Are you just starting life as an auto mechanic? Branching out and considering starting your own shop? Just looking to catch up with the competition by finally replacing those rusty spanner sets and getting next-generation gear online that will last for the next phase of business growth? Almost like no other industry in the world, working as a mechanic or operating an auto repair business relies just as heavily on skills and experience as it does on having the most up-to-date and compete toolbox possible.
Especially if you’re just starting out, definitely if you’re in a growth period, and absolutely if your everyday tools have seen better days, these are the things you’ll need to race your career and business into the future:
Your skills and tools can be world-standard, but you’re just hobbling yourself if performing those essential tasks and diagnostics is just plain hard. As a mechanic, you know better than anyone that you don’t just need to lift the bonnet, you need a safe, fast and reliable way to get under those vehicles, too. And a hot tip: don’t forget that engine hoist, either!
As you can tell, we’re starting off with the big stuff, even if you could already undo a spark plug without them. But so many of the tools that we’ll get into a little further down the lift don’t just require a place to plug them in – they need air. Pneumatic tools are a staple of every hard-working auto shop, and your new vehicle lift will probably need one too.
You aren’t going to get your hands very greasy without the basics – but it’s a list you’re definitely already familiar with. Spanner sets, hammers, ratchet sets, spark plug gappers, jacks and cleaning sprays are all obvious enough, but don’t forget the less obvious ones that are no less important including diagnostic scanners, oil pans, top-quality flashlights, feeler gauges and a selection of adhesive tapes. So often, we hear of mechanics who have upgraded something as simple as their spanner sets and heard that ease-of-use, innovative design features and better materials translate directly into productivity, enjoyment of work, saved downtime … and profit.
Every mechanic has a way to charge a dead battery, but the best will invest in equipment that takes advantage of the latest technological innovations. The best in the modern range bundle various charging amp options, superior battery compatibility, diagnostic features and testing, jump-start assist, and so much more.
When was the last time you considered the easiest way to grow your auto repair business – by adding a new service? So many shops will gladly accept brake-related jobs, for instance, but send those rotors and drums to someone else for the resurfacing work. Add braking services to your business can be as easy as investing in a brake lathe – which is likely to pay you back in spades once the new service takes off.
But at the end of the day, it’s almost impossible to truly prioritise a list of all the gear and tools a budding or growing auto mechanic business can capitalise upon. Presses, gauges, great workbenches, safety gear, multimeters – and a list that truly goes on and on. Don’t ever forget, the best mechanics always turn to their more experienced and successful peers and industry experts to learn from the best, so overcome that shyness and ask away – because the answers can make all the difference.