CARSON, Calif., Dec. 7, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Have a budding home mechanic on your gift list? Or a seasoned DIYer whose toolbox is a little ragged around the edges? With more and more car owners holding onto their cars for longer than ever - and more and more opting to do their own car repairs, to the tune of thousands of dollars saved every year* – 'tis the season for a gift list for that growing population of DIYers! To that end, AutoMD.com's team of mechanics and car experts have voted on their 'Top Five Must-Haves for Under $100' for car owners who need to spruce up their home garage and/or want to start learning what's under the hood and how to fix it – from repair manual to OBD-2 Scanner.
"Even if the aspiring home mechanic on your list wants to start with a few simple repairs (and leave the complicated ones to the repair shop), any of these items, in combination with the wealth of free How-to information and videos available on AutoMD.com, should make those repair tasks easier, while potentially saving hundreds of dollars a year on the auto repair bill," said AutoMD.com President Shane Evangelist. "And if you are looking for something for the seasoned DIYer, sneak a peek in their toolbox or garage, they might just need a new multimeter or hydraulic floor jack!"
AutoMD.com's Top Five 'Must-Have' Holiday Gifts Under $100 for the Auto Repair DIYer
- Mechanic's Tool Set – a good set of hand tools, including sockets and wrenches, is the foundation for any home mechanic. The basic set can be found from around $50 - $100, depending on quality and complexity. AutoMD.com mechanics recommend a set that includes both standard and metric sizes.
- Digital Multimeter (DMM) – a critical diagnostic tool for the home mechanic given the increasing complexity and ubiquity of electronics in today's vehicles. Multimeters check for voltage, current and resistance and can be had for less than $100. It is very important to conduct electrical tests on suspected parts before buying the replacements and the DMM can remove the guesswork and confirm the failed part. For example, if your car won't start, an immediate first look is the battery – the multimeter will tell you right away if the battery is the culprit. While there are volt meters on the market for as little as $30, AutoMD.com mechanics recommend digital multimeters with a 10 megohm input impedance to prevent damaging the sensitive electronic components in computer-controlled vehicles.
- OBD-2 Code Reader/Scanner – a must-have, at under $100, so your DIYer can easily decode the infamous check engine light on any model vehicle. Obtaining the diagnostic trouble code (DTC) is the first step in diagnosing most car problems. All cars manufactured after 1995 use the OBD-2 (on-board diagnostics) system. AutoMD.com mechanics recommend purchasing a model that has reset capabilities (clears the light).
- Floor Jack and Jack Stands – to make it easier and safer for the DIYer to lift and support his/her vehicle, a good quality floor jack and set of jack stands can be purchased for less than $100. This gift is a must have for replacing those front brake pads, changing the tires or oil, and performing under chassis repairs. AutoMD.com mechanics recommend a low profile floor jack with a 3-ton capacity.
- Vehicle-specific How to Manual – Haynes and Chilton Repair Manuals are the choice of AutoMD.com mechanics for the do-it-yourselfer, at a little under $30.00 each. The manuals provide the home mechanic an in-depth look at specific areas of auto repair and include step-by-step procedures, enhanced photos, troubleshooting guides, electrical diagrams, and valuable short cuts. AutoMD.com mechanics recommend these as a nice addition to the bookshelf of the dedicated DIYer, but AutoMD.com provides thousands of How-to Guides and How-to Videos for almost every repair issue – as well as an iPhone mobile app – all for the cost of typing in a url: www.automd.com, and these apps aren't as heavy as a manual.
Click here for the Top Five Car Repair Jobs You Can (and Should) Do Yourself ... and the Top Five Best Left to the Experts! (http://www.automd.com/About-AutoMD/Press/6-29-2010/ )
* Car Owners Holding onto Vehicles Significantly Longer, for at Least 50,000 More Miles, according to a Survey from AutoMD.com (http://www.automd.com/About-AutoMD/Press/2-10-2010/); Nearly 40% Doing More DIY than in 2008; 1 in 3 Report Saving over $1000 a Year According to AutoMD.com's "2010 DIY Report" (http://www.automd.com/About-AutoMD/Press/10-14-2010/)
AutoMD.com™ (www.automd.com), a wholly-owned subsidiary of US Auto Parts Network, Inc., (Nasdaq : PRTS ), is the most comprehensive and unbiased free online automotive repair resource designed to empower car owners with the best way to repair their vehicles. Backed by a team of automotive data specialists and certified auto mechanics who are advocates for the car owner, AutoMD.com allows both car owners and DIYers to 1. Troubleshoot car problems, 2. Know how much auto repairs should cost, 3. Understand the steps needed and the time it should take with How-to Auto Repair guides, 4. Find the right local auto repair shop at the right price for their issue, and 5. Get auto repair questions answered by the AutoMD.com community. AutoMD.com was named Best Automotive Website in the 8th annual American Business Awards, also known as the as the Stevie® Awards. AutoMD Mobile is available for the iPhone at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/automd-mobile/id369361977?mt=8
SOURCE U.S. Auto Parts Network, Inc.