Socket and ratchet set
Phillips and flat head screwdrivers
Jack (usually included with your car)
There's no real secret to picking out tools, but they need to have a good grip. Buy tools with hefty handles.
Serpentine Belt: The serpentine belt is the main drive belt in new vehicles. It wraps around several of your cars components instead of individual systems.
Pulleys: These are the small wheels with grooved rims the belt wraps around. When force is exerted, they spin, giving power to the systems they're attached to.
Tensioner pulley: A tensioner helps the pulleys work properly by allowing you to adjust the tightness of the belt in one place. Belts often stretch over use, so this keeps the system tight so belts don't fall off.
Tools you need: Ratchet, sockets, wrenches, screwdriver
Battery: The battery is usually a large black box found near the front of a vehicle that supplies the initial power to the alternator. It is connected to your car with positive and negative terminals.
Multimeter: To test and replace a battery or alternator, you'll want a digital multimeter. A multimeter measures electrical properties like current and resistance. You'll use this to test your battery and your alternator to figure out which is causing the problems you're experiencing.
Accessories: Accessories refers to all your electronically powered parts in your car. These might include your stereo, power windows, power locks, or clock.
Tools you need: Wrenches, socket set, multimeter, screwdriver
Rotor: The rotor is the main disc part of your brake system that the pads clamp onto. It's connected to the wheel and when the pads hit it, the car slows down. The pads are held on the rotor by calipers.
Calipers: The calipers are the part of your brakes that push the brake pads against the rotor, which causes the car to slow down. The calipers are usually located at the top of the rotor, like bicycle brakes.
Tools you need: jack, torque wrench and ratchets, tire iron, c-clamp
Water Pump: The water pump acts as the heart of your coolant system and pumps the antifreeze to and from the engine and the radiator. Like the radiator, it has hoses that can become brittle and cracked over time.
Hoses: While mostly self-explanatory, the hoses in the coolant system are what transfer the antifreeze between the radiator, engine, and water pump. These are made of rubber and often crack over time. They are usually attached with spring clamps or worm gears.
Tools you need: wrench, pliers
Replace the Air Filter: The air filter is the part of the car that keeps dirt and particles from outside from getting into the engine when the engine sucks in air. It's incredibly important to your vehicles operation and a dirty filter can affect gas mileage and engine performance. There are few replacements on your car that are this simple. You need to unscrew a plastic lid, usually on the side of your engine, then take out the old filter, put the new one in, then screw the lid back on.
Check and Replace Spark Plugs and Wires: The spark plug is the part of your engine that ignites the gas and the air that cause combustion. When spark plugs fail, your gas mileage goes down, you may have trouble starting the car, a rough idle, or you might fail an emissions test.
Replace Distributor Cap and Rotor: The main job of the distributor cap is to distribute voltage from a coil to the correct cylinder. It essentially makes it possible for ignition to happen, which ensures the car starts. It's an easy replacement you'll do alongside replacing the spark plugs.
Oil Change: You have likely heard that you need to change your oil every 3,000-7,000 miles, but it's also good to do it when you do your tune-up. Not changing your oil can lead to contamination and will begin to affect your engine's performance. The problem is that it's often hard to properly dispose of the oil, so check online to make sure you have a disposal area near you, otherwise it may be cheaper to do it at a shop.
How to perform a basic engine tune-up (step-by-step guide).
Do you do your own car repairs? Share your tips and favorite guides in the comments section.skymale2013 share this article 2013.6.13