See Figures 1 through 11
Naturally, without the proper tools and equipment it is impossible to properly service your vehicle. It would also be impossible to catalog every tool that you would need to perform most operations in this repair guide. Of course, It would 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 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 10-point sockets and fine tooth 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.
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:
In addition to the above items there are several others that are not absolutely necessary, but handy to have around. These include oil dry, a transmission 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 desire can accurately determine your list of tools.
A more advanced set of tools, suitable for tune-up work, can be drawn up easily. While the tools 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 professional model. Just be sure that it goes to a least 1,200-1,500 rpm on the tach scale and that it works on both 4 and 6 cylinder engines. (A special tach is needed for diesel engines). The key to these purchases is to make them with an eye towards adaptability and wide range. A basic list of tune-up tools could include:
A tachometer/dwell meter will ensure accurate tune-up work on cars without electronic ignition. The choice of a timing light should be made carefully. A light which works on the DC current supplied by the car battery is the best choice; it should have a xenon tube for brightness. Since most later models have an electronic ignition system, the timing light should have an inductive pickup which clamps around the No. 1 spark plug cable.
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 types (breakaway) are more precise. The click type torque wrenches tend to be more expensive and should be periodically checked and recalibrated. You will have to decide for yourself which better fits your purpose.