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Essential Equipment Every Auto Repair Shop Needs

Auto repair mechanic using as two post lift to repair a car

Keeping automotive repair shop supplies in your garage allows you to provide top-tier services and work efficiently. Car repair equipment for a commercial garage goes beyond the primary tools that come to mind when you think of vehicle maintenance, and it’s crucial to supply your shop with everything you need to succeed.

Your mechanic shop inventory list should consist of the general tools you use daily and the specialized equipment you need to complete unique services, such as heavy equipment, safety supplies and vehicle lifts. 

What Tools Do Mechanics Use?

Auto mechanic equipment is wide-ranging. The supplies you need to operate a successful automotive maintenance business depend on the services you offer and the vehicles you work on. Some fundamental mechanical tools are necessary in any garage, but you may require additional equipment to provide specialized services. You must also determine which type of vehicle lift best meets your company’s needs. Creating an auto repair shop equipment list can help you build and maintain the ideal inventory.

Essential Automotive Garage Equipment and Supplies

When evaluating your auto shop tools and equipment, ensure you have everything you need, even for infrequently performed tasks. You should also build an inventory that provides plenty of tools  for your team.

Employees should be able to easily access the supplies they need to complete jobs quickly. The longer a team member must wait to use a tool, the more time it will take them to complete mission-critical tasks. Having multiple copies of each tool allows all your mechanics to work efficiently and maintain productivity.

General Vehicle Repair Tools

General vehicle repair tools are necessary for daily tasks and regular maintenance needs. Investing in various maintenance equipment helps you remain prepared for anything. While you probably already keep these common tools in your garage, you should check your inventory to ensure you have plenty of the following available.

Mechanic working on parts of an automotive vehicle
  • Wrenches: Oil filter wrenches and torque wrenches are essential automotive shop tools. Invest in several adjustable wrenches for the highest efficiency.
  • Sockets: Quality sockets allow you to tighten nuts and bolts and remove fasteners. Automotive manufacturers produce vehicles with various fastener styles and sizes, so your shop should contain multiple sockets.
  • Pliers: Pliers are helpful in many automotive maintenance and repair tasks. Jaw pliers are practical because you can adjust them to different sizes depending on your needs. Long-nosed pliers are also crucial for working in tight spaces.
  • Screwdrivers: You should keep several screwdrivers in your shop to meet each application, and you may want to consider investing in ratchet or torque screwdriver sets. You and your employees will appreciate ratchet screwdrivers because they eliminate the need for grip adjustment. Torque screwdrivers prevent you from under- or over-tightening screws.
  • Hammers: Machinist, dead-blow and claw hammers are the best hammers for automotive applications. Dead-blow hammers deliver maximum force. Machinist hammers are excellent when you need to swage metal, and your team should use claw hammers for prying.
  • Flashlights and headlamps: Mechanics often need flashlights and headlamps to work under cars. Keep plenty of headlamps, flashlights and batteries in your shop so your team can clearly see all automotive components while working.
  • Drain pans: Keeping your shop clean is vital for safety. Drain pans catch spills and drips to decrease the amount of cleaning you need to do.
  • Brake cleaner: Brake cleaner spray removes fluid and oil from brake discs, and it can help you clean unwanted grease from various surfaces.
  • Electrical tape: Electrical tape is valuable in auto shops because it can withstand high temperatures.
  • Pry bars: Pry bars are also a crucial type of car repair equipment. Mechanics often need to use crowbars and pry bars such as flat and rolling head pry bars. Rolling head pry bars can help mechanics lift and align materials, and flat pry bars are ideal for removing and scraping excess material.

Safety Equipment

While vehicle repair and maintenance supplies are necessary, safety is also paramount to prevent injuries and significantly improve your work environment. OSHA regulations make most safety equipment mandatory. Keep the following supplies in your repair shop to protect your team.

  • Fire extinguishers: You must have one fire extinguisher for every 3,000 square feet of your building, and you and your employees should have ready access to them.
  • Ear protection: Proper ear protection is crucial for preventing hearing loss. Loud noise exposure can damage the inner ear’s nerve endings, so all employees should wear earplugs or earmuffs while they work in your repair shop.
  • Eye protection: Glasses or goggles are also essential for your employees. Wearing the proper eye protection prevents debris and chemicals from damaging the eyes.
  • Hand protection: Nitrile rubber or cotton canvas gloves with latex coating protect mechanics’ hands from automotive residue such as oil.
  • Masks: Masks prevent mechanics from inhaling chemicals and dust while they perform repairs. Respirators are crucial when painting vehicles or working with strong chemicals, and your employees can use disposable dust masks the rest of the time.
  • Appropriate uniforms: Automotive shop uniforms or clothing should be easy to clean and tear-resistant to effectively protect employees and withstand challenging conditions. 

Diagnostic and Testing Equipment

Diagnostic and testing equipment lets you diagnose specific vehicle complications and determine the necessary repairs. With these tools, you can quickly identify automotive issues and reduce repair completion time. Invest in the following equipment to perform accurate diagnostic tasks.

  • On-board diagnostic code readers: OBD code readers such as the OBD II are essential for reading a vehicle’s stored data. With these devices, your team can diagnose specific issues such as loose wires, oxygen level fluctuations and engine misfires.
  • Battery testers: Your team can check a vehicle battery’s health, voltage and charge-holding capabilities. You can also predict when a car or truck may require a new battery.
  • Multimeters: A multimeter is essential for identifying harder-to-diagnose electrical complications in vehicles. Keep multimeters in your automotive shop so you and your employees can detect issues such as dead fuses, water damage and broken wires.
  • Circuit testers: A circuit tester is an alternative diagnostic tool to the multimeter. While it lacks the full range of capabilities the multimeter offers, a circuit tester is an excellent tool for locating broken circuits or circuit faults like altered connections and damaged wires.
  • Compression testers: Compression testers can help your team diagnose engine complications faster. A mechanic can use a compression tester to check each cylinder’s compression and determine if a specific cylinder causes engine issues. This equipment can help each employee narrow their search and isolate the component that needs repairs, reducing the diagnostic time.

