Can You Name the Auto Shop Tool From a One Sentence Description?
By: Jacqueline Samaroo
This flexible snake makes it easy to view inside concealed spaces and diagnose problems.
The inspection camera used by auto mechanics is also called a videoscope. It has the ability to take still pictures and show real-time video of the area being inspected. Images can be displayed on the mechanic’s smartphone, tablet or other connected device.
These devices are strong enough to keep a vehicle safely off the ground so it can be worked on.
Jack stands should be bought according to their weight and height capacities. The maximum weight capacity of most jack stands is somewhere between 1 and 10 tons but some heavy duty jack stands have much larger capacities. Not all jack stands are adjustable for height since most jobs can be done comfortably at the same height.
Cleaning dirt and grime from vehicle components is a breeze with this piece of equipment.
Parts washers come in various designs depending on the needs of the repair shop. The manual parts washer is a sink where the parts are cleaned by hand. Some parts washers, however, are enclosed and can allow you to soak the parts before they are washed automatically.
It’s a time-saving power tool for tightening and loosening fasteners or for making holes.
A drill is one of the most basic and most versatile tools in an auto shop. It can be used for a wide variety of jobs, including making holes and driving screws. Drills may be electric or air-powered, corded or cordless, and some are reversible with the ability to turn in both a clockwise and counterclockwise direction.
Often used when changing a flat tire, this strong tool comes in a 4-way version and helps with wheel removal.
Lug nuts (also called wheel nuts) fit over special studs and help to hold a wheel securely onto a vehicle. They can be loosened and tightened using a lug wrench, manual socket wrench or powered impact wrench.
Reaching into cramped areas is much easier with this clever tool connected to a special wrench.
The ratchet extender does exactly as its name says—it increases the reach of a ratchet. The reach can be increased even more by attaching several extenders together and then to the ratchet before attaching a socket at the end.
Garage floors stay much cleaner with this container catching greasy leaks while a vehicle is being worked on.
A carefully positioned oil drip pan of sufficient size is a necessity when changing oil in a vehicle (engine oil and transmission oil, for example). The collected used oil can then be stored and disposed of in an approved, environmentally friendly way.
This item helps with rolling into position when working on the undercarriage of a vehicle.
Auto mechanics will agree that a padded mechanic’s creeper is much more comfortable to use than cardboard when lying on the ground under a vehicle. Some creepers can also be folded up into a seat, which is much better than stooping down when you have to work on low areas of a vehicle, such as the wheels.
Repair shops use this specially designed version of a common tool to pound dents out of sheet metal.
Auto body hammers are most often used to even out dents in sheet metal. Using an auto body hammer requires special skill, so some amount of practice is advised before trying one out on an actual vehicle.
This wearable source of illumination is a smart hands-free choice when working in dark areas.
The headlamp has several advantages over a flashlight and an underhood light. Holding a flashlight leaves you with just one hand available to work with and using an underhood light tends to cast a shadow over the area you are working in. With the headlamp, you can direct the light exactly where you need it and have both hands free to work.
These versatile tools come in a wide variety and are used for gripping, wire-stripping and bending, among other things.
The basic function of a pair of pliers is to securely grip an item. Pliers come in a wide variety of designs, however, to suit specialized needs. These include needle-nose pliers, wire cutters, circlip pliers and spark plug pliers.
Also often found in a kitchen, this implement makes it easy to pour liquids without making a mess.
The simplicity of a funnel sometimes takes away from how very useful it is. By using a funnel, liquids can be poured faster and more accurately than if they are poured without one. Using the right sized funnel can completely eliminate spills.
Rusted fasteners can be easily cracked in two and removed with this tool.
There are times when corrosion causes a nut to become completely seized onto its bolt. If other methods fail and the nut does not need to be saved, then using a nut splitter is the best choice. It has a tooth which pierces and splits the nut so that it is easily removed from the bolt.
Repair shops use this powerful device to raise vehicles off the ground.
Some repair jobs are easier to complete if the vehicle is raised off the ground. A hydraulic floor jack uses “liquid power” to lift a vehicle and in many cases, it is much more powerful than other types of jacks.
Its collection of thin chisels helps this tool to chip away rust and grime.
A needle scaler (or needle gun) has multiple needles and can deliver over 4,000 blows per minute. Some models are sold with sets of needles in various sizes and for use on different types of materials such as metal or concrete.
Just like a doctor listening to a heartbeat, this device lets you hear what's going on inside a vehicle’s engine.
The trained ear of an auto repair specialist knows which sounds should be coming from a vehicle’s engine and which should not. Using an automotive stethoscope helps by magnifying the sounds while keeping the auto mechanic’s ear and face away from hot surfaces under the vehicle’s hood.
The ends of this two-in-one turning device comes in “open” and “box” variations.
Combination wrenches will typically have the same sized head at either end but one end will be open whereas the other is a box end. It is also not uncommon to see the box end of the combination wrench designed as a flex-head so that it can grip from different angles.
Electrical problems can be diagnosed easily with this tool.
Automobile circuit testers (also known as test lights) usually feature a light up indicator to let the user know when a voltage is detected. Some models are also equipped with a buzzer as a secondary indicator.
