You’re about to be Inspected, Again! Are you ready? The top 25 things you need to get Garage Ready in a hurry (Part 2 -The Dirty dozen)

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Safety Glasses

Safety Glasses

Alright DIYs, we’re still preparing you to be Garage Ready. Because you don’t need a large budget, you can take your time and equip your garage in the best possible way. Let’s jump right in

OK DIY mechanics, in part one of this two part issue, we covered the essentials tools needed to get yourself off to a great start in getting Garage Ready. If you missed part one, you can find it here. As mentioned in last weeks issue, be sure to buy the best tools and gear that you can afford. You get what you pay for. There is also some very important information regarding jack stands in the last issue. Make sure you read it! Your life may depend on it! Safety always comes first.

Let’s get started on the next 12 items on the list, starting with #14.

 Lighting (overhead, flashlight, headband light)-You definitely need adequate lighting when working on your vehicle. I recommend a good overhead light for general lighting. You can pick up a fluorescent shop light from your local hardware store. Also pick up a couple of good flashlights, one large and one small. I recommend one of the newer types that use LED bulbs. They are brighter and use a lot less power, therefore you won’t go through so many batteries. Another very useful type of lighting is the headband light. This type of light is very similar to the ones that miners use and basically shines the light wherever you happen to look.

Telescoping magnet- This type of tool is worth its weight in gold. It is basically a small, strong magnet attached to a telescoping wand. It basically looks like a radio antenna. You will use this to pick up nuts and bolts that fall into hard-to-reach places. You will drop them and this tool will rescue you. If only they had one to pick up rubber O-rings…

Safety glasses or goggles-Protective eyewear is very important. It doesn’t matter what style you choose, just make sure that you have them. There aren’t too many things worse than working under a vehicle and having dirt and grime drop into your eye. They will also protect you from flying objects such as tools and tiny car parts.

Multipurpose lubricant- This is used when you need to loosen stubborn or seized nuts and bolts. It penetrates metal to metal contact. It also stops squeaks and drives out moisture. A common brand is WD-40 but you can also of course find it under other names.

Anti-seize lubricant- This is used on the threads of screws and bolts to prevent the metal parts from seizing. This will allow an installed screw or bolt to be easily removed later. This will save you a lot of time and effort while performing maintenance on commonly replaced parts.

 Brake parts cleaner-Brakes parts cleaner is not only used to clean brake parts as its name suggests, is used to clean almost anything with automotive grease and grime on it. It evaporates very fast and I am amazed almost every time I use it.

Oil drain pan-You will use this to catch dirty oil when you’re performing an oil change. I recommend the type that not only catches the oil, but you can also use it to transport the oil when you have to dispose of it. Make sure that the capacity of the oil drain pan is at least twice the amount of the oil in your vehicle. That way, you can change the oil more than once or for more than one vehicle before taking the oil in for disposal.

Gloves- I recommend that you have 2 types of gloves on hand. The first type is mechanics gloves. They are heavy-duty and typically have rubber grips on the fingers and palm. Purchase the best that you can afford so that they will last. The next type are latex gloves. They are thin enough so that you keep your dexterity and they help to keep your hands clean. Pick up a box of the heavier gauge type and stay away from the very thin ones. The thin ones are easily pierced and ripped and you will go through a lot of them.

Coveralls- Now this one is optional, but do you really want to mess up your clothes? You are going to get dirty, that’s for sure. Why not have clothes that are designated for that purpose. Coveralls will help you get into the mechanic’s mindset and it will keep your mind off of trying to stay clean and onto the task at hand.

Hand Cleaner – You need a good strong hand cleaner to remove all that dirt and grime. You have lots of different types of hand cleaner, but my favorite is the paste type. It comes in a little plastic or metal can and you rub it on your hands without using water. Once you rub it all over your hands and scrub away the dirt and grime, you simply wash it off with warm water and soap. It’s quite amazing. Don’t forget to get the dirt and grease out of your fingernails.

Shop rags- Pick a bag of shop rags. They are typically the size of wash cloths and are great at wiping and picking up dirt and oil. They are inexpensive and make sure you have plenty of on hand before making any repairs. Note: Make sure that you do not wash these rags with any other garments because they will bleed and you could end up with pink underwear.

Mechanics toolbox- Last, but certainly not least, is a good toolbox. They come in many different sizes, shapes, and colors. You can spend a little or a lot. The difference between the cheap ones in the expensive ones comes down to 2 things. The first one is the thickness of the metal that toolbox is made of. The thicker the metal, the stronger and higher the weight limit of the toolbox. The second thing is the hardware for the toolbox. The slides, rollers, and handles make a big difference in the quality of the toolbox. Make sure that the one that you choose allows room for growth as you buy more and more tools.

Here’s a quick checklist review for the next 12 items on the list:
14. Lighting
15. Telescoping magnet
16. Safety glasses or goggles
17. Multipurpose lubricant
18. Anti-seize lubricant
19. Brake parts cleaner
20. Oil drain pan
21. Gloves
22. Coveralls
23. Hand Cleaner
24. Shop rags
25. Mechanics toolbox

It can not be stated too much. Buy the best tools and gear you can afford. You will save some green in the long run. Once you’ve accumulated all the items on the list, you’ll be well equipped to repair many things on your vehicle(s). Shop around. Browse the web to do cost comparisons and to get more details on what’s available in the marketplace.

Go out there and get some cool tools! You can complete any job with the correct tools. The right tools make the difference between an easy repair(“Wow that was easy!”) and a difficult one (“Oy vey, what a pain in the rear!”).

You still here? Why? Get out there.



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