Top 25 Essential Automobile Workshop Tools List: Uses and Benefits 2021

To successfully repair cars, you need three main ingredients: knowledge, skill, and, you guessed it, tools. You may have all the knowledge and ability in the world, but you won’t be very successful in working with cars unless you have the right tools and equipment on hand. Even though professional mechanics have massive tool collections with all the conveniences, at first, almost everyone starts with the basics.

It doesn’t matter if you work on your own vehicle in your garage or are a professional auto mechanic, you will need some common tools in your garage. If you work on your vehicle or other people’s vehicle regularly, these tools are a must-have for you.

Your tools influence your performance in auto service and maintenance. If you don’t have the proper automobile workshop tools list in your garage, there will be some problems. You cannot finish the task within the allotted time, or if you can, the performance will be poor.

automobile workshop tools list
Automobile Workshop Tools List

This is why you will need to have a properly decorated garage with a handful of tools and equipment that are necessary from the beginning of the shop. Here I am going to share with you the top 26 automotive tools and equipment list and their uses. I hope this list helps you choose the best tools for your garage or auto repair shop.

Automobile Workshop Tools list

Hand ToolsIntermediate ToolsDiagnostic Equipment
1. Breaker bar13. Air compressor23. Digital multimeter (DMM)
2. Different types of pliers14. Fire extinguisher24. Mechanic’s Stethoscope
3. Hammers (traditional and dead-blow)15. Jack Stands25. Scan tool or code reader
4. Impact wrench16. Fluid drain pan
5. Oil filter wrench17. Funnels
6. Pick set18. Ramps
7. Pry bar19. Toolbox
8. Ratchet and Socket Set20. Safety Glasses
9. Screwdriver Set21. Wheel chocks
10. Vise-Grip22. Mechanics Gloves
11. LED Flashlight
12. Wrench Set

Hand Tools

Today, we have automatic tools that can do almost any job. The key part of that is “almost.” Hand tools give you much more control of the work you are doing, are less likely to break or spoil something, and can be easier to use, especially in tight spaces.

1. Breaker Bar

A breaker bar is a long, non-ratcheting bar used with socket wrench-style sockets. They are used to loosen very tight fasteners because their extra length allows the same amount of force to generate significantly more torque than a standard length socket wrench. Its use prevents damage to the ratchet mechanism of a socket wrench. Often, after the first half turn, the fastener is loose enough to turn with a socket wrench.

The long handle of the breaker bars compared to shorter wrenches allows for greater torque with the same amount of force. Furthermore, the absence of a ratchet mechanism makes a breaker bar considerably stronger than a ratchet.

This allows a higher torque to be applied to a fastener without tool failure. A breaker bar can be improvised by inserting a wrench into a range of metal tubing to improve the available torque. A pipe used for this purpose is called a cheat bar or snipe.

2. Different types of pliers

The primary use of pliers is for grasping. You can put them to work loosening or tightening bolts, holding objects to stabilize them, or removing pins, nails, or other fasteners. Standard general purpose pliers, formally called slip joint pliers, have relatively flat jaws with teeth for gripping small objects, plus a round serrated opening for gripping larger items, such as bolt heads and nuts.

Many also have a small scissor-shaped section for cutting wire. The tongue and groove pliers work on a similar principle to general-purpose pliers but have long handles and angled or angled jaws for increased leverage. The jaws are highly adjustable and can be opened wide to hold large tubes and nuts.

3. Hammers

A hammer is a tool, most often a hand tool, consisting of a weighted “head” attached to a long handle that swings to impact a small area of an object. This can be, for example, to push nails into wood, shape metal (as with a forge), or break rocks. Hammers are used for a wide range of drive, shaping, breaking, and non-destructive striking applications.

Traditional disciplines include woodworking, blacksmithing, warfare, and musical percussion. To work on cars, you will need several different types of pliers. At a minimum, your toolbox should include the following types of pliers: slip joint, tongue and groove, needlepoint, and locking (also known as jaws).

4. Impact wrench

An impact wrench (also known as an impactor, impact gun, air wrench, air gun, rattle gun, torque gun, wind gun) is a socket wrench power tool designed to deliver high torque output with minimal effort on the part of the user, storing energy in a rotating mass,

It is used to remove the bolts from the wheels and speed up other heavy-duty processes, be it on the engine, steering, and suspension. Among cordless and pneumatic impact guns, consider cordless as it is much more powerful.

5. Oil filter wrench

An oil change is one of the most common jobs for a beginning mechanic. An oil filter wrench is an essential tool used to remove threaded-type oil filters. The oil filter collects a lot of dirt and grease, so it may be impossible to remove them without the right tool.

An oil filter wrench allows you to remove any oil filter. Allows you to hold the oil filter canisters for easy removal. The different oil filter wrenches you can use are a strap wrench, a special wrench, a universal oil filter wrench, or a socket wrench.

