Tools You Will Want Before Starting an Automotive Project

Tools You Will Want Before Starting an Automotive Project

Whether you are a mechanic in your spare time or as a profession, you require a wide array of tools to see you through the completion of your projects. Many are specific to particular vehicles or purposes. Take, for example, jacks and jack stands. Not every jack is suited for every purpose. And the jack is only the beginning of the tools you should own.

A Quality Socket and Wrench Set

Now that the car is raised and ready for you to work on it, you need the basics: a proper mechanic’s tool set of sockets and wrenches. A complete set will include metric and standard sizes. Look for one with quarter-inch, three-eighths-inch, and even one-half-inch sockets and drivers. Thin-walled sockets and extensions make useful accessories as well.

A Full-Ranged Screwdriver Set

Your household repair kit may already contain a set of screwdrivers, but you may need to expand it for garage work. A set with a large flathead permits you to double its use as a prying tool. A wide-ranging set that includes quite small screwdrivers gives you the delicate tools you need to perform electronic work.

Bright Lighting Sources

A work light isn’t only necessary in winter where night falls fast. Even projects taking place in broad daylight have dark nooks and corners that benefit from a good work light. An under-hood light that works with magnets can also serve as an under-body light.

Magnets in Many Places

Sorting trays and clip-on belt accessories that boast magnetic power ensure that you do not scramble after lost fasteners, tools, and parts. You need not be stuck with standard configurations of socket organizers when you have a magnetic socket storage tray. Magnets are invaluable accessories for any mechanic.

Wire Cutters and Pliers

A ton of electrical projects go into any project vehicle. Maybe you need to wire new headlights. Perhaps the car’s stereo or speakers are not up to par and you want to install a stereo head unit. For such tasks, you need wire cutters, wire strippers, and pliers. They all come in various sizes, and you want a wide array of them on hand for the many tasks you may tackle.

Torque Wrench

When you are attaching wheel lugs and nuts to the car that is your project, bringing them to finger-tight levels is not going to suffice. Nearly every fastener found on a vehicle carries with it its unique torque specification. This refers to precisely how tight the fastener must be so that things are properly connected and in readiness for operation. Sometimes, fasteners rely on precision torque to make another component sound.

Pneumatic Impact Wrench

The best pneumatic impact wrench will let you make quick work in the tasks of removing lug nuts and driving nuts. One warning is that you should show caution in driving nuts lest you drive them too hard. Also known as impact guns or air-powered impact wrenches, these specialty fastening tools apply high degrees of torque to bolts or nuts. The user requires minimal effort.

Dead Blow Mallet

A stuck bolt can throw a wrench in the works of any car project. To remove one, try a dead blow mallet. A few blows with such a hammer will loosen nearly anything. You may need to add a little heat to the project now and then, but most of the time, a dead blow mallet will suffice.

Cleaners and Lubricants

To keep moving mechanical parts functioning smoothly, they require regular cleaning and lubrication. A few liquid sprays will assist you in this process. Try a rust penetrant to loosen stubborn bolts and prevent the accumulation of rust. Brake cleaner is essential for metal parts, including but not limited to brakes. Citrus degreaser removes oil-based products from axles, steering components, and skid plates. Finally, a silicone lubricant will not attract dirt while it eliminates friction and squeaking.


Many tools could have made this list. From drip pans to protect your garage floor and desiccants to dry out liquids that miss the drip pans, from a propane torch to bolt extractors, or from a scan tool to multimeters and test lights, project cars call for a wide variety of implements. The tools on this list should help get you started.