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Breaking Down the Essential Tools of the Automotive Trade

As an automotive technician, excellence is developed through years of training and hands-on practice. But even if you’ve proven your mastery of the industry’s key skills, it’s tough to get the job done if you don’t have the right automotive tools on hand. It’d be difficult to outline every tool you might use as an automotive professional, but NYADI The College of Automotive and Diesel Technology can offer a helping hand by outlining some of the tools you can expect to use the most throughout your career as a mechanic.

The Basics

Most of these automotive tools are a given in virtually any tool set, so we’ll keep them all in one place. Every item on this list should be considered essential whether you’re tweaking your vehicle at home or planning to go pro.


  • Standard Wrenches: Designed to help you grip and turn fasteners, like nuts and bolts, quality wrenches are always good to have on hand.
  • Pliers: It’s tough to overstate the functionality of these automotive staples, which serve various purposes, from gripping to wire cutting.
  • Socket/Torque Wrenches: Socket and torque wrenches, like standard wrenches, help you grip and turn fasteners with the assistance of a ratcheting mechanism. Look for a set that comes with sockets of varying sizes to maximize your versatility.
  • Screwdrivers: True to their name, screwdrivers are crafted to apply and remove screws. As an automotive technician, you’ll probably want a set with numerous sizes and several head styles.

Other basic gear you’ll likely use on a regular basis includes oil-filter wrenches, oil pans, ramps and more. What you’ll need ultimately depends on your unique area of expertise and the repair in question.

Digging Deeper

Beyond these everyday staples, there are a host of more complex and less well-known automotive tools you’ll likely need as a mechanic. We’ll outline a few of the most common, because the full list is extensive. And as is the case with basic tools, the gear you’ll be using can vary significantly from one day to the next.

  • Gasket Scraper: Diesel engines incorporate lots of gaskets. Lots of gaskets often mean lots of residue. This tool lets you get rid of that residue for effortless gasket replacement.
  • Battery-Powered Drills and Impact Wrenches: Drills and impact wrenches are necessities from the get-go, but selecting battery-powered tools lets you maneuver much more easily than tools that rely on cords.
  • Electrical Diagnostic Kits: Modern vehicles generally feature sophisticated electrical systems, and these may cause problems from time to time. Diagnostic kits make it fairly simple to identify the source of these issues.

Learn the Ropes

These tools encompass just a portion of everything you might use in a given day as a professional automotive technician. Interested in a career in the automotive industry? Contact an admission advisor at NYADI The College of Automotive and Diesel Technology, or apply today to begin your education.