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What You Need in Your Tool Set in the Automotive Trade

Working in the automotive industry requires hands-on skills, problem-solving capabilities, and a full tool set. Repairing and maintaining vehicles involves many different methods and therefore many different tools. NYADI The College of Transportation Technology, based in Jamaica, NY, is dedicated to helping students prepare for careers in the automotive trade with outstanding academic programs and career services. Here, we share information about the essential tools you’ll need in your set to be able to complete any job that comes your way.

Basic Tools

Whether you’re planning to build your own set or buy one that’s already stocked up, most tool sets will include the basics. From working in an auto shop to your home garage, these basic tools will be used often. Here are recommendations to keep in your toolbox:

Basic Wrench Set

Hand wrenches are an essential item in the auto trade, used when working on cars to grip and turn nuts and bolts. When a car part needs to be removed or replaced, using a wrench to adjust the fasteners helps to ensure they’re secure and will keep the car working safely.


Pliers are a common and versatile hand tool used for gripping objects firmly when bending, compressing, or cutting materials. Some types of pliers you may want to keep in your tool set include needle-nose pliers, linesman’s pliers, vise grip pliers, and slip-joint pliers.


Screwdrivers are another necessary tool for your auto tool set because they can help tighten and loosen screws and pry parts open when performing repairs or maintenance. Screwdrivers are available in different styles and sizes and are used for different types of screws. It’s best to get a set of both Phillips and flathead screwdrivers with different-sized tips so you always have the kind you need.

Car Jacks and Stands

Often a mechanic will need to lift the car off the ground to inspect and repair it. Car jacks and jack stands are used to do this. Jacks alone won’t provide enough stability to keep the mechanic safe underneath, so jack stands are used to add extra support. There are various types and weight ratings of jacks and it’s essential to choose the right kind for the type of work being performed and the weight of the vehicle.

Oil Change Supplies

Mechanics often must complete oil changes, and having your own tools for the process can be helpful, including a funnel, oil drain pan, and oil filter removal tool. The drain pan collects the old oil, the funnel helps insert the new oil, and the removal tool makes it easier to remove the oil filter.

Other common tools you may need in the automotive industry include ratchets, tire gauges, flashlights, pry bars, and more. Overall, the tools needed will vary depending on the mechanic’s area of expertise and the type of repair.

More Complex Tools

In addition to your basic tools, mechanics and automotive technicians also will need some more complex and specialized automotive tools. These items will depend on the type of automotive work you do and what area you specialize in, but they can include:

Gasket Scraper

If you specialize in Diesel Service Technology, a gasket scraper will be beneficial. Since diesel engines have many gaskets and therefore lots of residue, a gasket scraper helps clean away the residue so you can perform gasket replacement.

Specialized Wrenches

In addition to a basic wrench set, mechanics and auto technicians may also opt for battery-powered wrenches, torque wrenches, and impact wrenches. These types can offer improved maneuverability and accuracy when tightening fasteners.

Electrical Diagnostic Tools

Diagnostic tools and tests are new in the automotive industry but have become increasingly popular as vehicles continue to evolve with computer systems and sensors. Tools like an OBD2 scanner provide vehicle error codes that help locate where the problem is happening and influence the repairs. 

Students who graduate from NYADI programs will receive a $750 voucher toward the purchase of Snap-On Tools to fill their tool sets.

Request More Information Today

If a career in the automotive industry sounds perfect for you, NYADI The College of Transportation Technology in Jamaica, NY, is here to help you on your way to your dream career. Our hands-on education programs let you earn an associate degree in the auto trade in as little as 16 months and can help prepare you for ASE and other certifications. Request more information about our programs today to learn more.