The Best 29 Automotive Specialty Tools I Can’t Live Without

29 Automotive Specialty Tools I Can’t Live Without

What car tools should YOU buy? I’m not sure, but here’s a list of tools I have acquired over the years, and now can’t live without.

Here are the links to all my favorites. You can purchase all of the items in the video from Amazon:

Basic Automotive Toolset –

Actron CP9670 Auto Scanner OBD II –

Arcan XL20 Black Service Jack –

Pro-LifT T-6906D Double Pin Jack Stands – 6 Ton –

Pro Lift Mechanic Plastic Creeper –

Multimeter with Ohm Volt Amp and Diode Voltage Tester –

Telescoping Magnetic Pick-Up –

Telescoping Inspection Mirror –

Flex-Cable Pick-Up Tool –

Performance Tool W80750 2-Piece Specialty Pick Set –

Electronic Digital Caliper Stainless Steel Body with Large LCD Screen –

Bernzomatic TS8000 – High Intensity Trigger Start Torch –

Power Station Jump Starter: 600 Peak/300 Instant Amps with Battery Clamps –

20-Gallon Portable Air Compressor –

DEWALT 1/2-Inch Square Drive Impact Wrench –

DEWALT 3/8-Inch Square Drive Air Ratchet –

Complete 3/8″ and 1/2” Drive Impact Socket Set –

One Man Automotive Hand Vacuum Pump Test & Brake Bleeder Kit –

Tite-reach Extension Wrench Tri-pack –

Angled Fuel Disconnect Tool Set –

Auto Trim Removal Tool Kit Set with Fastener Clip Remover –

Torque Wrenches –

Power Probe IV w/Case & Acc –

Deluxe Compression Tester Kit with Carrying Case –

Cylinder Leakage Tester Kit –

Car Vacuum and Fuel Pump Tester Gauge Kit –

Pulley Puller Remover – Pulley Installer –

3-Jaw Gear Puller Set – 3”, 4”, and 6” Inch Removal Tool Kit –

OTC 6667 Harmonic Damper Puller –

2 TON Engine Hoist Cherry Picker Shop Crane Lift Black –

Steel Rotating Engine Stand with Foldable Frame –

Automotive Lift –


Hey everybody. Steve here, coming to you from the 95-degree garage. So, I’ll try to get through this one quickly. I’ve got an e-mail from a guy by the name of Keith and Keith asked me about the tools that I use and it kind of gave me an idea for a video. So, I thought I would compile a list of tools that I have used over the years to work on my cars.

Now I am not a professional mechanic, I am a DI wire and long time ago started working on my own car, to try to save a little bit of money and I’ve acquired some tools over the years. So, I wanted to share with you some of the stuff that I used and I’m going to try to do it in order and I don’t know how this is gonna go. But I am going to try to do it in an order of what I think casting the widest net, the thing that most everybody might want to invest in. And as I get further and further down the list it’s going to get narrower and narrower, fewer and fewer people in terms of complexity of the project and the tools that you’re going to need in the project.

So, I have a list and it’s long. So, let me get right to it. All right. So first of all, let’s talk about assumptions. Assumption number one is that you have a standard toolset. You know something with wrenches, sockets, screwdrivers, pliers that sort of thing and that you’re not starting from complete scratch. If you are starting from complete scratch check the description down below and I’ll share with you something similar to the tool kit that I keep in my car at all times which has actually never let me down. It’s pretty much got everything that I need for on the road. So, there’s that. But yeah, let’s get started with list.

Something that I use a lot and that I think it would be wise for everybody to have is one of these. This is an OBD2 reader. This is the Akron Auto Scanner Plus and essentially this is you just plug this little guy underneath your dash into the computer and it will give you all of any kind of error codes if your check engine light is on. The other thing that this thing will do is it will make recommendations, this is kind of a step up from the base one. This one will make recommendations on potential things that you can do to fix those issues. And it does a few other things: it does monitoring as you’re driving down the road it will record a bunch of criteria that you choose and it will allow you to review that data later. So, this one’s a little bit nicer than the entry level one that you could still buy and I’ll put up a link for that down in the description. So, that is number one.