Automotive Lifts and Car Hoists

Automotive lifts and car hoists are crucial for any automotive repair shop. Choosing the appropriate lifts for the vehicles you service allows you to perform maintenance and repairs safely and effectively, preventing injuries and vehicle damage. Manufacturers design various lifts for different vehicle and service types, and yours should hold vehicles steady while helping you access the components you work on. Consider the following lift types to choose what belongs in your garage.

Automotive lifts and car hoists
  • Two-post lifts: A two-post vehicle lift is an excellent option if you work on smaller vehicles and have limited space or are new to the automotive industry.  
  • Four-post lifts: Four-post vehicle lifts are ideal for accessing parts and systems inside cars and trucks. A four-post lift can raise a vehicle as high as 14 feet, and it can help you optimize your shop’s space by holding one vehicle above another when you are not working on it.
  • Scissor lifts: Scissor lifts are good options if your automotive repair team performs minor repair work and requires minimal under-car access.
  • Jacks: Vehicle jacks have a lower lifting height than vehicle lifts, so they are practical if you perform infrequent under-car repairs or less intensive maintenance.
  • Engine hoists: Engine hoists are essential for motor installations and repairs. An engine hoist safely lifts engine blocks out of vehicles, allowing you to work in cramped engine compartments.

Specialty Automotive Repair Equipment

Manufacturers design specialty equipment to perform unique or specific tasks. If you offer any specialized services, you should have the following on hand. 

  • Wheel alignment machines: Wheel alignment machines help you align vehicle suspension components to reduce unnecessary stress on suspension systems and prevent uneven tire wear. A computer-aided wheel alignment machine diagnoses misalignment and accurately determines repair needs using innovative technology.
  • Wheel balancers: High-quality wheel balancers help your team repair and prevent vehicle vibrations for increased safety, allowing you to provide full-service experiences for your customers.
  • Tire changers: A tire changer is another excellent tool because it allows you to sell tires to your customers. Mechanics use this equipment to mount and dismount tires properly.
  • Air conditioning and fluid recovery machines: An AC and fluid recovery machine is vital if you service vehicles’ air conditioning systems. An AC and fluid recovery machine removes refrigerants from a vehicle’s AC system so it complies with Environmental Protection Agency standards.  
  • Brake lathes: Quality on-car and off-car brake lathes adjust rotor thicknesses when heavy brake use causes vibrations or noise. Investing in a quality brake lathe is an excellent way to boost efficiency if you perform frequent brake repairs.

Air Compressors and Pneumatic Tools

Power tools and air compressors are essential because they simplify tasks and save time, allowing you and your team to complete jobs faster. Increase your garage’s efficiency with this equipment.

Rotary screw compressors vs. reciprocating piston compressors

1. Air Compressors

An air compressor can serve various purposes, and you can choose from different types. You can use an air compressor to power pneumatic tools, clean surfaces, apply paint and inflate tires. These air compressor types are valuable for automotive applications.

  • Rotary screw air compressors: Rotary screw air compressors work quickly in high-volume applications requiring continuous compressed air because they deliver steady streams and can withstand high-capacity loads. A rotary screw compressor is ideal if your shop uses pneumatic tools daily.
  • Reciprocating air compressors: Reciprocating or piston air compressors are ideal for low-volume applications. A reciprocating compressor is the best choice if you only occasionally need compressed air.

2. Pneumatic Tools

Air compressors power the following tools you can use to perform high-quality automotive repairs.

  • Air hammers: A pneumatic or air hammer drills or carves hard materials such as metal and stone.
  • Tire inflators: Tire inflators enable mechanics to check pressure levels and inflate tires.
  • Angle grinders: Angle grinders are excellent tools for removing industrial materials. Your team can use angle grinders to cut, deburr, grind, polish and finish metal surfaces.
  • Pneumatic guns: You and your employees can use pneumatic blow guns to remove dust and debris from automotive components and surfaces. 
  • Paint sprayer: Pneumatic paint sprayers are necessary if your business offers automotive finishing or refinishing services.

Equip Your Garage With Top-Tier Supplies and Equipment From Liftnow

A white semi truck raised on a four post lift

Equip Your Garage With Top-Tier Supplies and Equipment From Liftnow

The supplies and technology you choose can take your automotive repair and maintenance business to the next level. With quality tools and equipment, you and your technicians can complete repairs quickly, helping you boost efficiency and serve more customers. Specialized equipment allows you to expand your services and attract more business with full-service experiences, increasing profits. 

Liftnow offers durable automotive maintenance and repair equipment for your successful business. Whether you need high-performing air compressors, technologically advanced specialty equipment or dependable vehicle lifts, you can trust Liftnow to provide it. 

Liftnow has offered excellent products since 2003 and has become the Northeastern United States’ industry standard for service and quality. As a privately held corporation, we prioritize our clients and strive to meet their expectations. When you trust us with your automotive service equipment needs, you can rest assured your mechanics will work with only the best tools and machines in the industry. Contact Liftnow to learn more and find the right mechanic equipment for your auto shop or garage.

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