It's increasingly difficult to do your own auto repairs these days; not impossible, but it takes a lot of diagnostic gear that most of us don't have. There are some repairs, however, that you can undertake yourself if you have some of the proper tools.
To save a few bucks fixing your own vehicle, join in below the fold.
The easiest repairs you can make to your vehicle involve the periodic replacement of maintenance items-- air filters, oil and oil filters for the engine, bulbs (both interior and exterior -- headlights, for example), and the various fluids -- windshield washer, brake and power steering, radiator -- that keep your vehicle components lubricated, and running cool and clean.
To accomplish these easy auto repairs you need a few simple tools:
First off, a fairly complete set of tools, like this tool set from Craftsman. Their Mechanics Tool Set has 283 pieces, including ratchets, standard and deep-well sockets, open-end wrenches, screwdrivers, and a tool box with 4 drawers and a divided, removable tray. Shown at the right, it's not meant to be portable -- it's heavy when fully loaded -- but will fit on your work bench without eating up a lot of space. These tools will allow you to take care of most of the engine compartment air and cabin filters and topping off the various fluid containers.
Next, for changing the engine oil and filter, a floor jack. On the left, the Big Red 2 1/2 Ton Floor Service Jack. It's a high-lift design and has an operating range from about 6-21" in height. All steel in construction, the jack has an SUV saddle included as part of the deal.
At the right; jack stands, because you don't really want to be under your vehicle when it's supported only by a floor jack, do you? These, from Performance Tools, will raise from 12-17" with their ratchet adjustment, are made of solid steel, have a rated lift capacity of 3 tons, and may be easily dropped to the storage size when the load is removed.
Work lights are an essential tool for your DIY auto repairs. The stuff that needs work always seems to be in some dark, remote location under the vehicle or in the back corner of the engine compartment. If you're serious about doing your own work, check out this light -- the Bayco Fluorescent Reel Light. 10,000 hour bulb in a protective cover, 50' of drop cord on a heavy-duty reel, double hang hook, and the unit features a polarized and grounded 10 amp receptacle. Good stuff.
Why not keep a few dollars in your pocket by performing your own periodic vehicle maintenance? You'll be amazed how quickly the savings add up.
If you are interested in more finding out even more about auto repair, you should definitely check out Trade Secrets of an Auto Mechanic!