If you’re planning to become an amateur auto repair enthusiast, your first order of business should be filling your toolbox. Trying to do work without the right tool is an exercise in futility. At best, it is a life filled with borrowing tools from your neighbors, a way of life that has never succeeded in making someone very popular. Not to mention the fact that it’s simply nice to have your own tools around. Yes, it can be expensive to build a good collection. But if you can determine the type of work you’re likely to perform, you can dispense with buying tools you’ll never use. Here are some tips on filling that toolbox.
Use the Big Chains
You’ll save yourself a lot of hassle by sticking to the major auto repair parts stores. If you have a really good local place you like to use, by all means support them. But when you get into shopping here and there for a deal, buying off the internet, and cruising yard sales, it’s going to make things a lot more difficult. There’s also a school of thought that says you should stick to recognized brands. This isn’t true in a lot of fields, but it’s probably good advice when it comes to tools.
Watch for Sales
Most of the big auto repair outlets will hold sales every now and then. If you can hold off on your purchases until these sales come around, you can save a lot of money. It’s not a strategy meant for the impatient and it won’t work if you need a tool tomorrow, but it’s a good idea when it comes to filling holes in your collection.
Find Helpful Salespeople
If you can forge a relationship with a friendly and knowledgeable salesperson, you’ll find that relationship to be among the most valuable things in your life. He will be able to guide you to the right tools, make recommendations, and may even have some tips on doing the work itself. Don’t underestimate the power of having friends in the right places.
You Don’t Need It
This is a good mantra to keep in the back of your mind. Once you start down the road of DIY auto repair, you may be susceptible to gear-mania. This is not unique to this field of work, but it can be a powerful temptress. Resist, unless you have a bank account that can handle the damage. Many of these tools are expensive and many won’t be necessary. Try to stay focused on buying the tools you’re actually going to use.