Civilizations were built on tools, and if your car is in need of a simple fix or a bit of maintenance, without the right tools, you can’t get the job done. The tools that you will need to start working on your car is pretty cut and dry. There are a million different term and specialized equipment that you can buy, but to get would-be grease monkeys up and running, here are some of the essential tools that you will need in your garage for your automobile. We are aware that your car already comes with some tools like a scissor or bottle jack, a tire iron, and even a screwdriver. Some cars may not come with these tools, however, and could just come with a tire repair kit, but we’re assuming your car will come with a scissor jack and tire iron at the very least.
Note that it is also important to get a good quality set of tools because nothing is worse than breaking something that you are trying to fix. Whether it be something as robust as a Toyota Fortuner, or as comfortable as a crossover or sedan like a Mazda CX-5 or Honda Civic, these tools will get most jobs done without a hitch.
Starting off with what we believe is one of the most basic toolsets that you will need, wrenches. Whether crescent/open or a box-end wrench or even a combination of the two, these tools are an essential part of any garage.
Changing your battery, taking apart your interior for cleaning, adjusting your suspension, bleeding your brakes, and more can be done with a good set of wrenches and a bit of know-how. Now, we’re not recommending that you work on your car yourself or install a turbo kit, but if you do have a modification that has a few bolts in the way, then a wrench is an indispensable tool for the job.
Also capable of tightening and loosening bolts is a socket wrench set. Good sets will also come with other add ons like a breaker bar for those tough nuts to crack. Also, take note that there are different sizes of sockets, where the bigger ones will be more heavy-duty, while the smaller ones can take the places of wrenches.
The advantage of a socket set is that there is a ratchet with that iconic sound when you tighten or loosen a bolt. A nifty feature that won’t require you to break contact with the bolt that you are working on, saving time and effort in the process. You also get a nice carrying case that helps you keep organized, and perhaps some extensions as well. We recommend getting deep sockets with this kit as well since some items like spark plugs require more vertical room for the socket to make full contact with the bolt. You can even ditch your car’s included tire iron for the breaker bar for more leverage. These tools will allow you to do more of the heavy-duty torquing that you need to do if you are so inclined.
Whether flat or Philips head screwdrivers, it’s a good idea to keep a full set for any size of screw that you may need to tighten or torque down. We recommend that you get a good quality set of screwdrivers that won’t strip your screws and cause problems later on. That’s why it is important to get a quality set from a reputable brand.
Aside from screwing, also note that a flat head can also double as a pry tool. For example. If there is a trim piece that you need to pull out, but don’t have the proper leverage, use a flat head to pry it open. Common areas where you will need screwdrivers are in your interior, and even in the bodywork of the car.
Some cars will have hex screws or Allen screws which will require a special tool to torque. Allen wrenches are relatively inexpensive depending on the brand and the other features attached. You are most likely to encounter hex screws in smaller components. They can be more prominent European cars or installing car accessories.
While Allen keys aren’t too common, it is still a good idea to get a set because you can also use these tools in other jobs. Though, for cars one common place where we find hex screws are in license plate holders. To keep the plate on or to remove it and clean the surface underneath, you may need a hex key to gain access, but that’s just one of the areas where you will need such a tool.
Pliers are among the most versatile tools that you can have in your toolbox. They can bend or straighten out pins and malleable metals or they can even be used as a wrench if needed. You can also use them to strip and cut wires if they have the right teeth, and they can also work as a great tool to simply hold things in place with and give you a bit more leverage.
If you dabble a lot with smaller items like bolts and wires, you know how tedious it is to try and grab those small objects especially if you have fat fingers, or your dexterity isn’t as attuned. Pliers help immensely, especially needle-nosed pliers. We recommend that if you are on a budget, the most cost-effective solution would be to get one needle nose then buy the others once more budget clears up.
Because you will be poking around in the nooks and crannies of your vehicle if you are getting head-deep into doing it yourself, you’re going to need a light, a flashlight to be precise. Get one that is compact enough for you to use one-handed and is strong enough to illuminate dark spaces.
Getting your hands dirty is an unavoidable part of working on a car. Your hands will get dirty, and that’s why we suggest that you pack an old t-shirt or an old rag so you can wipe your hands or the surface that you are working on.
The list that we’ve assembled today is more than enough to get you started, although, there are more advanced items that you can get if you are serious about working on the car yourself. These include
- A tool box
- Torque wrench
- Jack Stands
- Crocodile Jack
- Oil filter wrench
- Rubber mallet
- Panel pry tools
These are some more advanced tools that you can use to do some more serious work, though these are just a small fraction of tools out in the market that are more specialized. Common hand tools will get the job done until you level up.
However, there is one tool that we can recommend to create a nice working environment for you and your vehicle, and that is a good set of speakers. Nothing like blasting your favorite tunes while working on your pride and joy to keep your spirits up.