Having strong jaws means this implement is more than able to grip an object securely while it is being worked on.
As its name suggests, the bench vise is a mechanical apparatus used to secure an object to allow work to be performed on it. It can serve as a strong pair of extra hands when the auto mechanic is working solo on a job.
The tip of this tool is shaped like a star so that it can fit snuggly into similarly shaped fasteners.
Due to its shape, the Torx screwdriver is sometimes referred to as a star screwdriver. The word Torx is actually a trademark name for this type of screwdriver and the screws it works with. Torx screws can be found on a wide variety of vehicles, making the Torx screwdriver a must-have for the auto mechanic.
The main purpose of this device is to illuminate a dark engine bay.
The underhood light is a very good choice for flooding the entire engine bay of a vehicle with light. For convenience, an underhood light most often features LEDs and is both cordless and rechargeable.
This handy tool makes it easy for an auto mechanic to straighten out bent sheet metal.
It is advisable to thoroughly clean and dry the section of the vehicle where the dent is located before attempting to use the suction cup dent puller. This is so as to avoid the dent puller slipping when it is pulled on and perhaps causing more damage than it is trying to fix.
It is a helpful diagnostic tool which can reveal whether an engine has a misfiring problem.
No spark from the spark plugs is one of the most common reasons behind an engine failing to start. Spark plugs can be checked very quickly using an ignition spark tester. If there is a spark, then the problem might actually be that the vehicle has no fuel—check it!
These implements can detach decorative and finishing components without any damage to the underlying material.
Trim removal tools are inexpensive and indispensable when removing trim from a vehicle. They are specifically designed to loosen hidden fasteners in odd locations while preventing damage to the trim material.
This heavy lifter can hoist a motor up and out of a vehicle so it can be repaired or replaced.
Engines are big, heavy and cumbersome, therefore moving them requires much care and consideration. Before using an engine crane to lift an engine, you should ensure that the engine does not exceed the maximum weight capacity of the crane. It is also important to know in advance how the crane is operated.
This device is very effective at tuning the engine in older model vehicles.
Most modern vehicles use a computer to regulate the firing-the-ignition process. In older vehicles, this is the job of the distributor and these are the vehicles whose engines can be tuned with a timing light.
Bending and shaping metal is much easier when a repair shop has one of these items.
The hydraulic shop press uses the force of compression to help shape metal. It can be used in an auto shop to either repair parts or make them from scratch, such as fenders and hoods.
These tools are often used along with auto body hammers when doing body work.
A dolly can be used to create curves and creases in sheet metal. The dolly is placed under the metal, like a small anvil, and the metal is then struck repeatedly with an auto body hammer until it takes the shape of the curve of the dolly.
Also referred to as a kind of chisel, this power tool works very well at cutting right through sheet metal.
As you can tell by its name, the air hammer is an air-powered or pneumatic tool. It is also called an air chisel and is very effective at cutting sheet metal. The air hammer is often put to use in auto shops which do automotive restoration.
This is a specialized tool to safely grip and turn the boots on an engine’s ignition devices.
Spark plug pliers have specially shaped and padded tips to firmly grip the spark plug boot without damaging it or the wire. The bent jaws of the spark plug pliers are said to be offset with the most common offset angle being 45 degrees.
This piece of equipment powers the pneumatic tools used in a repair shop.
Some good advice when opening up a repair shop is to start with a good quality air compressor and hose. A collection of pneumatic (or air-powered) tools can then be slowly built up to use with the compressor.
The short handle and shaft on this tool make it ideal for reaching fasteners where space is limited.
A stubby screwdriver has both a short handle and a short shaft. Some are ratcheting and some are sold as a set with interchangeable tips to use on different types of screws.
This crookedly designed tool is perfect for reaching round corners in confined areas.
The crooked, or offset, handle and flexible head help this type of ratchet to find its way around obstacles to turn fasteners. It can be of particular use in the cramped space of the engine bay in some modern cars.
This tool can be used with a variety of discs for sanding, polishing and cutting.
The angle grinder is a very versatile tool which gets put to plenty of use in repair shops which have invested in one. They are very powerful and come in both electric and air-powered versions. As with most other power tools, it is important to wear protective gear when using an angle grinder.
Ratchet up your excitement! This auto shop tools quiz is sure to make your day! Whether they are pneumatic, electric or manual, many auto shop tools just seem to exude raw power. They help the auto mechanic to take on the most difficult (and sometimes dirtiest) of jobs and resolve whatever issues a vehicle has, often with the greatest of ease. The mechanic and the tools work in tandem to successfully change tires, pull dents and blast away layers of rust and accumulated gunk from vehicle parts—just to highlight a few of their jobs!
Some tools are definite must-haves when it comes to diagnosing engine trouble while others are perfect for reaching deep into confined and concealed spaces on a vehicle. Then there are tools which are specifically meant to be used with particular parts and even take their names from them. Are any of them coming to mind? Think you could ID them all if all you get is a short description? Put your knowledge of garage tools to the test—start the quiz! Professional auto mechanics and avid do-it-yourselfers will most likely ace this one. Are you among their ranks or is the jack the ONLY thing you know about auto shop tools? You'll find out when you take the quiz!
About HowStuffWorks Play
How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!