Must-Have Equipment for DIY Auto Repairs

April 11th, 2024 by

Car care month means more than just getting your vehicle into the shop for discounted maintenance. At Kia Country of Charleston, we also believe owners should dedicate this time to stocking up on equipment for DIY repairs that don’t justify bringing your car to service every time.

To start, let’s run through some tools that are generally good to own for both car and home repair. These are an excellent place to start, ensuring that you have all of these on hand before diving into more complex tools that may not be as versatile in life, generally.

  • Screwdrivers are the No. 1 DIY tools. Consider a set with softer ergonomic handles. This design provides the greatest turning power with the least amount of effort. They are a good investment.
  • Pliers are indispensable DIY tools. Get a set that includes the diagonal wire cutter, slip-joint, needle-nose and groove or arc-joint pliers.
  • Wire strippers help speed up electrical repairs. Ergonomic handles are not necessary but a nice upgrade.
  • Zip ties are useful to neatly organize and secure wires and cables

Additionally, the following items don’t require much explanation but are essential for almost any task.

  • Socket set
  • Wrench set
  • Hammer
  • Torque wrench
  • Various Funnels

Tire Pressure Gauge and Pump

Having these on hand will allow you to maintain proper tire pressure at home. A gauge can be as simple as one of the small pencil readers. These gauges run for around $3 and are incredibly easy to use. Simply place the end on your tire’s air dispenser after removing the cap and push until the gauge pops out a meter to indicate the current psi number.

Oil Filter Wrench

This tool can be incredibly handy if you’re starting to check/change your oil by yourself. Changing your oil at home can help save a lot of time and money. Chances are, the last time you took your car in for an oil change, the mechanic screwed the oil filter back on very tightly, making it quite hard to remove at home. Filters also tend to get very stiff  This tool can help you get the filter off quite easily.

Air Compressor

An air compressor is one of the most required tools for DIYers. It serves not only to power tools like a nail gun, die grinder, paint sprayer, or impact wrench, but it is also helpful for inflating tires of all sorts (automotive, bicycle, and wheelbarrows) or even as a way to blow the dust off of your projects.

On-Board Diagnostics Reader

Even though most dashboard lights will give a clear indication of a potential issue, there’s always a chance that you don’t know what problem your car is indicating with any given warning light. This tool allows you to identify a large number of issues without needing to visit a mechanic just for diagnostics. These are often known as OBD-II Scanners and can be grabbed for as cheap as $25. On the higher end, there are also Bluetooth scanners that can connect to your phone to give you real time-diagnostics remotely. Luckily, for Kia’s that include access to the Kia Connect App feature, this form of diagnostics is already at your fingertips.