Essential Car Care Tools
Having the right tools on hand makes car maintenance and repair jobs easier, faster, and safer. Equipping your garage with quality equipment allows you to take care of basic upkeep yourself instead of paying a mechanic. Here are some of the most essential car care tools every driver should have.
Oil and Fluid Tools
Being able to change your own oil and fluids will save you money and give you peace of mind knowing they were done properly. Here are some must-have fluid tools:
- Oil filter wrench - Makes removing old oil filters easy.
- Drain pan - Catches old oil when changing it.
- Funnel - Needed to pour new oil and fluids into the proper reservoirs.
- Fluid transfer pump - Allows you to easily extract old fluid from reservoirs.
Brakes are a crucial system, so having brake maintenance tools is a necessity. Here are some to have on hand:
- C-clamp - Compresses caliper pistons when changing brake pads.
- Brake pad spreader - Makes it easier to remove and install new brake pads.
- Brake bleeder kit - Required to bleed air out of brake lines when flushing fluid.
A weak or dead battery is one of the most common roadside issues. Be prepared with:
- Battery terminal brush - Cleans corrosion off battery terminals.
- Battery filler - Used to safely add distilled water to battery cells.
- Battery tester - Allows you to check the charge level of your battery.
- Jumper cables - Connects your battery to another car's to jump start in an emergency.
Some other convenient tools that every DIY mechanic should have are:
- OBD2 code reader - Plugs into your vehicle's computer port for reading diagnostic codes.
- Jack and jack stands - Safely raises and supports your car for tasks like tire changes.
- Wrench and socket set - For basic repair and maintenance needs.
- Flashlight - Helps illuminate dark areas under the hood or beneath the car.
Equipping your garage with quality tools suited for basic car care will save you time and money. Investing in the essentials allows you to handle more repairs and maintenance yourself.
Cleaning and Detailing Products for Your Car
Keeping your car's interior and exterior looking its best requires using the right detailing products. Here are some recommended cleaners, polishes, waxes, and tools to keep your vehicle clean.
Your interior accumulates dirt, grime, and odors over time. Use these products to refresh it:
- Upholstery cleaner - Cleans fabric seats, carpets, floor mats.
- Leather cleaner and conditioner - Keeps leather supple and stain-free.
- Glass cleaner - Removes dirt, smudges, and film from windows.
- Dashboard cleaner - Cleans vinyl, plastic, leather surfaces.
The exterior also needs regular cleaning. Must-have products include:
- Car wash shampoo - Use weekly for washing away dirt and grime.
- Bug and tar remover - Removes stubborn buildup from the paint.
- Wheel and tire cleaner - Breaks down brake dust on wheels.
- Engine degreaser - Removes built-up oil and grease under the hood.
Polishes and Waxes
Using polishes and waxes protects the paint. Some top options are:
- Paint polish - Smooths paint, removes minor swirls and scratches.
- Paint sealant - Durability boosting polymer coating.
- Carnauba wax - Natural wax that deepens shine and protects.
- Synthetic wax - Long lasting synthetic polymer protection.
Tools and Accessories
The right tools make cleaning easier. Recommended supplies include:
- Microfiber cloths and mitts - Lint-free for scratch-free washing and detailing.
- Soft bristle brushes - For agitating dirt and grime.
- Detailing spray bottles - For applying cleaners and protectants.
- Wheel brush - Makes cleaning tires and wheels easier.
With a stock of quality interior and exterior cleaning supplies, you'll be able to keep your car looking showroom ready.
Diagnostic Tools for Your Vehicle
Modern vehicles are loaded with onboard computers and complex electronics. Having the right diagnostic tools allows you to tap into your vehicle's systems and troubleshoot issues.
One of the most essential diagnostic tools is an OBD2 scanner. OBD stands for On-Board Diagnostics - your vehicle's built-in computer system. An OBD2 scanner plugs into your vehicle's OBD2 port (usually under the dash) to read diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs), monitor sensors, and view live data from various systems such as:
- Engine and emissions
- Antilock brakes
- Battery charging
There are many OBD2 scanners at different price points. More advanced scanners allow you to view and graph live sensor data, perform system tests, and clear diagnostic codes. This takes the guesswork out of troubleshooting issues.
A digital multimeter (DMM) is another must-have tool for checking electrical circuits and components. You can use a DMM to measure:
- Voltage - Check battery and alternator output
- Current - Troubleshoot parasitic battery drains
- Resistance - Test solenoids, motors, sensors
- Continuity - Find breaks in wiring
A DMM lets you diagnose electrical problems quickly before resorting to replacing components.
Miscellaneous Diagnostic Tools
Here are some other handy diagnostic gadgets:
- Battery/charging system tester - Diagnoses cranking and charging issues.
- Fuel pressure gauge - Checks fuel pump output and finds leaks.
- Compression tester - Find low compression cylinders.
- LPG detector - Find evaporative emissions leaks.
- Telescoping inspection mirror - Lets you see hard to reach areas.