6. Pick set

You will never know how important a set of picks is until you have one. A small pick can help disconnect an electrical connector, release a retaining clip, and much more. You should always have a set of small picks in your toolbox.

7. Pry bar

Once you start working on cars, you will immediately realize the importance of a good lever. The pry bars are smaller than normal demolition bars and help you to remove jammed parts during maintenance work.

There are sets of levers available on the market. It’s nice to have a complete set. Otherwise, you can have a medium-sized lever that is strong and comfortable to use. You will get one within your budget. But make sure it is strong enough.

8. Ratchet and Socket Set

A ratchet is a handle that fits into one end of a socket by means of a square connector. The other end of the plug fits over a clip. A mechanism in the ratchet allows the handle to engage and tighten the fastener when you turn it clockwise and it turns freely when you turn it counter-clockwise. A switch on the ratchet reverses the action to loosen the fastener.

9. Screwdriver Set

A screwdriver is a tool, manual or motorized, used to screw (install) and unscrew (remove) screws. A typical simple screwdriver has a handle and shaft, ending in a tip that the user places on the screw head before turning the handle.

This form of screwdriver has been replaced in many workplaces and homes with a more modern and versatile tool, an electric drill, as they are faster, easier, and can also drill holes. The shaft is generally made of strong steel to resist bending or twisting.

10. Vise-Grip

The jaws are also known as locking pliers. They are hand pliers with a shape similar to that of a pliers. This tool is useful when you need to hold something that is in an awkward position, hold something in place for a long time, or grab something without grip characteristics. The jaws are mostly sold in a set of 4, but you can also buy a classic one if you are not in a position to get the full set.

11. LED Flashlight

When working on vehicle repairs, visibility is not always obvious. Imagine that you are driving at night and you get stuck in the middle of the road. It is difficult to repair a car in the dark. An LED work light acts as a backup to provide you with light when you need it.

This will allow you to look in every corner of the vehicle to see exactly where the problem is. Having the right lighting will make a big difference during a repair. Sometimes you will also need the flashlight during the day to pull and remove specific bolts from the vehicle. A headlight is a great option when working under the car, as you will be able to use both hands.

12. Wrench Set

Every mechanic needs a set of keys. As mentioned, these days, both domestic and foreign cars wear metric fasteners. Unless you’re working on older household vehicles, you’ll generally want to build your metric wrench set before moving on to collecting standard (SAE) wrenches.

Intermediate Tools

In the next section of this list of auto mechanic tools, you will find a combination of upgrades, tools that are more specific to certain jobs and others that, while simple, we know are not as “essential”.

13. Air compressor

Setting up a compressed air system allows you to perform heavy work with minimal effort, maximizing the results of your work. This should be a one-time investment if you treat it right. Consider getting only the best air compressor for the money you have and then you can gradually build your selection of air tools. The compressor you see in the image is a pancake type compressor. They are generally excellent value for money, are portable, and are not extremely noisy.

14. Fire extinguisher

You never know what can happen when you work in the workshop. Make sure you always have a fire extinguisher on hand in case of an emergency.

15. Jack Stands

Car jacks are used to lift the car, but when it comes to keeping the car raised, jack stands are the tools you should trust. After lifting the car, the brackets are placed under the car and properly adjusted to support it.

It is good to have 3-4 cat stands in a small professional garage. If it is not possible to buy 3-4, buy at least two brackets that are of good quality and can support at least 2-3 tons of weight. Also, after lifting a car, use at least two jack stands to keep it upright. Otherwise you will not be safe under the car.

16. Fluid drain pan

It is important to be able to see what you are doing when you are rummaging under the hood. A good flashlight is something that you will use every time you work on a car.

17. Funnels

Funnels are a very simple but extremely useful tool. Whenever we have to pour liquids during a mechanical procedure, using a funnel will help us avoid spills. Especially useful during oil changes where spilled oil around the engine will make it dirty, causing odors and gases.

18. Ramps

The ramps are replacements for jacks and jack stands if you want more stability. They come in pairs that are placed on the side of the garage. To lift your car, just drive the car up and onto the ramps. After climbing, put plugs behind the wheels if necessary.

For oil change and other maintenance under the car, ramps are suitable. But there are also some downsides. The ramps do not allow a large lift. Also, lifting with ramps will not help because ramps restrict wheel movement for wheel and brake work.

19. Toolbox

You can’t leave your collection of tools in the garage, you need a toolbox! Although some toolboxes are obscenely expensive, there are plenty of affordable options when you shop around. Home improvement stores often have good deals, as do yard sales and real estate sales.

