Automotive Specialty Tools

Now that you have a basic set of automotive tools, you’ll want to start getting some automotive specialty tools that will help you when doing some of the basic automotive repair jobs.  Here is a list of  automotive specialty tools for automotive repair that I’ve found over the years that every mechanic should have.

Multi-meter

You don’t need to buy a Fluke like this one but they are one of the best.  What you do need is a meter that will auto range, with the ability to read Ohm’s, Voltage, and Amperage.  With all the new computer controlled systems you’ll want one with a very high internal resistance so as not to run the risk of damage to a PCM.

Test Light

A test light is a great tool for checking power and ground on electrical circuits however you should really avoid using one on computer controlled circuits.
These are very useful but personally I suggest getting a Power Probe instead if you can afford it.  Not only will it tell you if you have power or ground, while being PCM friendly.  It the power probe has the ability to put power to circuits making it really easy to figure out electrical problems.

Coolant Funnel

If you do work on any part of your coolant system
you’ll have to bleed the air out of the system. This coolant funnel is worth every penny of the $30 they sell them for on Amazon.  Not only will it save you trying to get the air out of the system but it will save you tons of money on coolant that is no longer spilled all over your garage floor.

Magnetic tray

A magnetic tray is one of those things you don’t know how much you need it until you don’t have it.  I’m not sure how much time I’ve spent looking for that one bolt I just had and swore I placed in a safe place under the hood.  I like to use two trays when working under the hood.One holds all my sockets and wrenches. The other holds all my bolts and what not.  I’ve found over the years this saves a lot of time while working on a car and when you’re done it helps making picking up your tools simple because you can just grab the tray and take it you’re tool box to put it away.

Jack and Jack stands/Ramps


Eventually you will need to remover your tires or just lift your car up high enough to slide underneath it. For this you’ll need a good floor jack.  You can try to use the jack that comes with your vehicle but it’s not really meant for that. For safety reasons any time you use a jack
you want to use a jack stand.  Even that best jack can fail and you don’t want to be under the car when it does.  Most jack stands are sold in pairs but if you can afford it buy 2 pairs, that way you can rotate your own tires.

Pry Bars

Although most of us have used a flat head screwdriver as a pry bar at least once in our lives, using an actually pry bar is the correct tool for the job.  I’ve found that the longer the pry bar the better off you’ll be, as long as you have the room to use it.

Almost every repair you make on a car is going to take some sort of specialty tool, but the most important thing you’ll need for any automotive repair, is service literature of some sort.  Sure you can look repair videos on YouTube, or just about anywhere on the internet, but you run the risk of someone less skilled than you made the video.  So you can run down to your local parts store and buy a Chilton’s or Hayes manual for your make and model of vehicle.  You can also get an online subscription to ALLDATA, the only problem with any service literature online is having your computer in your garage or spending a lot money in paper, printing everything out, but you will have the info you need in a pretty easy to find way.  Whatever service literature you use make sure it’s trust worthy and it will make your life easier.  Remember with any tool you usually get what you pay for.  So if you go cheap you get cheap.

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