Working on a vehicle is a tough job. Often, its all about isolating that little noise, finding out why the engine is not running optimally or maybe just performing a routine service.
But to get the job done properly each time and with minimum fuss, an auto mechanic needs the right tools for the job. You cannot take off an oil filter using a hammer. Well, you probably could, but it's going to get a little messy.
That's why whenever you go into a mechanics workshop, you will see hundreds and hundreds of different tools, all just waiting to be used in the right situation. There are also specialist tools that may only be used once in a while, but having them is essential. Think of a circuit tester to find a broken circuit in the electrical system. Or, what about an engine stand for when an engine is totally removed from the chassis? These are just as critical as a set of wrenches, sockets or screwdrivers.
Now, would you know which tool is best to use in each situation? Well, that is exactly what we want to find out with this little quiz. This is a test of your auto shop knowledge.
Will you pass with flying colors?
Spark plugs are easiest to remove when using a proper plug spanner. No fussing and fiddling trying to find a spanner or socket to fit the plug! The plug spanner is also hollow, which means the tip of the plug doesn't get in the way. Simply drop it over the plug and turn.
While this is not a tool you will find in all garages, it can be very useful. A tap and die set is used to make new threads or clean up existing ones that might be slightly damaged.
A fuel line has to be held in place as it travels from the fuel tank toward the engine of the car. This is done by using a specific part called a coupler. To remove these properly when replacing the fuel line, you would use a special fuel line pliers.
While not strictly a garage tool -- all cars should have one of these already -- a car jack is the easiest way to lift a certain section of your car to change a wheel. For example, if you left rear tire is flat, you attach the jack to the connection point on the underside of the body near it. A few turns, and the car will be high enough to remove the wheel and put on the spare.
Invented by Conrad Bahr in 1918, the torque wrench applies a precise torque to the bolt you are tightening. This means it cannot be over-tightened and is easily loosened when need be.
Need to tell if a car's tires are inflated enough? A small pressure gauge will do the trick. Simply attach it to the valve of the tire, and the meter will tell you the exact pressure.
Used on crankshafts, it allows for the rotation of the crankshaft when the damper has been removed. It works with a normal ratchet.
Hard-to-remove bolts that cannot be turned off the thread can be a problem in a garage environment. A stud removal tool is just what you need to get the nut off the bolt, or even remove the stud itself from where it is anchored.
Ohm meters are a necessity, especially for any auto electrical work that you might need to carry out in your garage, as they can help to measure electrical resistance.
Bolts within an engine are crucial. You don't want them coming loose, do you? This tool helps to stretch a bolt to the tolerance level as instructed by the manufacturer. This torquing process means that the bolt won't come loose during engine operation.
To remove the timing cover of the engine, the dampener must be removed first. It always has an extremely tight fit and needs a specific tool to remove.
Sometimes called a valve lash wrench, this is used when adjusting the valves on an engine. Sometimes this tool also comes with a built-in torque wrench.
This tool is used to measure the distance between two opposing sides of a particular object. It has any number of uses when working on a car engine.
Flat batteries are a reality. A jumper pack will get it started the first time, and the charger will ensure that you get a charge back into it so you won't need to jump it again.
A good set of cleaning brushes can be used throughout your workshop for a number of different tasks, including keeping an engine spic and span.
Engine parts, particularly on old engine rebuilds, need to be cleaned. The best way to do this is by simply soaking them and then cleaning them in a parts washing container.
There are many more types of fasteners than a nut and bolt. One of these is an Allen key fastener, which is used in many different areas of modern vehicles.
Zip ties are a great way to keep pipes, wires and leads together. For example, keep the high-tension leads, which might be stored between the spark plugs and distributor cap, neat and tidy by using zip ties to bind them together.
Feeler gauges are to measure gap widths, most notably in spark plugs. For example, too large a gap width means the spark plug will not fire properly.
A circuit tester will see if a certain electrical system is forming a closed circuit and therefore working correctly.
Engines are heavy. When removed from a vehicle, they need somewhere to stand without the chance of falling and getting damaged. An engine stand will do the job perfectly.
While working on an engine, the crankshaft will need to be turned and adjusted many times. This socket does this without any fear of damaging the crankshaft itself.
This long bar is non-ratcheting and used to turn very stubborn nuts, as the length allows more torque to be generated through an extended leverage.
All modern cars have computers that run pretty much everything in the vehicle. When something goes wrong with this computer, having one of these gadgets can not only help identify the problem easier, but can also fix it in many cases.
Adhesive tape, or "duct tape," as we know it, was first invented in 1942. It is a must-have around the garage and can be used in many situations. What would we do without it?
A socket set serves much the same purpose as a wrench, but here, you place the socket over the nut and use a socket wrench to tighten or loosen. The advantage here is that it can be used to work on hard-to-reach nuts thanks to extender bars.
Similar to an Allen key, a torx bit will fit a specially shaped head on a range of bolts. They are easily identified by their six-point star shape.
Many oil filters are turned into place by hand and then tightened using an oil filter wrench. These also help remove older filters that might have become stuck in place due to the heat of the engine over time.
Is there an auto doctor in the house? These stethoscopes include a long point probe, perfect for placing at points throughout the engine to listen for problematic sounds.
Also known as an air gun, this uses compressed air to spin and is the quickest way to attach or remove nuts.
This tool is particularly useful when working on the valves of an engine. It helps to determine the right height for both the spring and the valve in their chambers.
Wrenches come in many shapes and sizes. They are used to tighten and loosen nuts and bolts and some may even be adjustable.
A vise is a critical piece of equipment in your garage. It allows you to grip things tightly and securely while you work on them. For instance, you might want to put a piece of metal you are cutting with a hacksaw into a vise.
Engines are heavy. A pulley, hoist and lift make it possible to not only remove them, but replace them back into the chassis with minimal fuss. It will certainly save your back!
Used in conjunction with a Valve Checking Spring Kit, this micrometer helps determine the height of the valves in the engine.