended as most modern vehicles are metric, however older american stuff, some models of trucks and farm equipment/industrial equipment will be SAE

  • no skip (very important) full set metric 3/8 drive (note, 1/2inch is recommended for bigger fasteners and 1/4 drive for tight spaces)

  • long and short 3/8 ratchets

  • no skip sizing metric wrenches

  • dead blow, ball peen, and hand sledge hammer

  • set of pliers

  • hook and pick set

  • funnel and drain pan

  • allen keys or hex sockets

  • basic multimeter

  • pickle fork or ball joint seperator tool

  • torque wrench 3/8 10-100 ft/lbs

  • haynes manual for vehicle (best way to easily get torque specs in my experience)

  • c-clamp to compress brake piston

  • oil filter wrench

  • gasket scraper

  • screwdriver set

  • spark plug socket

I have so many tools at this point there's probably a ton I could be forgetting for a basic set however i think most common maintenence and repairs could be done with the above tools.

Consumables to stock in the garage/shop;

  • rags/shop towels
  • penetrant spray (i use pb blaster)
  • o-rings, cotter pins, and butt connectors
  • brake kleen and QD cleaner
  • grease gun
  • dialectric grease
  • general purpose silicone lube
  • common fluids such as motor oil, brake fluid, and trans fluid

Hope this helps someone, post will probably be ignored in favor for whining about someone/something but in my opinion this is valuable knowledge for the aspiring honesteader as all the farmers and ranchers i personally know do the vast majority of their own mechanical work

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RaceTraitorsDotLose 3 points ago +3 / -0

I always tell her let me look at it first, but she still would bring it to the shop without telling me. Irritating.