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So I'm going to start performing my own DIY servicing on my car, as I think it's about time and a very good way to get to know your car. Plus I'll save some money during the process. With that being said I want to make sure I have the necessary tools to do the jobs. Would it be the case of just popping to Halfords and living up their "car tool set" (if they have one)?

 

Thinking of starting with brake and pad change, then oil change. Think I'm ready....

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Halfrauds do, do some good tools, but they can be expensive, more so if there’s no sale on or you don’t have a trade card etc

 

Im a big fan of the Sealy, Silverline & Draper stuff I have via Amazon and would highly recommend those

 

Basic tools, for me would be:

 

A few decent ratchets, 1/2 and 1/4 + necessary adapters

A multi socket set and get 20 - 24mm sockets plus a 36mm one for the oil filter

Ratchet spanners

A decent hex and torx bit set

Pliers (normal & needle)

Normal spanners

Inspection torch 

Torque wrench & breaker bar

Trolley jack, axle stands and small ramps to raise the front to get access to central jack point 

Brake cleaner and spray bottle

Patience

Tea & coffe (biscuits & cake are paramount)

A good selection of real ales for afterwards ;)

Edited by d_a_n1979

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Get halfords 250piece set..i have one and has almost all what i need...bought it half price plus 10 % cashback ...was around 115 quid... Good quality with lifetime warranty.. anything breaks they replace it no questions asked.

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All good advice! 

IF you can stretch to it then go snap-on, I’ve got a snap on socket set that is older than me and is still working....

anyhing with a “lifetime” guarantee, you normally can’t go wrong with! 

 

I suppose it just boils down to price v’s usage really? ;) 

 

good luck in whatever you choose! 

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There's also one job - can't remember if it was brakes or suspension - that needs a 16mm spanner/socket which you don't always get in smaller sets.

 

S

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10 hours ago, d_a_n1979 said:

Im a big fan of the Sealy & Draper stuff I have via Amazon and would highly recommend those 

+1 for that dan 

i buy for the amount of useage thay will get unless you are going to be doing everybodys car large priced tools is a bit of a waste in my eyes

if doing suspension work read up about ball joint spliters / spring compressors etc the normal smaller car stuff will not do , due to the size of the spread of jaws required .

i buy some silverline tools  good enough for diy .

think i got a 32mm oil filter socket for around a fiver on fbay and so on

half moon spaners , also handy to have a set of very thin spaners for the drop links , the list goes on

i have got to know my car inside out over the last 6 years

use TIS (https://www.newtis.info/tisv2/a/en/)

all the info you will ever need ,and them some

also handy is the bentley manual  available on the interweb as a pdf

1 other thing get your self some of the rubber jack pads and a jack with a flat pad ,

i got one of the sudo railway sleepers choped it up into 8 bits screwed 2x togather so you end up with 4x blocks about 300mm high jack pad on each one so if required all 4 wheels of  trust them more than axle stands

 

Edited by supertramp101

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One little socket set I’ve found invaluable is this:

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bahco-SL25-Socket-Piece-Drive/dp/B000Y8XCA8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1541839630&sr=8-1&keywords=bacho+sockets+sets

 

Its small and great for getting into right spaces, or removing small bolts in the engine bay/wheel arch liners/car interior etc

 

More so if you’ve shovel like hands like me :mrgreen:

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1 hour ago, Rosiebs_Dad said:

There's also one job - can't remember if it was brakes or suspension - that needs a 16mm spanner/socket which you don't always get in smaller sets.

 

S

I've found I've needed 16,18,20,22 and even 24 recently. The latter on suspension bits. 

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1 hour ago, d_a_n1979 said:

One little socket set I’ve found invaluable is this:

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bahco-SL25-Socket-Piece-Drive/dp/B000Y8XCA8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1541839630&sr=8-1&keywords=bacho+sockets+sets

 

Its small and great for getting into right spaces, or removing small bolts in the engine bay/wheel arch liners/car interior etc

 

More so if you’ve shovel like hands like me :mrgreen:

Got the very same, it lives in the car and it's probably my most go to tool along with an old screwdriver/hex/torx set. 

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I got a most of my spanners off the tool stand at Ormskirk market about 30 years (gulp) ago, they were "Gordon " branded spanners, and although cheap to buy, they were well made, have lasted well, 30 years, and counting!

Stick to a branded make for spanners, you really do get what you pay for.

