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essential tools for simple auto repairs

Essential Tools for Simple Auto Repairs

One way to save on paying for automotive repairs is to do it yourself. It is not as simple as it sounds, though. First, one has to have the right knowledge regarding automotive systems. And also, one cannot be expected to make good on a repair without the essential tools needed for even the simplest of automotive repairs.

Even if you are on a budget, you can still have your collection of tools to help you do the right repairs. There are a lot of automotive tools out in the market, which means buyers have to be on the lookout only for the tools they would need.


First of all, you have to pick the right toolbox. Having the right toolbox is the start of having your own set of reliable tools. There are metal toolboxes of different designs, and they cost more than plastic ones. The advantage of having metal toolboxes is that they are expected to last longer than plastic ones. On the other hand, there are plastic toolboxes which are also durable, and they cost less.


If you are strict about your budget, then the plastic toolbox is the right one for you. Remember though that in choosing a toolbox it is recommended that you pick one which is bigger than what you need today. You might purchase more tools in the future, and the extra space in your toolbox would surely be needed.

Ratchets and sockets are very important in a mechanic’s toolbox. Most automotive enthusiast would pick a ¼ inch set and a 3/8 inch set of ratchet drive. Although there is also a ½ inch set, there are very few parts in the automobile which would need the said set. It is also recommended that apart from a complete set of sockets, one should also invest on a spark plug socket.

Combination wrenches are also good to have in a toolbox. They might not be as fast or as fancy as ratchets, but they are less expensive and can do the same work as ratchets. It is named a combination wrench because it has a box wrench on one end and an open-end one at the other end.

When it comes to picking screwdrivers, it is no longer recommended that you get one of each type. Newer designs of screwdrivers allow users to interchange the tip of the driver from Phillips to slotted to hex and even to Torx easily. This means you no longer need to stuff your toolbox with a lot of screwdrivers.


There will always come a time when you would work with electrical components. And for that, you would need a pair of electrical pliers. There are several types of pliers and make sure that you have the types you will frequently use like the standard and long nose pliers. Remember that in picking which pliers to buy, make sure that its size is comfortable for use. It is possible that you might need bigger or smaller pliers in the future as your scope of work in your car increases.

Apart from these, a tool collection should also have impact wrenches – you can check them on and get one for a good price or eventually adjustable wrenches. Also called crescent wrench after its original manufacturer, these wrenches work great if you cannot find the exact wrench for a certain nut. It is not recommended though that you use the adjustable wrench on nuts and bolts frequently as it could cause undue wear and tear on these parts.

Just like the spark plug socket, it is recommended that you invest in a special tool like the oil filter wrench. It is recommended that you change the oil filter after every 3,000 miles. And that is a long time for a part to be screwed tightly to the engine block. It could prove to be quite a challenge to remove the oil filter without a specialized tool. Check first the size of your oil filter and buy a wrench for it.

Even a simple thing like a big funnel could be of great help to you. They do not cost a lot, but they are convenient to have close at hand, especially when you are topping up the engine oil. While spilled oil on the outside of your engine is not dangerous, it is messy and could be the source of a bad smell once it gets burned when the engine gets hot.

A tire pressure gauge should also be a part of every car owner’s tool collection. Since under inflation or over inflation could create excessive wear and tear on the tires, it is best that car owners check the air pressure on their tires regularly. These gauges do not cost a lot, either making it a no-brainer to have one in your toolbox.

For the tires, it is recommended that you always carry a tire iron. It will be easier to use than a regular wrench. Also, it is worth investing on a tire gauge and so that you can tighten those lug nuts to the right specification. Consult your car’s manual for the right torque setting.

There are also other jobs which would require you to raise the vehicle, and that means you have to invest in a good jack and a couple of jack stands.

Since automotive repairs can be messy, it is recommended that you also buy a pair of good latex gloves. They are not as comfortable as the usual gloves used by mechanics, but it will prevent oils and other fluids from seeping through to your hand. These gloves will come in handy when you are on your way to a function, and you need to do an emergency repair on your car.