Close your eyes and picture a mechanic’s garage.
Now hone in on the tools.
Are you seeing them? Lots and lots and lots of tools.
How do they know which to use?
Well, they’re professionals and have likely received education, training and certifications that you have not.
For example, you already know you’re saving a ton of money buying your car part from Tear-A-Part. But, you might be a little unsure what tools you need to bring.
After all, there are tons of tools on the market for taking parts off cars… And for putting them back on again.
Are you supposed to bring your entire tool collection on-site, just in case? Won’t all those tools get heavy to lug around?
Don’t worry. There are several strategies to find out what tools you should bring.
With just a bit of planning before you head to Tear-A-Part to pick your part, you’ll have exactly what you need without extra tools weighing you down.
Here are five different strategies to learn what tools you should pack. Apply them to arrive fully prepared to pull your part.
1. Ask Your Mechanic
Mechanics are great resources! A good portion of their job revolves around remioving car parts.
If you’ve developed a good relationship with a local mechanic, or have a wrenching friend, you can ask him what tools to bring. Be sure to have the part name, and your make and model information handy.
Not every local mechanic will generously share information though. If you’ve reached a stumbling block, there are also online Ask a Mechanic websites.
There are usually small fees associated with using these sites. Take time to read all the fine print before you begin, and always ensure you’re comfortable with the terms.
But before you shell out extra money, give one of these other methods a try. Fair warning: They require a bit more work than just asking someone.
2. Watch YouTube Videos
YouTube videos are helpful, especially for visual learners!
Once you’re on the YouTube site, you’ll need to do a basic search to find the information you need.
Search for “How to remove” followed by the specific part you’re looking for. To narrow the results down even more, add in the type of car you’re working on.
If you need brake calipers for a 2002 Chevy Suburban, your search query would read, “How to remove brake calipers from a 2002 Chevy Suburban.”
You might find exactly what you’re looking for.Unfortunately, not every make, model and year will be showcased by video.
The good news is that there’s a lot of overlap in the car world. Some manufacturers use the exact same parts across multiple makes and models. And for several years.
For instance, if you find a video for a 2000 Suburban, there’s probably not much that’s changed. It’d still give you a great starting point for knowing what tools to bring.
3. Web Research
If you can’t find a YouTube video, or if you’d rather read the information, web research can help. There are plenty of websites devoted to car repair.
To get started, just enter the same search parameters that you did for YouTube.
You should see plenty of results to choose from, though not all of them will be entirely useful. You’ll need to do some sifting.
You can also search car forums. Online forums are often full of wisdom from experienced owners and mechanics.
Find one for your car by searching for “Your car make and model, online forum.”
Once you find a forum, see if there’s a search bar. Then, type in the part that you want to remove.
4. DIY Car Repair Books
Mechanics and computers aren’t the only way to learn which tools to bring. You can find this information in regular ol’ books as well.
Chilton and Haynes are two popular publishers of these DIY car repair manuals. These books detail what tools you need to perform many repairs on a specific vehicle.
Some libraries carry these books. If yours doesn’t, it may be worth purchasing a copy of your own via Amazon. Doing your own car repairs will save a lot of money, especially when you buy your parts from Tear-A-Part. Using us will help you recoup your book investment!
5. Remove the Part from Your Own Car First
If you take the part off your car before heading over to Tear-A-Part, you’ll already know what tools you need. I.e. You might not want to pack an entire socket set if you only need two sizes.
This hands-on experience will also let you know if you need to bring along a helper. Some parts require two people to remove.
Basic Tools to Bring
If all else fails, here’s a list of helpful tools and items to bring along. They may not remove every part on the lot, but they’ll knock out many of them.
- A ratchet and socket set (metric or standard based on your car make and model)
- A rubber mallet to help knock lose stuck parts
- A hammer
- A can of spray penetrant (Liquid Wrench) for rust
- A pry bar
- Ziploc bags and a marker to keep track of small parts, screws or bolts
- A flashlight for seeing into dark spaces
- Wire cutters
- Needle nose pliers
- Locking pliers
Coming prepared makes all the difference. You’ll remove your part on your first visit, and get back to repairing your car ASAP.
If you discover you’ve forgotten a tool, you can just call your first visit practice or a recon mission. Then you can go get what you need and make another trip over. We’ll be right here waiting for you; ready to save you money when you come back again.
Click here to contact us and find out if we have the part you’re looking for.