10 Must-Have Tools for Mechanics You Should Own
Car repairs and maintenance are expensive. In fact, an average car owner spends around $1,186 on their vehicle servicing. Doing it yourself can save you lots of money. It will also give you satisfaction (and a topic for bragging) after single-handedly replacing air filters and changing motor oil.
But taking over a mechanic's responsibility is impossible without the right tools. Sure, you may have a couple of screwdrivers, pliers, and wrenches in your' kit.' However, there are some must have tools for mechanics that you should own if you plan to successfully tackle your car troubles.
Here is a starter list to fill your tools and parts cabinet:
A torque wrench is a tightening tool to adjust a vehicle's nuts, bolts, and screws. It is beneficial for tightening the lug nuts that hold wheels in place. They can be adjusted to exert a specific amount of force to avoid over-tightening and under-tightening.
Remember, nuts and bolts that are too tight are prone to damage. On the other hand, leaving one loose can cause the wheel to fall off.
Types of Torque Wrench:
When shopping for a torque wrench, you must consider the size and the preferred style. They are available in socket-drive sizes of ¼, ⅜, ½, ¾, and 1 inch. The smaller ones are ideal for delicate parts such as temperature switches, while you can use the large-sized torque wrenches for twisting crank pulleys and transmission gear nuts.
The four basic styles of torque wrenches are:
- Beam or deflection
- Dial indicator
The beam and the dial indicator are the simplest, with a scale attached to the handle. The scale will show the amount of torque when force is applied. The clickers have an adjustable ring around the handle and will make a sound when the desired torque has been achieved.
Lastly, the digital torque wrench is the most expensive and will display the torque units on the LED window.
Suppose you want to loosen a stubborn bolt from areas prone to rust. Applying normal pressure manually may not help. In this case, you can use an impact wrench to loosen the most frozen bolt and nut quickly.
Also known as an impact gun, the power tool has sockets attached at the tips to assist in turning. They require minimal exertion by the user while providing maximum torque efficiency.
Types of Impact Wrench:
An impact wrench can be categorized according to its power type: Electricity and Air Compressed.
- Corded Electric Impact Wrench: Plug the tool in an electric socket to get the power running. A motor is fitted at the rear of the machine to provide efficient torque and speed.
- Cordless Electric Impact Wrench: The portable option requires rechargeable batteries for power. You can easily carry it anywhere, especially in tight areas where the cord can be a hindrance.
- Compressed Air Powered Wrench: The air-powered or pneumatic wrench is common in auto body shops. They require an adequate supply of constant air supply for seamless operation. They are generally easy to use, inexpensive, and require minimal maintenance.
Car Battery Tester
A car battery tester is an electronic device you can use to check the remaining power capacity. They connect to a vehicle battery and indicate the clear metrics of its health, condition, and voltage output.
Ideally, a battery that is in good shape will have a voltage between 12.4 and 12.8.
Types of Car Battery Tester:
The battery testers are available in different models and designs. Choose the style that is compatible with your vehicle’s battery.
Vehicle oil, coolants, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and windshield washer fluid need regular replacement. Since the reservoirs holding these liquids have small openings, a set of funnels will make the task easy and minimize the risk of spills.
Types of Funnels:
You can find funnels in different sizes and materials. Some common types include:
- Built-in mesh strainer
While you can choose any style according to your preference, it is suggested to use a funnel with non-toxic material to ensure safety.
Whether you want to change the tires or replace brake pads, a hydraulic floor jack will come in handy to lift the vehicle up.
It works by compressing hydraulic fluid into the cylinder of the jack with the help of a pump plunger. When you pull back the plunger, the fluid is drawn from the reservoir into the pump chamber. Subsequently, when you push down the plunger, the fluid is pushed back into the cylinder. The pressure created by the two moving oil makes the hydraulic jack work.
Types of Hydraulic Jack:
The hydraulic jacks are available in two forms:
- Bottle Jack: The bottle jack is portable with a vertical piston. Position it under the car and use the detachable lever to pump up the jack. The style is very useful for changing car tires.