20. Safety Glasses

Auto mechanics are at a higher risk for eye injuries as they deal with small auto parts and chemicals. Safety glasses prevent the mechanic from suffering any type of eye injury. Make sure you have your safety glasses for grinding, welding, working with chemicals, or any other task that presents a risk of eye injury. The best safety glasses should surround your eye to prevent any form of liquid or dirt from entering the eye.

21. Wheel chocks

Wheel chocks also called wheel immobilizers or chock blocks, are chocks made of a strong material that is placed against the wheels of a vehicle to stop any accidental movement or swaying. Wheel chocks are a good idea for added safety and should be used with parking brakes.

22. Mechanics Gloves

There are two types of gloves that a mechanic can wear. There are disposable and non-disposable gloves. Today’s mechanics prefer to wear disposable nitrile gloves when working inside car interiors or for quick entry and exit operations. You can also use a pair of lightweight, non-disposable gloves made of fabric, canvas, or leather. Make sure you buy high-quality gloves that are resistant to chemicals. Gloves should fit well too.

Diagnostic Equipment

Diagnostic equipment can help you find out what is wrong with your car. There are a wide range of diagnostic tools available, but as a beginner, you’ll want to start by adding these basics to your collection.

23. Digital multimeter 

For your car electrical work, a multimeter or multi-tester is a must-have tool for auto mechanics. Helps find out the flow of electricity and identify dangerous hot wires. Analogue and digital: both types of multimeters are on the market. Analogue multimeters display the reading with the help of a pointer. On the other hand, digital multimeters display the reading in digits.

Before buying, make sure your multimeter can measure voltage, current, and resistance. Also, invest a moderate amount in this tool. The cheap ones can’t measure the reading correctly. Therefore, you will not be able to diagnose the problem.

24. Mechanic’s Stethoscope

Like a doctor’s stethoscope, a mechanic’s stethoscope is an acoustic device used to listen to internal sounds. But with a mechanic’s stethoscope, you hear parts of your car rather than parts of the human body.

25. Scan tool or code reader

You must have a scan tool or code reader to work on modern cars. As a newbie, you’ll probably want to start with a code reader that, as the name implies, only reads generic on-board diagnostic codes (OBD-II).

However, you will eventually want a high-end scan tool. OEM-level scanners provide access to additional information, including manufacturer-specific bi-directional codes, data, and tests.


A Mechanic’s Tool Collection is Never Complete

As a mechanic, your tool collection will never be complete. The best part about being one is that you can always find new tools to add to it and make yourself more efficient! You might start with the basics on this list but if you’re passionate about car repair then expect a lifelong addiction for “tool collecting.” Before long, your tools will become worth more than the car they help fix-up.

Tools for Auto Electrical Repair and Diagnosis

The Value of Using The Right Tools

Do you need all these tools to work on your car? No. A small set of basic mechanic tools will let you take care of most things that happen with cars. But it is good to know all the different types of tools in case something happens.

The best tools for cars are special. The right tool, if you have it, will make a big difference. For example, consider oil filter caps. If you use the wrong tools to open them, you might damage them and it might take a long time. You should use an oil filter cap wrench instead of another kind of wrench or hammer. It is for opening only oil filter caps.

To continue this example, you don’t need to own every type of oil filter wrench. Older cars require a certain wrench that is different from the one used for compact cars. If you want to build your tool collection, make sure that you have the right wrenches for your specific vehicle.

Hand Tools

You probably have tools like hammers, wrenches and other things. We will show you how to use these tools for routine maintenance or for complex repairs.

Garage Equipment

Garage equipment includes things like creepers, lights, and other gear to help mechanics stay comfortable when working. This gear also helps reduce the risk of accidents and injuries.

Diagnostic Tools

Before you fix a problem with your car, you need to understand what is wrong with the car. Diagnostic tools will help you find out what is wrong and then fix it.

Tools for Safety

Chemicals and parts inside your car can be dangerous. In order to stay safe while working on your vehicle, you have to be careful. There are tools to help you stay safe.

Tools for Loosening and Removing Components

Engines are small and need special tools to take them apart. There is a lot of things that can get stuck together to make it harder. Sometimes you need to use a spray or something else before taking it apart, but we will show what tools you need and how they work.

Equipment for Keeping Your Car Clean

We will show you how you can keep your car looking great without spending a lot of money. First, find out what tools you need to clean the car. Second, make sure that it is safe from damage when on the road.

Auto Maintenance & Repair Guide For Beginners

Safety Rules for Automotive Repair

Working in cars can be a fun, exciting, and rewarding career. However, repair shop owners and their staff must ensure that proper safety rules and precautions are implemented and followed at all times. Safety measures help protect employees from accidental injury to themselves, their co-workers, customers, and the vehicles they are repairing. The following is a list of general safety tips that every repair shop should follow to keep everyone safe.

