When starting out on a quest to work on cars for a living there are a couple of things that you are going to need. Automobile restoration and repair requires that the person performing these repairs have a set of tools. Every time that I go out to work on any car, I have a tool in my hand and am ready to work. I have given some thought about which tools I use consistently over time. This is a list that is compiled for the person just starting out and looking for some advice on what they would need. If you were to get started on working on cars, and didn’t know what to get, this list should suffice quite well. The tools that are listed below are what I use the most and will accomplish almost all of the repair jobs that you need to do. As you move along in your repair knowledge, you will begin to acquire other specialty, but this list is a great starting point.
The top 5 automotive tools are:
- Professional Tool Kit
I personally use this Crescent Professional tool kit. All the tools are nicely laid out and put together with a variation of wrenches, sockets, screwdrivers, and various driver bits that pretty much will cover any basic repair or maintenance. It even comes with the two spark plug sockets that you will need in 5/8 and 13/16 sizes. For normal maintenance this kit is all I use, I just carry it out to the car and most of the tools that I need are right there in the kit. I have had this kit for several years now and the tools are still in great shape. I use these tools for almost everything and they have held up tremendously. I know it’s not a Craftsman or Snap-On kit but the tools are quite robust.
- Hydraulic Jack
This is another tool that is very handy to have. Even though you could use the jack in the trunk of the car, the hydraulic jack will save you a ton of time by lifting the car in short order. This is good for tire rotations as well as performing oil changes on cars without enough ground clearance. The Hydraulic Jack is a necessity in every mechanics tool arsenal. You can check out more hydraulic jacks at topfloorjacks.com.
- Jack Stands
This tool is all about safety. You should never climb underneath a lifted car without placing a Jack Stand underneath the vehicle. Hydraulic Jacks are powerful, but everything breaks or slips and if there is a jack stand underneath the vehicle, you will have the time necessary to get out from underneath the car if something goes wrong!
- Adjustable Oil Filter Wrench
Most amateur mechanics start by doing basic maintenance. The most common starting point is the oil change. This is a simple procedure where you undo the drain plug and let the oil drain out, replace the oil filter, and fill the crankcase back up with oil. Although you can probably find a way to remove the oil filter without the oil filter wrench, the oil filter wrench makes it easy.
This is not something that I would normally have put on this list until I got a pair and started wearing them. The Mechanix gloves that I received for Christmas are awesome. They protect your hands from becoming completely demolished from the constant bashing of skin against metal. They are also thin enough that most of the bolt that you are used to threading in by hand can still be felt. This is definitely worth the purchase.
So there you have it, my top 5 list for the most valuable tools to have in your arsenal if you are going to be working on cars. I would have to say that I could probably perform most of the repairs that I do with the tools on this list. There are other tools that are pretty helpful, but for a start that is what I would purchase, and I am currently using all of these on a regular basis.
If you can think of another tool that needs to be on this list, please let me know in the comments section.