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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 01-24-2016, 02:33 PM   #1
unchained
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Car Toolkit

Hi all,

I'm new to the home repair scene and was wanting to make a toolkit to keep with my car aside from the one in the trunk lid. I'm a little overwhelmed with the sheer number of tools and sizes, brands, all that so I wanted to poll you guys and see what you all recommend as must-have tools to keep with these cars should anything happen on the road or just as the essential kit for doing most repairs with.

I'm not stranger to repair in general but due to apartment life I only have one of those $20 all-in-ones that Walmart sells and it isn't the best quality to begin with.

So, what say you? What's required, what's good to have, and what's just plain unnecessary (except for those jobs that happen once in a blue moon but, you're glad to have it when it happens)?
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Old 01-24-2016, 07:02 PM   #2
EXNoodle
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I prefer to purchase high quality used tools. A standard metric set is a good start. After there, I would suggest waiting for a repair/project, and getting the tools you need as you perform the repair/project.

The DIY's here do cover the tools you need, which is very helpful. I always pick up used quality tools as I need them from Craigslist or on here.

Many brands to choose from certainly, I have a Craftsman set that I started with 16 years ago, and it still works well. Certainly Snap-On or similar is great, but I always felt I would not use it enough for that high quality level.
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Old 01-25-2016, 07:43 AM   #3
markusmarkus
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Just to add a bit. Cheap tools are never a bargain. They will fail you when you need it most. Also, they can damage the car's hardware as they aren't made to proper tolerances, and the tools' metal isn't up to snuff. Buy Craftsman when it's on sale. As noted, the best deal is to buy kits of tools such as a kit containing sockets, ratchets and wrenches.
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Old 02-04-2016, 09:38 PM   #4
iowna330xi
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Craftsman is a great starter set of you're not working on cars 24/7. Most of their hand tools have lifetime warranty and I've replaced tools without questions asked. Those starter 50 pc or even more are a huge help. They even come in carrying cases which will help transportation

The most helpful "tool" I have is a pipe. I can't even begin to tell you how many stuck bolts I've loosened with the help of a pipe. They work wonders

Last edited by iowna330xi; 02-04-2016 at 09:39 PM.
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Old 02-05-2016, 12:33 AM   #5
swordsman11868
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Good question. I'm sure everyone has their own personal take on this topic.

Here's mine:

First and foremost keep your maintenance up to date. No one wants to have to make a cross country road trip with a leaky VCG, or a failing fuel pump, or a airbag/check engine light on.

But let's say I had to drive 1500 miles tomorrow morning. What would I like to have in the trunk? Here's my list:


Tires:
12 v Tire air pump
A can of fix a flat
A good quality air pressure gage.

Emergency maintenance:
1 qt of M1 0w-40 oil.
Spare serpentine and A/C belts
Fan nut removal wrench - since I have an automatic.
A set of metric sockets in 3/8" drive.
Small wire cutters and needle nose pliers
A set of torx bits - mainly a T25 and a T30
A gallon of water and a gallon of BMW coolant since you can't get it at AutoZone.

LED headlamp
Road flares - cuz you should never underestimate the ability to make fire.
Blue nitrile gloves and mechanix gloves.
An OBD scanner
An air bag light scanner/reset tool
Bentley manual

Misc - cuz you never know:
Duct tape
Roll of plastic wrap or tarp.

Hope that's not too much but actually I carry most of that in my trunk on a daily basis. The BMW tools in the trunk are more or less useless for actually working on the car - except for the screwdrivers and lug wrench.
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Old 02-05-2016, 12:49 AM   #6
Mflara20
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That's a pretty good car tool kit.
I usually just check my spare tire air pressure.
Air pressure gage
Pliers
Lamp
Coolant
Oil
OBD app
And maintenance up to date

I'm getting a 12v air pump
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Old 02-05-2016, 01:32 PM   #7
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I keep a box of those little noodles for "temporary" repairing a flat. Fix-a-flat makes a mess inside the tire. The tire shop will likely charge you extra to clean it out when you get there. It will damage tire pressure monitors if you car has them.

Putting a noodle in a tire is very easy and you don't need to take the wheel out either (you might need to raise the car, though). And come on, what are the chances of having two flats in a 1500mile trip? because for the first one you just use your spare!

As for the belts. If I am afraid enough to carry one I should have the currently installed belt changed anyway.
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Old 02-06-2016, 01:58 PM   #8
swordsman11868
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gus-CO View Post
I keep a box of those little noodles for "temporary" repairing a flat. Fix-a-flat makes a mess inside the tire. The tire shop will likely charge you extra to clean it out when you get there. It will damage tire pressure monitors if you car has them.

Putting a noodle in a tire is very easy and you don't need to take the wheel out either (you might need to raise the car, though). And come on, what are the chances of having two flats in a 1500mile trip? because for the first one you just use your spare!

As for the belts. If I am afraid enough to carry one I should have the currently installed belt changed anyway.
Thanks for the info! I'll add some noodles to my kit.
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Old 02-14-2016, 06:58 PM   #9
unchained
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Thank you so much everyone! I really appreciate the input and I'll get working on picking up a few of these at a time.
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