Essential Tools for the Do-It-Yourself Mechanic

My brother (an ASE master technician who often has to clean up messes from projects done in home garages) would tell you that do-it-yourself is not a good idea when it comes to working on cars.

But everyone has to start somewhere.  If you’re going to work on a project car – or even your primary means of transportation – you probably carry your tools in a duffel bag rather affording one of those fancy triple decker tool boxes on wheels.  However you store them, what tools should you have in your set?

I asked a few mechanics what the most essential tools are for working on your car at home, and I got some feedback that I used to create a list.

Here are their suggestions:

  • Floor Jack
  • Sturdy Jack Stands
  • Pliers
  • Hammer – Ball peen hammers will get most thing done
  • Crow bar
  • Ratchet set
  • Flat screwdriver
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Automotive tweezers

Depending upon whether you’re overhauling your entire car instead of performing a simple fix, there may be quite a few other tools you’d need, including stuff to check electrical connections, power tools to speed things up, and other equipment to work on more recent car models. But if you’re making a list of the essentials, these items should cover the basics of most of your repair needs.

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