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Yeah, I do very little on the car now but have done a few bits on the kids Picanto, I have a 34pc 3/8 TengTools socket set I was gifted around 25 years ago (back in the day they were frowned upon like a Skoda), it has a lifetime guarantee and the socket retaining ball bearing has gone in the socket drive (I had it on a drill, don't ask) but it's been superb.

 

Just googled it and they still make the drive, albeit mines black

 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Teng-Tools-3-8-Square-Drive-Ratchet-Head-FRP-45-Tooth-Wrench-Tool-Set-3800FRP/391656950372?epid=17020449704&hash=item5b3092ca64:g:-doAAOSwJ7RYWPXg:rk:14:pf:0

Edited by bmwf113.0d

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I have a fairly basic assortment of tools but it's mostly been enough for me to tackle lots of jobs on my cars over the years. A couple of socket sets, set of ratchet spanners, good quality screwdrivers, allen keys, a box of "bits" (torx, etc etc) and so forth. You may find you need to buy a more specialised tool for certain jobs (e.g. had to buy a really deep socket for doing the glow plugs on my 530d) but then you just accumulate them over time and slowly grow your arsenal of goodies.

 

For working on an E39 I would highly reccommend (as well as the above mentioned stuff) a water pump locking tool and large spanner (think it's 32mm?) as many engine bay jobs, it's a lot easier to get the fan shroud and fan out of the way and with the right tools it's like a 2 minute job to get them out.

 

I'd also recommend a little trim clip removal / pry tool. Those little reusable BMW plastic fasteners seem to be employed all over the car and with the right sort of tool to remove them, they're great... if you're trying to remove them with pliers or screw drivers, you're in for a bad time!

Edited by chicaneuk

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On 10/11/2018 at 00:33, Clavurion said:

And for that brake job you'll need 7 mm allen bit which is usually not part of a basic tool set.

Halfords do a very good hex socket rail which has a 7mm on it 

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I have a set of the Halfords Pro ratchet ring spanners. Very well made and always useful

 

Edited by pt530i

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Yeah the Halfords stuff is perfectly fine for the home mechanic. I've got a bunch of Halfords stuff and it lasts for ages and I think has a lifetime warranty as you say. Find a friend with a Halfords trade card and you'll get decent discounts on the stuff too.. or buy it when it's on offer as some real bargains can be had.

Edited by chicaneuk

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I have a couple of Norbar torque wrenches, excellent quality with a push through head so they work in reverse when it comes to delicate items like glow plug removal. Not to be confused with a ratchet head switched design that will not work backwards leaving you with a snapped glow plug if you assume it does.

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I've got mostly Draper stuff.  The finish on the sockets is better than Sealey I've found.  I've found ebay cheaper at buying tools from that Amazon.  Once you know the stock number or part number simply search for that after using the manufacturers website to see what you want.  Halfords stuff is good too, I've bought the odd one off tool from them to do a specific job and, like the Draper stuff the quality is good too.

 

Most sizes of spanner and socket up to 21mm will be needed.  Hub nuts will be bigger, but rarer to be needed.  The E39 was the first car I've worked on that needed 16mm and 18mm spanners.

 

Most Allen key sets now have a 7mm bit for BMW brakes,  a set of Torx bits will be handy too.

 

The tool I needed to buy for my E39 was a viscous fan spanner and viscous fan holding tool to allow me to replace the water pump.

 

A tool to remove expanding rivets will also be a blessing. Saves stabbing your fingers with a screwdriver!

 

There are also specific E39 tools such as the rear balljoint tool and possible a rear subframe bush tool. 

 

As mentioned before, set of screwdrivers and pliers are always useful.  A copper or soft faced hammer may be required to ease parts apart.  If that fails, its a bigger hammer, hacksaw or angle grinder!

 

Plus you then need somewhere to store all this stuff!

 

 

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When starting out I think I'd wait for a Halfords deal and get one of their sets then add to it as you go. No point spending loads. 

 

Ask on on here first if you need anything special and you'll be fine. 

 

My top tip learned the hard way is get the right tool for the job. 

 

Like plastic rivet removal tool or circlip pliers. trying to make do with the wrong tool will lead to frustration and damage. 

 

As a potless youth I struggled on with whatever I had and cheap stuff like adjustable spanners and made misery for myself with rounded nuts and pinging springs and the like. 

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