It starts small, with maybe a screwdriver. Before you know it, your garage or tool shed is filled to the ceiling with specialty tools and parts. Once you have all your protective equipment and the basic tools to use on your vehicle, ensure you have a full set of maintenance tools that help you work on your car safely and more comfortably.
To start, ask yourself what would make your life easier as a DIYer.
When you’re a DIYer, you need to be able to quickly find the tool you need when you need it. Unfortunately, the one tool you need can get buried beneath your growing collection of tools, gadgets and supplies or lost behind a work table, unless you take the time to get organized.
Maybe you want to use custom-installed cabinets in your garage, or you could store your tools on sturdy but inexpensive shelving. A toolbox is also essential. It needs to be easily movable from where you stash it to where you’re working to truly be helpful. When you get to the stage where your toolbox is overflowing, consider investing in a multi-drawer unit with wheels to roll around your garage.
If you’re somewhere in between, consider a tool trolley, which is a tool tray mounted under a low-level cushioned seat. It’s perfect for working on the lower half of your vehicle (but not underneath it). Load up the tools you need from your tool cabinet or shelves, roll them with you and everything you need is within easy reach, even if you move around to the other side of the car.
Tools for Greater Accessibility
Some jobs require you to reach into parts of the vehicle that are tricky to access, putting you into positions that are hard on your back. For this, you’ll need a creeper, or maybe even more than one:
- An engine creeper is a footstool that leads up to a board that you can lie on, positioning you directly over whatever part of the engine bay you need to work on.
- A creeper with a parts tray lets you slide under your car easily, cushions you from the hard garage floor and keeps your tools in easy reach.
- An interior creeper is ideal for working on your vehicle’s interior. Picture an ironing board with only back legs and an adjustable height. The legs stay out of the car, and the supporting, padded board can be set for floor level or seat level.
Everything is easier with the right tools, especially ones that help you to stay comfortable and safe when working on your vehicle. Using the proper maintenance tools for the job can help you make full use of your growing DIY skills.
Check out all the tool storage products available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on DIY vehicle maintenance, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.
Photo courtesy of Unsplash.
Mike Hagerty is an automotive journalist whose work has been featured on radio, TV, in print and online since 1997. He's the Publisher and Editor of MikeHagertyCars.com, and contributes car reviews to the Los Altos Town Crier and losaltosonline.com. Previous outlets have included KFBK and KFBK.com in Sacramento, California, the ABC television affiliates and Hearst-Argyle and Emmis radio stations in Phoenix, Arizona; AAA magazines for Arizona, Oklahoma, Northwest Ohio, South Dakota and the Mountain West and BBCCars.com.