Equipping your toolbox with diagnostic devices tailored to your vehicle gives you the ability to quickly pinpoint issues, saving repair time and money.
Safety and Emergency Equipment for Your Vehicle
Being prepared for roadside emergencies and staying safe while driving requires having essential gear in your vehicle. Here are some recommended safety and emergency tools and supplies.
First Aid Kit
A well-stocked first aid kit allows you to treat minor injuries. It should contain:
- Gauze pads
- Adhesive tape
- Antiseptic wipes
- Burn cream
- Latex gloves
Plus any personal medications you regularly need.
Be prepared for common roadside issues with these tools:
- Jumper cables - For jump starting a dead battery
- Tire inflator and sealant - Temporary fix for a flat tire
- Flashlight - Illuminates dark areas at night
- Reflective triangles - Warns other drivers if stopped on the road
- Multitool - Combination pliers, screwdrivers, knife
Having these supplies provides comfort and safety until help arrives:
- Bottled water
- Non-perishable snacks like protein bars
- Warm blankets
- Rain poncho
- Road flares
Drivers should also have a well-charged mobile phone to call for assistance when needed.
Equipping your car with safety and emergency equipment gives peace of mind that you and your passengers will be protected in the event of an incident.
How to Get Amazon Prime for Car Products at a Discount
Amazon Prime provides fast, free shipping and other benefits for members. Here are some tips to get Prime temporarily just for stocking up on discounted car care essentials, tools, and equipment.
Use a Free Trial
If you've never been an Amazon Prime member, you can start a 30-day free trial. Just sign up and you'll have a month of access to all Prime benefits, including free 2-day shipping.
Make the most of this trial period by stocking up on car products you know you'll need at discounted prices. Shop for things like car cleaning supplies, replacement air filters, jumper cables, and any tools you've been holding off on purchasing.
Be sure to set a reminder to cancel before the trial ends to avoid being charged $139 for a year of Prime.
Watch for Discounts
Occasionally Amazon offers short term Prime discounts for non-members. For example, they may offer a 1-month trial for just $5 for first-time subscribers. Snap these up when available.
There are also sometimes Prime deals around holidays. It's worth checking Amazon around Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Prime Day to see if any car care deals are offered.
Share a Prime Account
If you know a friend or family member with Prime, ask if they're willing to share the shipping benefits. Amazon Household allows two adults to share Prime shipping perks.
You can then take advantage of Prime's free expedited shipping on eligible items when stocking up on car products. Just be sure to coordinate who is paying for what when using a shared account.
Using one of these methods can help you save money on car maintenance supplies and tools by leveraging Prime member benefits without paying the full annual fee.
Car Care Tools And Equipment For Beginners
Car care tools and equipment for beginners can be overwhelming to choose from. Here are some of the best options available:
- Car wash bucket kit
- Car detailing kit
- Vacuum cleaner
- Microfiber towels
- High-quality wash mitt
- Shampoos and cleaners
A car wash bucket kit is a must-have for beginners. It comes with a heavy-duty detailing bucket, bucket lid, grit guard insert, car soap and shampoo, drying agent, wash mitt, chemical-resistant heavy-duty bottle and sprayer, and a premium microfiber towel. A car detailing kit contains everything you need to take your car care to the next level, including ultimate liquid wax, ultimate compound, ultimate polish, ultimate wash and wax, ultimate protectant, ultimate black, ultimate Quik detailer, perfect clarity glass cleaner, one microfiber wash mitt, six microfiber towels, four yellow foam applicator pads, and water magnet. A vacuum cleaner is essential for cleaning the interior of your car. Microfiber towels are great for cleaning and drying your car without leaving any scratches. A high-quality wash mitt is perfect for washing your car without damaging the paint. Shampoos and cleaners are necessary for removing dirt and grime from your car's exterior and interior.
What Are The Best Car Wash Equipment Tools For Beginners?
If you're a beginner looking for the best car wash equipment tools, here are some of the top options:
- AutoDeco car cleaning kit
- Griot's Garage clay
- Mothers Premium Lambswool Car Wash Mitt
- Foam cannon
- 5 Gallon Rinse Buckets (3-pack)
- Amazon Basics Microfiber Cleaning Cloth 12"x16" (Pack of 24)
The AutoDeco car cleaning kit is a comprehensive option that includes multiple dusters, scrubbers, sponges, towels, and more. Griot's Garage clay is a great option for removing rough contaminants from your car's paint. The Mothers Premium Lambswool Car Wash Mitt is a high-quality wash mitt that is perfect for washing your car without damaging the paint. A foam cannon is a fun and effective tool that attaches directly to your hose and sprays a layer of super sudsy foam onto your car to help remove heavy dirt prior to hand washing. 5 Gallon Rinse Buckets (3-pack) are a simple but effective tool for washing your car. Amazon Basics Microfiber Cleaning Cloth 12"x16" (Pack of 24) is a great option for cleaning and drying your car without leaving any scratches.