Having the proper supplies and equipment is very important for automobile repair. Whether stocking a professional car shop, or selecting equipment for home repairs, it is important to select the right tools for maintenance. Knowing some common terms related to these supplies can be helpful for selecting and buying tools.
Spring Compressor - These tools are sometimes used when working on an automobile's suspension. The coil springs are under extreme pressure, and can pose a major safety hazard if removed without the aid of a spring compressor.
Two-Jaw Puller - A tool used to gain strength when removing parts. A three jaw puller can be used for particularly difficult removals.
Torque Wrench - A wrench which allows the user to know the exact degree to which a bolt has been tightened. These can be used for a wide range of applications, from tightening the lug nuts on a tire to resealing the radiator after a flush.
Breaker Bar - A means of gaining leverage when unscrewing bolts.
Ratchet Extension - A tool used to access bolts which are otherwise difficult or impossible to reach. These tools are especially useful for shops which work on a wide range of car makes and models.
Oil Filter Wrench - A specially designed wrench for loosening the oil filter. Once loosened, it can be fully removed by hand.
Penetrating Oil - A substance that can be used for lubrication. It can be used to work through corrosion or other build-up that prevents the removal of nuts, bolts, or other components.
Body Putty - A supply used when painting a car. The putty is used to fill in any dents or dings in the body of the car prior to painting. Attention and care to these details can ensure a higher quality paint job.
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Automobile repair and service equipment and supply shops exist locally in all regions and areas. They provide maintenance and repair services to drivers, and provide assistance after accidents.
These shops may be either generalist or specialist. For example, some shops only deal with tires. Others may specialize in collision repair and restoration for body and frame work. While others may offer custom paintwork and detailing, or offer restoration for classic vehicles. Brakes, suspension, and transmission also tend to be areas of specialty. Mechanics are able restore almost and part of a vehicle to its original condition.
Other shops may specialize in a specific make of vehicle. This can make it easier to have all the required parts on hand. Different types of cars have different bumpers, radiators and mufflers. In some cases, manufacturers attempt to limit maintenance and repairs to their approved dealers and may not sell required parts and supplies to others. However, there is a tendency for independent shops to be somewhat cheaper. Some shops may also specialize in a particular type of vehicle, such as pick up trucks, or in classic and vintage automobiles.
Regardless, however, these shops have the equipment and supplies needed for difficult repairs that a driver cannot do at home. They may also handle emission testing and other legally required car maintenance services.
Although some drivers are able to do most of their auto care themselves, others may find themselves visiting a shop regularly. A good mechanic will offer not just repair services, but advice. Mechanics are able to do complex repairs, as well as simple service requirements like tire rotations, replacements and changes.