I thought I was done writing about tools, but there is just one last part I want to cover which are the tools I possess to maintain vehicles. I am pretty sure most of you probably already have all of them, but just in case there is a new vehicle owner, it might help. Like always, I wish I had more tools, but greed is unlimited. So lets start with one of the basic tool that should be in the toolkit which is a tire inflator and tire pressure gauge. The tire inflator that I own, does not have an auto cut-off feature. So I have to manually check the pressure as I am pumping. The auto cut-off pumps were expensive back when I purchased mine, but these days you can get them for cheap and I would happily buy it. I have a tire pressure gauge to quickly check pressure in all tires before I go on a long drive.
Then I have jumper cables to jump start the car if the battery is down and I have a friend’s car nearby. Luckily this has never happened so far to us in India, but a couple of my neighbors used it to try and jump start their cars. Then I have a vehicle dual USB charger with a micro USB cable and a USB-C type cable so I can charge two different kinds of phones. Most of our phones are now on USB-C except for an old media phone which we carry to listen to our music collection.
To wash the car we use a pressure wash pump. Generally you could wash the car with water and a cloth, but I prefer this method for two reasons. One, mud that gets stuck under the car, on the tires and the side walls are hard to remove by hand. Two, the dust on the car can potentially scratch the surface of the car if we don’t take proper care when cleaning with a cloth. The pressure wash does the job quickly and safely. Moreover, we use the same pressure pump to clean our water tank and sump. So it serves dual purpose. I would like to point out that we haven’t done any of this to our old car. Started off with the new one.
After washing the car, we sometimes give it a shampoo wash too. Usually happens once a month or so depending on how much we traveled. The pressure pump has an attachment to dispense shampoo, but we do it manually with cloth. Then the car gets another wash and we wipe off the water with a thick microfiber cloth. It is a couple of hours job. Finally once every 3 months, after the initial wash, shampoo, another wash and dry cycle, we wax the car and that takes another additional couple of hours. Good exercise for hands and shoulders :).
Remember I told you about shampooing the car, drying and waxing? We go with different GSM (grams per square meter) microfibers to get the job done. For drying we use a thicker 800 GSM one and for shampoo and wax we use a thinner 340 GSM one.
That concludes all the tools I have in addition to what comes with the car. One thing I think I might purchase in the future would be a tubeless tire repair kit. And they are quite cheap too. But of course you have to know how to repair the tire and you must have a tire inflator with you, otherwise you are in trouble. The previous car that I owned had tube tires, so repairing them is difficult. The new one has tubeless tires and they are so much safer. We already had a puncture in one of our rides. A big nail went straight into the left side rear tire but we did not know at all. The car handled fine and we did not notice the tire being a little squished until 2 days after the trip!
My previous car would drag me in one direction letting me know of the problem :). I had to change the tires with spare tire on the old one. Anyway, we got home and got it repaired for Rs. 120, so it is not like it is expensive either. This also makes me wonder if I should get one of those TPMS (tire pressure monitoring system) thingies. The only problem is they cost quite a bit and the external ones need battery replacement quite often. So not yet sure if it is worth it.