Q: If I want to do most maintenance / fix most problems myself, what tools should I buy?

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I just recently learned how to change my own oil. I've also seen brakes and rotors being changed, etc. I know my car needs a new serpentine belt, and I've seen videos on how that can be done.

All of that is wear and tear or typical maintenance that can be done with a certain amount of tools. I think other stuff fits into that category, like transmission services or gasket replacements.

There's also stuff you really need a special machine for, like balancing tires, which really isn't feasible to buy the machine for yourself.

What I'm wondering is... of the stuff that I can do, is there a general toolset out there that can do most of these things? Or maybe a general toolset + a few additional tools that should cover most of what I can do?


My car has 161000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

When it comes to servicing vehicles there are going to be many types of tools that will be needed. If you want to start servicing your own vehicle there is not any one mechanics tool set out there that will cover anything you want to do. I started with my basic hand tools in both american and metric sized. I then got basis tools to remove oil filters and fuel filters as I needed them. As the years went by and I gained experience and made some money I purchased more and more tools to allow me to do more and more work. I would recommend first identifying the work you want to do and then investigate to see what tools are needed and get the tools before starting the work. No matter what you purchase you will always find a tool that would of made the job easier to do. If you want to start off with a 1000 piece tool set that will come with basic wrenches and sockets to do a lot of jobs and get special tools like oil filter wrench or fan belt tools as needed. Just remember to not start a job unless you have the correct tools and parts needed to do the job.

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