Whether you have an old beater car or a brand new truck, repairs can get costly when done by a dealership.  Many tasks are easy enough for the DIY car owner if you have the right tools.  We have compiled a list of 16 must have tools to get you started doing repairs and maintenance yourself.

·         Socket Set – This is arguable the most important set you will need to work on your car.  It is a good idea to get a set that includes standard and metric sizes as well as extensions and thin walled sockets.

·         Pliers and Wirecutters – Installing stereos, speakers or wiring headlights are all tasks that can be done with the correct pliers and wirecutters.

·         Torque Wrench – A good torque wrench is always needed when setting nuts to the proper torque.  Over torqueing a nut can sheer off the bolt and makes it much more difficult to remove.  Setting the wrench to the proper torque will make your job a lot easier.

·         Wrenches – A good quality wrench set, such as a ratcheting wrench set, makes life easier by ratcheting instead of removing the wrench on each turn.

·         Screwdrivers – Most people have these around the house but you may want to consider a larger flathead which you can use as a prying tool as well a very small screwdrivers that are delicate enough for electronic work.

·         Dead Blow Mallet – Sometimes this mallet is the only solution to removing stuck bolts.  A few smacks and maybe a little heat will loosen just about anything.

·         Work Light – Working in an area that is well lit is an absolute must.  You need to be able to spotlight the area you are working in as well as your work area to prevent losing parts.

·         Latex Gloves – Disposable gloves are preferable as they will keep the grease and grime off of your hands as well as allowing you to start with a fresh clean pair every time.  Reusable gloves get wasted pretty quickly and there’s no fool proof way to clean them.

·         Zip Ties – Got a group of cables and wires that you need to keep together away from hot and moving parts?  Nothing works better than zip ties to keep things nice and tidy under the hood.

·         Multimeter – Electronics make up a huge portion of vehicles.  No one wants to guess which wires are hot or how much juice is running through a particular wire.  Multimeters remove that guess work by testing each individual wire.

·         Impact Wrench – This is a must have for removing lug nuts in an instant.

·         Lubricants & Cleaners – Mechanical parts need to be cleaned and lubricated regularly.  A rust penetrant, brake cleaner, silicone lubricant and citrus degreaser can make your life a lot simpler for stubborn bolts, cleaning metal parts, eliminating friction and removing oil based products.

·         Drip Pan – Most DIYers do their work in their own personal garage or driveway and you want to keep it somewhat clean.  It’s always smart to get a drip pan (or at least a big piece of cardboard) to put under your car’s engine to catch any leaking fluids.

·         Desiccant – Keeping this product on hand (or a bag of kitty litter) will also help keep your garage floors or driveways in better shape.  Pouring some of either on that oil spill will help absorption and reduce the likelihood of that unsightly oil stain.

·         Duct Tape and Electrical Tape – Duct tape has a million uses but it’s also a good idea to keep electrical tape on hand to cover any bare or exposed wires.

·         Owner’s Manual – The most valuable tool when working on your vehicle is the owner’s manual.  All of the exact specifications of your vehicle are in this book and many times there are common tutorials on maintenance for your vehicle.

We hope you found this list helpful.  Maybe it will help you save a few bucks in the long run!