Tools to Have


There are a few tools that you can get that will save you quite a bit of money, hassle, and pain in the long run, and can be useful regardless of what modifications you do.

Jack Stands

These are critical. Jacks, even the OEM scissor jack, will eventually fail. It's not a matter of IF, but of WHEN. And it won't fail sitting in the garage, shed, or closet, it will fail with a car sitting on it. Will you be under it when it happens? Get a pair of jack stands and save your life, or that of a friend or family member who is assisting you.

Wheel chocks can be just as valuable, and for the same reasons. You don't want the car rolling forward off of the jack stand

Don't be another one of these:
Estates man crushed, killed while working on car in driveway
Danielsville man killed working under car in yard
Coroner: Man crushed to death by car while changing oil

ODB2 Reader

There are many options here. You can find readers that will simply pull CEL codes for as little as $30. The price increases from there as you add features, such as code lookup, live data, logging or recording the data, graphical charting, etc... The most expensive consumer options for just reading don't get above about $150.

One popular option is getting a bluetooth ODB2 adapter and pairing it to a smartphone or tablet, and downloading an appropriate ODB2 App. Torque is by far the best for Android, and while you can get most of the basic functionality out of the free version, the $5 charge for the paid version is very very much worth it. The adapter options are numerous, but in general the cheaper they are the lower their lifespan will be, and perhaps some lower data transfer rates. Additionally, there are some eBay and Amazon sellers which include a CD with malware on it. Read up on the seller you are about to buy from to be sure you don't buy one from a company that has no problem with trying to steal your information. The quality of their adapters is probably very much subpar.

Metric 3/8ths drive socket set and ratchet

This is pretty much a "must have". With wrenches and sockets of sizes 10mm, 12mm, 14mm, and 17mm, you can disassemble and reassemble ALMOST the entire car. There are a few 19mm, 21mm, 23mm, and 24mm nuts and bolts, several #2 phillips screws, a few specialty tool items, and a pair of 8mm bolts, but nearly every nut and bolt on the car is one of the basic 4 (10, 12, 14, and 17). I personally know this having done plenty of work on my own 8 (and several egine replacements on my Miata, which shares lots of the same hardware), and assisted with the complete down-to-frame disassembly of another member's 8.

3/8ths drive is enough strength and length for most of it, although a varying range of extensions, a larger breaker bar ([I]probably 1/2 drive[/I]), and a torque wrench will make most projects much easier.

Multimeter

A cheap multimeter from an electronics store can tell you an incredible amount of information about your electrical system. It's cheap and simple to use. If you don't know how to use one, take an hour out of your day to buy one and educate yourself on how to use it.