When striding into your local auto parts store, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Different vehicles require different classes of products and tool sizes, and certain forums may attempt to convince you that with some creativity and elbow grease, these tools aren’t needed for a mechanical fix or restoration. When attempting DIY fixes for the first few times, it can be easy to fall back on sworn-upon shortcuts by self-proclaimed masters of the craft.
However, for many of these “ masters , ” they’re surviving on welded-together luck. There are a few tools that you should never be without, or you ’ ll be risking yourself and those around you. This article covers two of them.
Quality Jack Stands
Depending on the size of your vehicle, purchasing a quality and easy-to-use jack can get expensive quickly. After spending a pretty penny on the necessary parts for a particular fix and the jack itself, many people find themselves standing in front of the jack-stands and wondering if they’re indispensable . Without a doubt, they are.
A quick internet search will show thousands of horror stories of jacks failing and vehicles slipping off, crushing the person working underneath the car . Once the tires have b een removed, if there are no jack-stands between your vehicle and the ground, a simple nudge from a careless passer by can be the difference between life and death. It is critical to use jack-stands every time you raise a vehicle to work below it, as you ca nnot rely on a lone jack to support a two-ton vehicle over your body by itself.
A Coil Spring Compressor
Many home mechanics may find themselves needing to work on or beyond the axles of their vehicles to remove or replace the shocks and struts. The tool required for this process , a Coil Spring Compressor, is not the place to cut costs. Instead of spending the $20-$30 to rent the tool at an auto parts store, some mechanics find themselves trying to compress the powerful springs with a vise and weld ing a clamp to slide over a few sections of the spring. The issue with this is now you have an insanely strong spring held under a tremendous amount of pressure by bead welds. If those welds were to fail, the homemade clamp would shatter apart, creating fragments that would shred and embed thems elves in any soft material around, including YOU! Don ’ t take the quick fix . Rent the right part.
The truth is, between having minimal experience and reading up on specific fixes online, you can be left with conflicting information on what you truly need versus what is drawer clutter. Some tools should never be passed by or rigged up at home, and you should never be afraid to ask your lo cal mechanic or auto parts store associate if they have advice for you!