Choosing the right tools
BUILDING UP a kit of tools to service a car and deal with roadside emergencies does not involve a big initial outlay. A basic kit can cost a few pounds. With this as the starting point, the best way to build up a comprehensive kit is to buy extra tools as they are needed.
A vast selection of tools displayed above a workbench makes an impressive sight, but some of the tools will be of little value if they are used only rarely.
The quality of tools varies considerably and buying some of the cheaper ones can, in time, prove to be an expensive economy.
Buy the best tools you can afford—British and German makes are the most reliable. Those marked 'foreign made', although inexpensive, may be made badly from inferior metals.
A cheap spanner is. a typical example. The jaws will eventually spread under pressure and mutilate a nut—rounding off the corners until it is impossible to shift and a nut-splitter may be needed. Apart from wasting time and causing damage, a badly fitting spanner can mean bruised knuckles.
When a job is finished, clean and dry off the tools and give them a thin smear of oil to prevent rusting. Properly used and cared for, they will last a lifetime. Mechanics in dealers' workshops use a number of special tools, designed to simplify difficult jobs. Many of these tools are not on sale to the general public and may be needed only on rare occasions.
If it is not possible to improvise with other tools, it may be worth going to a firm that operates a hire service for specia-list equipment. This can include paint spray apparatus and hydraulic jacks.
The most important aid that any home mechanic should have is the workshop . worksho manual for his car. It gives vital informa-tion on operations such as the correct sequence of engine stripping and reassem-bling, the exact clearances and adjustments of various components, and the torque loading of nuts and bolts. Workshop manuals can be bought, usually from the car manufacturer or dealer or of course right here on this site.