  • Never smoke in or near garages or repair areas. Vehicles contain flammable and combustible fluids that can easily catch fire if hot ash from a cigar or cigarette comes in contact with these materials.
  • Keep work areas clean and organized. Pick up tools and use tool cabinets to keep hallways clear and clutter-free.
  • Never wear baggy clothing or clothing that is ripped or torn. To prevent employees from wearing unacceptable dress, it is recommended to obtain custom uniforms and work clothes from a qualified uniform service company.
  • Wear protective gear at all times, as appropriate for repair. Goggles, gloves, and hearing protection should be worn when performing certain types of repairs.
  • Make sure fire extinguishers are readily acceptable and appropriate for all types of potential fires. In the event of a fire, it is necessary to quickly access the extinguishers and load them with the appropriate materials to put out the type of fire: i.e. gas, oil, electric, etc.
  • Always disconnect the battery when working on electrical systems and near or around electrical wiring. Even when the vehicle is off, there is a possibility of current passing through the electrical wiring.
  • Never put your hands, tools, or other objects near the engine while it is running. Moving parts and components can injure a person or the vehicle itself.
  • Never work under a vehicle unless it has been properly supported. Raising the vehicle off the ground to access the underside requires verifying that it is stable and that there is no risk of the vehicle falling on top of the mechanic.
  • Always remove the keys from the ignition switch. Never leave the key in the ignition switch, as the key can generate an electrical charge from the battery. Also, avoid unplugging fuses and wiring harnesses while the key is in the “on” position. Otherwise, there is a risk of electric shock and/or electrical spikes that can damage electronic components and wiring.
  • Be aware of the temperature of the vehicle before beginning any work. The engine, manifold, exhaust system, and radiator can be hot and cause skin burns. Also, the radiator coolant is still pressurized.

Repair Information

How to choose a repair shop

  • Ask friends, family, and others you trust for recommendations. Then, find a repair shop before you need it to avoid rushing to a last-minute decision.
  • Shop by phone and online for the best deal and compare warranty policies on repairs.
  • Ask to see current licenses if state or local law requires repair shops to be licensed or registered. Also, your state Attorney General’s office or local consumer protection agency may know if there is a record of complaints about a particular repair shop.
  • Make sure the garage respects your vehicle’s warranty.

How to Choose a Technician

  • Look for stores that display various certifications, such as an Automotive Service Excellence seal. The certification indicates that some or all of the technicians meet the basic standards of knowledge and competence in specific technical areas. Make sure the certifications are current but remember that certification alone is not a guarantee of good or honest work.
  • Ask if the technician or shop has experience working on the same make or model of vehicle as yours.

Repair Charges

Before arranging for any work to be done, ask how the shop values your work. Some stores charge a flat fee for labour on auto repairs. This published rate is based on an independent or manufacturer’s estimate of the time needed to complete repairs. Others charge based on the actual time the engineer worked on the repair.

If you need expensive or complicated repairs or have questions about recommended work, consider getting a second opinion. Find out if there will be a diagnostic charge if you decide to do the job elsewhere. Many repair shops charge for the diagnostic time.

Shops that only perform diagnostic work and do not sell parts or repairs can give you an objective opinion on what repairs are necessary. If you decide to do the job, ask for a written estimate.

What should a written estimate include?

  • You must identify the condition to be repaired, the parts required, and the anticipated labour charge. Make sure you get a signed copy.
  • You must indicate that the shop will contact you for approval prior to performing any work that exceeds a specified amount of time or money. State law may require this.

What should I know about the parts to be repaired or replaced?

  • New: These parts are generally manufactured to original manufacturer specifications, either by the vehicle manufacturer or by an independent company. Your condition may require repair shops to inform you if non-original equipment will be used in the repair. The prices and quality of these pieces vary.
  • Remanufactured, rebuilt, and reconditioned: These terms generally mean the same thing – parts have been restored to function correctly. Many manufacturers offer a warranty that covers replacement parts but not the labour to install them.
  • Salvage: these are used parts taken from another vehicle without alterations. Recovered parts may be the sole source for specific items, although their reliability is rarely guaranteed.

What do I need after the work is done?

Obtain a complete repair order describing the work performed. You should list each repair, the parts supplied, the cost of each part, the labour charges, the odometer reading of the vehicle when the vehicle was brought in, and when the repair order was completed. In addition, ask for all replaced parts. State law may require this.

Conclusion

An auto repair shop requires various tools and equipment depending on the services they want to offer. The automobile workshop tools list above contains must-have mechanical tools that anyone will need to repair any damaged car. Some of them are more advanced and are mainly used by professionals in auto repair shops.

However, any auto mechanic should know the tools and how to use them before they start work or for DIY jobs. Each automotive tools and equipment have different types, so consider your needs before purchase. It’s also wise to get high-quality tools and equipment that will work for you for a long time.