Car Care: Eight handy items to keep in the garage
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1. Tyre inflator
Getting in and around the garage might sometimes be a bit of a task, never mind finding room to change a tyre. A small electric compressor will usually pump enough air in the tyre to allow the car to be backed out of the garage to carry out a repair or replacement without too much fuss.
2. Spare oil and water bottle
Checking oil between services is essential for maintaining any vehicle, especially when your car is coming of age. Keeping a 1-litre bottle of the correct engine oil for topping up is recommended. Visit your nearest automotive parts supplier who will be able to recommend the correct oil for your vehicle. A water bottle is also handy for topping up the windscreen washer bottle or cooling system reservoir.
You don’t want to be that person who thinks they have great aim and steady hands, only to spill oil all over the engine. There are so many handy uses for a funnel it might be worth keeping a couple in the shed, one for oils and one for water-based products.
When it comes to the basics, it’s good to have a screwdriver and spanner set as a minimum. This will allow you to achieve a simple task of tightening a screw or changing a bulb. A small general-purpose tool kit usually contains the tools that will suit most applications.
5. Battery charger
If you store a vehicle for a long period of time or are lucky enough to own a boat, a battery charger is a must-have. This can be used to maintain charge or top up the battery before setting off on your next adventure. If the battery has decided to give up, the charger should supply enough power to start the car and get you to a workshop. Alternatively, call AA Roadservice which is there to get you out of a tricky situation. You can purchase quality battery chargers from most automotive parts suppliers. Chargers differ in size and function, so be sure to buy the right one for your needs.
Keep a torch in an easy-to-find location in case of a power cut, or if you need closer inspection of that hard-to-reach place in your car.
7. Lubricant spray
If you hate cracks and squeaks, keep a can in the garage to lubricate noisy door straps or stiff bonnet catch mechanisms. It also acts as a water dispersant to help dry out components accidently covered in water. Quality products include CRC 5.56 or WD-40 which you can find in hardware or automotive parts stores.
Keeping a few old rags around is a must for any garage. Mopping up oil spills on the engine, garage floor, cleaning spills inside the car, or cleaning the car interior — you can never have too many rags.