All right. So, number 2 I think for a wide variety of things that you are going to need to do to your car having a jack and jack stands is gonna take you a long way. Now, so what I’m showing you here is my jack, it is a step above the entry level and also my jack stands. These jack stands are for an SUV or big truck. You don’t need to get these I think they’re rated at 6,000 pounds apiece. One of the things that I really like about this particular jack stand is that they have these locking mechanisms so that I just feel a little bit more comfortable crawling around underneath the vehicle with this just this extra added safety feature.

Okay. So, here’s an important one to go with your jack and you jack stands, here’s a crawler. Basically, it makes it more comfortable when you’re lying around on your back and got wheels so that you can buzz around instead of doing the inch worm thing. I have the tendency to forget to use this thing and I end up doing the inch worm thing anyways.

So, another thing that I think that you can’t do without is a good multimeter. This one does volts AC, volts DC, ohms, it’s a battery tester and I think one of my most favorite features is a continuity tester. So, these things are very very inexpensive, you can get them all the way from start at $10 bucks and they go up to hundreds. Something that you’re going to learn very very early is that you drop stuff. So, this is a magnet on a stick. It will save you a tremendous amount of time. On that same note a mirror on a stick that will save you a tremendous amount of time. Another thing, there goes my mirror on a stick. Another thing is this a little grabby thing. If the fastener that you’re trying to reach is not magnetic then this guy right here is also awesome for getting out lost stuff because bolts never drop where you can find them. They drop into this black hole and end up in the neighbor’s yard across the street.

All right, so here’s something that I find…. These are picks and they’re great for getting a wider variety of electronic connectors disconnected because it seems like every single connector underneath the hood is different. So, these are really really good thing to have.

All right so now we’re really starting to get into stuff that’s not absolutely mandatory, we’re going to jump to the next level in terms of the level of difficulty of things that you could do with your vehicle but something that I find indispensable is my micrometer or micro meter however you want to say it. So, indispensable and it will do both inside diameters and outside diameters. So, all right.

So, if you work on cars long enough you are going to get to a point where you’re going to come across a nut, a bolt, a screw or some sort of fastener that you can’t get off. And that’s where the heat comes in. So, one of these is great, put the heat on the bolt and the bolt will expand and then it’s generally easier to get off.

All right. So, something else that is pretty indispensable in my opinion is a jump box. It’s like waking up on a cold morning, late for work and your battery doesn’t start. This will at least get you to the auto parts store for a fresh battery or wherever it is that you need to go.

All right. Let’s talk about air. Okay. So, having a compressor is going to make your life incredibly easy. In addition to stuff as simple as being able put air in your tires it will drive tools like this and like this. These guys alone probably take out about half the work. Things are still difficult but without them things would just go much, much, much slower. Now in addition to now in addition to….in addition to this guy right here you’re also going to need to step up and get some impact sockets. Okay. So, something that you definitely don’t have to have but man it sure does make it easier. If you’ve ever seen the commercial for these type reach wrenches they do everything that they say they do in the commercial. They’re durable as all get out and there are just instances where you can’t get something with a wrench and instead of having to take four or five other things off just to get to that fastener these guys get in there and get it done. Absolutely fantastic item.

Okay. So, if you ever work with fuel lines you’re going to need some of these guys. Not very expensive but you can’t disconnect those fuel lines without them.

So, let’s go inside the car for a second say you want to install a new stereo system or something similar to that. Those panels are amazingly difficult to get apart. But these guys is basically one with the end for just about everything. it helps you get those door panels off ver, very easily and the thing I love most about these is that it will help you to get those panels off without breaking the little clips because a lot of times you just get frustrated and rip stuff apart and then they don’t go back together very well.

Okay. So, as you get deeper and deeper into projects another indispensable item is a torque wrench. You’ll need a few of them. This is a 3/8ths; it’s good from 10 to 80-foot pounds. So, for example this one is a 1 1/2.

