The Basic Tools for the Job
Here at CleanAudi we realized that we had amassed a collection of tools for working on our various projects and cars. We also realized that we wished we had some direction for the basics in terms of what we did and didn’t need in the tool department. Now we firmly believe that one can never have too many tools, however there are budgets for these things, so known what to buy first can save a lot of trouble down the road. We are going to break this report up into a few sections, which you can find more on below. First Jacks and jack stands, seems like the right place to start.
Jack Stands and Jacks
More often than not, jacking up the car is in the first few steps of any project. This is why it is smart to invest in a heavy duty fast jack and jack stands. The jack that comes with our cars is called a widow maker for a reason, don’t risk it. For a couple hundred dollars, a quality racing jack can be had. Make sure to invest in a good product, because this is one tool you need to work every time all the time. Racing jacks are a good alternative to the jack include with our cars, because they are safer, more durable and get the job done faster. A good jack will be constructed of high quality materials and achieve max lifting height in a few pumps. Be sure to read the reviews of the tools before you buy.
Although racing jacks are safer and stronger than your average widow maker, they should not be trusted to hold up the car on their own. You should always have a set of jack stands on hand while working on the car. Jack stands are a safe way to support the car while you work on it, and provide a back up to the jack itself. Be sure to invest is a quality set of jack stands while purchasing your racing jack. (This is not really a suggestion, do it.)
Hand tools are easily the most important purchase you can make for your garage. A good set will have all the sockets and tools needed to get the work done. In fact most of the jobs you may have to do on the car can be done with a set like the one pictured above. It is important to invest in a larger, more expensive set, because they typically come with the full range of sockets. This is important when the car is an Audi (Because the thought of using the same size bolt more than twice terrified German engineers) Hand tools can also often stand in for specialized tools, making them all the more useful. A good mechanics set wont skip sizes, this is a good way to determine the worth of a kit.
A good socket set is a must have for working on the car, be sure to look for a complete set when buying. It is also a good idea to invest in a torque wrench, because getting the right torque can mean the difference between a broken bolt and a safe one. It is also good to have several drives, because space is always an issue while working on the car. The smaller ¼ drives can get into places the standard 3/8th drive can’t reach. We have also found that having a good set of Torx bits (Socket ready) and Hex bits (Also socket ready) is must for our cars. We also recommend a set of open ended sockets to handle extra-long bolts and suspension components. The open ended sockets as well as the special bits can be seen below.
For now that should get you started, we will look at power and air tools later on this year. You may find that for certain jobs you will need to purchase special tools or bits. This is par for the course, but once you have the tool, you will never need it again. Jobs like brakes and even transmission maintenance can require these special bits. Our advice, look for the right tools before you start, follow the DIYs out there and check your own parts. Don’t leave yourself waiting for a tool to come in, check out what you may need well before you start wrenching!