- Floor Jack: A floor jack comes with a horizontal piston and an extended arm to provide vertical motion for lifting. They have wheels or castors and are ideal for lifting cars with a heavier weight.
Like doctors, an automotive stethoscope is a tool you can use to examine the noises coming from a vehicle. One of the best tools for mechanics in the modern era, the stethoscope allows convenient inspection of different car parts. This includes the transmission, valve train, and the engine itself.
It is also helpful to track down leaks in your car. Just follow the sound of steam, gas, and abnormal water flow for timely repairs.
Types of Automotive Stethoscope:
The stethoscope comes in different styles, and you can choose one depending upon your budget and skill. However, we especially recommend choosing a stethoscope with different attachments. They will help identify the exact source of the problem with accuracy.
Many of us have (accidentally) left headlights on at night, only to find our cars with dead batteries in the morning. A jumper cable can be a handy tool for DIY mechanics and provides the required voltage to start the car when connected to an auxiliary source.
Types of Jumper Cables:
A typical jumper cable has an extended wire with alligator-style clamps on both sides for connecting two vehicles.
You can also find a portable battery booster to jump-start your car without the help of another vehicle. They require charging, but a full charge usually lasts several car boosts.
A vise grip helps clamp small items and hold them into place while you work on your car. They are like a third hand for the DIYers and one of the best tools for mechanics who don’t have assistants.
Types of Vise Grip:
The vise grips come in different jaw configurations, including:
- C clamp
- Round nose
- Long nose
- Curved jaw
- Straight jaw
It is ideal to invest in a set of vise grip pliers to get a variety of sizes.
A pry bar is one of the must have mechanic tools for its versatility. It has many uses around a vehicle and even in the house, from replacing pumps and gearboxes to opening cans and nudging pieces.
They are designed to provide maximum leverage without scratching the car.
Types of Pry Bar:
The Pry Bars are available in different sizes, shapes, and weights to meet the demands of every unique task. The most popular style include:
- Rolling Head: They come with a pointed tip and round shift for simple prying of objects.
- Wonder Bar: They have a flat shaft and help control precise tasks such as pulling nails from objects.
- Pinch Bar: Featuring a hexagonal shaft, the pinch bar is used to pry holes into alignment.
- Wrecking Bar: You can use the wrecking bar to pry heavy-duty objects.
Tire Pressure Gauge
Ensuring your car tires are adequately inflated keeps maintenance costs down and enhances your safety. A tire with too little air pressure can wear and malfunction frequently.
A tire pressure gauge can help you check and adjust the air pressure in your car. Simply insert the tire pressure gauge into the wheel’s valve and depress it for reading. An average car measures 30 psi in moderate weather.
Types of Tire Pressure Gauge:
There are three types of tire-pressure gauges: stick, digital, and dial.
- Stick: The stick style resemble a ballpoint pen. They are inexpensive and compact.
- Digital: The digital style has an LCD display for easy-to-interpret reading. However, they are heavier and more costly than other models.
- Dial: The dial gauges are similar to clock faces and have a needle to indicate the tire’s pressure.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who Makes Master Mechanic Tools?
True Value Hardware Company is the manufacturer of Master Mechanic Tools. They have an impressive lineup of power and hand tools for car maintenance.
How to Clean Mechanic Tools?
The best way to clean greasy mechanic tools is with the help of a degreaser. You can also use a brush to remove accumulated dirt.
How to Store the Tools in the Workshop?
Use drawers or old containers to organize small set of mechanics tools. Even better option - the workbench with drawers. You can also use a pegboard to hang items like wrenches and hammers.
If you plan to keep the mechanic supplies in your vehicle, we recommend you get a truck toolbox to keep all your equipment safe and handy.
Having the right tools at your disposal can be a great help if you are working on a vehicle. They let you complete the task without compromising on the end results. With this list of must have tools for mechanics, we are sure you can get the professional finish you desire.
But remember, working on the car requires great dedication, time, hard work, and sweat. Don’t fast forward any process. And if you are unsure about a certain situation, don’t hesitate to call a professional.