All right I guess we’re really going to get a good test between the two cameras because that one just took a dump so back on the cell phone. Where was I? Torque wrenches. This is a 1 1/2 from 10 to 150-foot pounds. So, you might also need a couple that do inch pounds. This is something you don’t really want to cheap out on, you don’t want to be getting inaccurate torque readings.

Absolutely indispensable is this power probe 4. Not only does it help you chase electrical problems but it actually hooks right up to the battery so that you can apply power directly to the item that you’re testing without having to run around, get the car, turn it on all that kind of stuff. So, this thing is a…… this thing has probably saved me I don’t know whether it saves me more time or more frustration but definitely, definitely worth it. That’s the power probe 4.

All right. So, next item if you’re going to bleed your brakes and you don’t have anybody to help you here’s a one-man bleeding Kit.

Let’s stop diagnostics for a second, something that you may eventually need down the road. This is a compression test kit. Okay, let’s see along the same lines but a little bit different is a leak down tester. And third on the list of the gauge stuff is this fuel pump and vacuum tester.

All right let’s talk about getting stuff off: pully puller, definitely important. I also have a jaw puller but I can’t seem to find it for you. And the crème of the creme the harmonic balancer puller.

You know when I first started thinking about this list I came up with about four or five things and then all of a sudden five turned to 10 which I think is now somewhere in the neighborhood of 25 or 30. So, I am going pretty fast but I will include in the description the makes and models of all of these things that I’m showing you.

All right. We’re getting towards the real deep, deep, deep bottom of the list here. If you ever need to pull an engine you’ll obviously need an engine hoist and this is what I use when I did the engine rebuild on my Tahoe. And what you’re looking at here is the engines stand makes for an excellent place to put the engine when it’s out of the car, makes it much easier to work on as well.

All right. We’re at the bottom of the list and we are now at the most extreme of the extreme of the extreme; the creme de la creme of all the tools that I’ve ever bought for working on my cars is the lift. And I will tell you it’s not like I just arbitrarily decided to go buy a lift, it didn’t work out like that. When I was 16 years old my father made me change the oil in my car for the first time on a gravel driveway without a lot of the luxuries that I have now; inch warning lawn on those sharp rocks. I remember it like it was yesterday and it was very early that I decided I would love to have a lift someday. Well I’m 50 this year and I’m finally getting a lift and the justification for the lift was that my wife has got an equinox and it needed to have the motor pulled but I couldn’t use my cherry picker to pull the motor because the car actually has to get lifted up off of the motor. The dealer quoted me $10,000. Yes, I said $10,000, that’s what they quoted me. They said it was gonna be about $42,00 for the engine and because it was something like 60 labor hours or whatever it was the guy just gave me a nice rounded number of $10,000. Now when I called a local mechanic that number dropped to around $75,00 but I said to my wife if I get can get a used engine for $12,00 I can get a lift for $3000. At the end of the day we’ll save money and we’ll have a lift to do all the other things that I want to do. So, here it I, here is my lift.

It is the ultimate, ultimate automotive tool and if you happen to have a car that has engine problems that you can’t use a cherry picker for feel free to use that justification when you discuss it with your spouse. So, anyhow that’s it. I don’t know how many we ended up getting to. I don’t know if that was 25, it was 30 or whatever. But when I edit the video I’ll go back and I’ll make sure that I’ve got links in the description below for all of those items. Once again let me say that I don’t have everything and I might have missed some things that you guys think are extremely important. If so please feel free to let us know in the comments. By no means are these tools mandatory but these are all of the things that I’ve bought over the last 30 years that have helped me tremendously in making my Automotive repairs much much easier.

So that’s it. I’ve got so many more videos coming now that I’ve got the lift. After I get the equinox fixed the Tahoe is getting a turbocharger. Oh yes, there will be videos about that. Maybe the Colorado will get a turbocharger. Who knows. We’ll see. But I appreciate you supporting me on my channel: like, comment, subscribe and I’ll see you in the next video.


Best 29 Automotive Specialty Tools