- in Accessories
Unanticipated events like a flat tire or a breakdown due to the whims of the weather can render you incapacitated on the road. Having a tool kit in your car can come in handy to help you sort out your car trouble. In case of any emergency on the road, a well-equipped tool kit can easily determine whether you get to move on quickly after a car problem or not. There is a variety of tools, each with its specific use, which can help you sort out ordinary car trouble, or do some emergency repairs on your car. Many sophisticated automotive tools exist to help in the diagnosis of complex car problems.
Basic tools to have in your car trunk
One of the most important things you will ever have is the vehicle’s manual. This is the only comprehensive guide to your car. Whenever your tire pressure is low and you are not near a gas station, it is advised that you have a tire inflator that can plug the leak before you can get the tire fixed. A dead battery may require you to jump-start your car, making jumper cables a necessary package. When buying, get four gauge copper wired cables with multiple strands. Crimped on the ends of the cable should be copper alligator clips. Solders should be avoided for high current because of melting. The cables should be at least twelve inches long, with the ideal length being 16 inches. Another must-have is a jack and a tire iron. You cannot change a car tire without these two. The jack is used to lift the car up while the tire iron loosens the bolts of the wheel. Ensure that the rod that comes along with the jack accompanies it too. A tire pressure gauge is useful when checking the pressure in your car tire. Screwdrivers come in handy when you want to open up places with screws. You can equip yourself with different types of wrenches that serve different purposes. An oil filter wrench is particularly useful when changing the oil in your car. An open wrench, otherwise known as a spanner, is the most important of all wrenches to have in your vehicle. They come in different sizes to open different kinds of bolts, and therefore, it is a good idea to have a couple of different sizes in your tool set. A torque wrench will help you tighten those bolts to the appropriate point. Pliers can be particularly useful when the appropriate tool is nowhere in sight. Penetrants are another must-have that can help in loosening connections that are either rusty or corroded. You only need to soak your connection in it and it will remove all the rust.
Other important tools
A flashlight would really come in handy especially when you have a breakdown at night. It will also help you. Fire extinguishers would be particularly useful in the event that the car catches fire. There are different classes of fire extinguishers for different types of fire. Before you use the fire extinguisher on your car, make sure that it is the right type lest you worsen the situation. A reasonably sized extinguisher that is not too big or too small would be good enough to serve the purpose. Signaling devices like flares can be particularly useful when alerting oncoming traffic at night. They can also be used during emergencies when sending signals of distress. However, they should be handled with utmost precaution, as they are flammable. An alternative for flares is to use reflective safety triangles. They are safer, take up little space and are reusable.
Nowadays, most mechanics and automotive repair merchants have automotive scan tools to scan through a car’s computerized system in order to check for faults, test systems and reprogram a car’s control modules. Modernity has seen the advent of car systems becoming self-regulatory for optimum performance. An automotive scanner is a modern day diagnostics tool that helps with the identification of car issues that need to be rectified. They range from hand-held devices that read codes to sophisticated computers with programming functions. Most scanners are Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC) readers, Data Link Connector (DLC) bi-directional or On Board Diagnostic (OBD). Diagnostic computers vary between readers you can plug in, hand-held devices and computers with software that can be used to diagnose hindrances in car performance. Some devices are capable of troubleshooting the problems and offer possible solutions such as suggested by garage chiefs.
Technological advancements in car systems have led to the addition of extra features like sensors and car monitors to keep cars in check. The On Board Diagnostics (II) standards were developed in 1996 as a universal system for car diagnostics mechanics. This enabled a single system to diagnose car system issues across different car makes and models. With time, cheaper diagnostic tools have been developed with the quality and functions of each varying proportionately with the price. These automotive scanners have been designed to decipher trouble codes with the simplest of them being able to do this. More complex tools are able to give detailed information regarding the issues encountered in vehicle transmission, vehicle exhaust, radio and dash dials.
Bi-directional scanners are not only able to establish issues but are also able to communicate with the vehicle. They are able to trigger the car to switch on the car lights, open the car trunk and even check vehicle gauges. The servicing of modern vehicles requires this for the mechanic to disengage systems for rectification. If you need a detailed diagnostic check, then it is in order to make sure you use the diagnostic tool that is capable of the functions you expect it to perform. Some high-end scanners are capable of capturing data on diagnostics for comprehensive interpretation. This can come in handy to diagnose problems that happen occasionally when the mechanic is not around. Updates made to car systems would require a corresponding update in the diagnostic systems being used. Ensure that whatever system you are using, it is possible to update it to cater for the latest car systems.