See Figures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12
Naturally, without the proper tools and equipment it is impossible to properly service your vehicle. It would be impossible to catalog each tool that you would need to perform every operation in this information. It would also be unwise for the amateur to rush out and buy an expensive set of tools on the theory that he may need one or more of them at sometime.
The best approach is to proceed slowly, gathering together a good quality set of those tools that are used most frequently. Don't be misled by the low cost of bargain tools. It is far better to spend a little more for better quality. Forged wrenches, 6 or 12-point sockets and fine-toothed ratchets are by far preferable to their less expensive counterparts. As any good mechanic can tell you, there are few worse experiences than trying to work on a vehicle with bad tools. Your monetary savings will be far outweighed by frustration and mangled knuckles.
Certain tools, plus a basic ability to handle tools, are required to get started. A basic mechanics' tool set, a torque wrench and a Torx® bit set. Torx® bits are hex lobular drivers which fit both inside and outside on special Torx® head fasteners used in various places on some vehicles.
Begin accumulating those tools that are used most frequently; those associated with routine maintenance and tune-up.
In addition to the normal assortment of screwdrivers and pliers, you should have the following tools for routine maintenance jobs. Virtually every fastener on your Accord or Prelude is metric, although dealer and aftermarket equipment may use SAE (US) hardware.
In addition to the above items there are several others that are not absolutely necessary, but handy to have around. These include oil-dry or cat litter for absorbing spilled fluid, a transmission/transaxle fluid funnel and the usual supply of lubricants, antifreeze and fluids, although these can be purchased as needed. This is a basic list for routine maintenance, but only your personal needs and desires can accurately determine your list of necessary tools.
After performing a few projects on the car, you'll be amazed at the other tools and non-tools on your workbench. Some useful household items to have around are: a large turkey baster or siphon, empty coffee cans and ice trays (to store parts), ball of twine, electrical tape for wiring, small rolls of colored tape for tagging lines or hoses, markers and pens, a note pad, golf tees (for plugging vacuum lines), metal coat hangers or a roll of mechanics's wire (holding things out of the way), whisk broom, dental pick or similar long, pointed probe, a strong magnet, and a small mirror (for seeing into recesses and under manifolds).
The second list of tools is for tune-ups. While the tools involved here are slightly more sophisticated, they need not be outrageously expensive. There are several inexpensive tach/dwell meters on the market that are every bit as good for the average mechanic as a more expensive professional model. Just be sure that it goes to at least 1200-1500 rpm on the tach scale and that it works on 4-cylinder engines. A basic list of tune-up equipment could include:
In addition to these basic tools, there are several other tools and gauges you may find useful. These include:
As a final note, you will probably find a torque wrench necessary for all but the most basic work. The beam type models are perfectly adequate, although the newer click (breakaway) type are more precise and you don't have to crane your neck to see a torque reading in awkward situations. But, the breakaway torque wrenches are more expensive.
A good torque wrench will be fairly expensive. Once purchased, treat it with care. Its accuracy can be altered by dropping it, prying with it or subjecting it to other workshop torture. Keep it out of the way until needed. Don't use the torque wrench for non-torquing applications; use a regular ratchet. Breakaway torque wrenches should be dialed back to zero after use in order to preserve their adjustment. One final note, all torque wrenches should be recalibrated periodically.
Torque specification for each fastener will be given in the procedure in any case that a specific torque value is required. If no torque specifications are given, use the following values as a guide, based upon fastener size:
Bolts marked 6T
Bolts marked 8T