For many auto mechanics and technicians, opening their own auto repair shop is the ultimate American dream. And truth be told, auto repair shops have gained a lot of traction lately owing to the increase in the use of vehicles.
So if you’re sufficiently motivated, organized, and have technical expertise under your belt, it’s time to think about how to get started.
One of the most important things that you will be needing for your own automotive repair shop is the equipment!
Sure, you need a solid business plan and strategy in place, but you also need to think about your auto repair shop equipment list. In this post, we will discuss the 16 pieces of equipment that every auto repair shop needs to hit the ground running.
So without further ado, let’s get right into it.
When is The Right Time To Purchase Auto Mechanic Tools?
Opening automotive repair shops require a hefty investment and a lot of effort goes into the process. So that means you need to be smart about what you do and how you do it.
It’s recommended to begin by prioritizing your tasks. So that leaves us with an important question, when is the right time to purchase your auto repair equipment?
The easy answer is that you should start purchasing your automotive equipment before you open your shop. This will make you prepared to service customers at your auto repair shop from the get-go.
You can also allocate a budget for auto mechanic tools and equipment before you get embroiled in the operating expenses of your shop. Begin the purchase procedure before the shop opening phase, so you are level-headed and make the right choices for your business.
It’s also not recommended to lease your auto mechanic tools or equipment because if you miss a payment, you will risk losing out on them. And that would mean that you’ll need to halt your operations!
So, purchase your auto mechanic tools and equipment with your initial business investment. That’s the best way to go about it!
The Complete Auto Repair Shop Equipment List Auto Repair Shops Need
If you have worked or trained in the automotive industry before, you would know that this business requires an expansive list of equipment and tools.
While the kind of equipment you need also depends on the kind of services you are offering at your shop, our list includes the essential equipment that you will need.
Modern-day cars are now touted as computers on vehicles. Since cars are integrated with computers, you will need to purchase vehicle scanners to diagnose the issues with the car.
While getting your scanners, you will need to make sure that they have the bandwidth to do OBD TO OBD1 AND OBD2 computers.
2. Air Conditioning Machine
Many auto repair shops offer customers air conditioning services. Simply put, A/C machines allow you to service the A/Cs installed on the vehicles of your customers.
This machine makes the entire repair procedure much easier and more efficient. Getting such equipment will also help you in winning over more customers, with a diverse portfolio of services.
3. Air Compressor
An air compressor from Anglian Compressors (or elsewhere) is one of the most important auto repair equipment that your shop will be needing. It is also used in conjunction with other machines to perform different repair services.
When buying an air compressor, make sure you purchase a good quality one. Usually, North American compressors are of reliable quality. You should also actively research and dig out good brands.
For example, Champion is often touted as a good brand for purchasing air compressors. Quincy and IR industrial are also some other brands with reasonable quality.
This piece of equipment is used to power your garage and other tools, so it is important to invest in a good quality one.
3. Digital Vehicle Inspection Tech
In this day and age, digital vehicle inspection workshop equipment has become essential for an auto shop.
In addition to all the heavy equipment, DVIs should definitely be on the top of your automobile workshop tools list. They are used to diagnose and inspect vehicles and make the job of an automotive technician much easier.
It also gives shop owners and customers see exactly what the mechanics see, making the repair procedure completely transparent. This also helps in boosting customer satisfaction levels.
4. Jack and Jack Stands
Jacks are an important piece of equipment and hence, you should be careful when buying one. North American Jacks are known to have a longer useful life and are generally of much better quality.
If you buy knock-offs or brands from China, you will have a hard time extending the useful life of this piece of equipment.
Also, ensure that you have more than one jack. Your shop will also be servicing different sizes of vehicles, so make sure you get one that is able to boost all of the different customer vehicles.
You will also need to purchase a trans jack, especially if you have a hoist. Trans jacks are easily used to lift heavy vehicles or their components and hence, come really in handy.
Pole jacks are also quite useful and can be used to hold anything up, while your mechanics are doing their magic and performing repairs.
5. Oxygen and Acetylene Torch
People who live in areas with a lot of moisture, rain, and snow know that their vehicles tend to get really rusty. The rust level for these vehicles is much higher than for those located in areas with a drier climate and fewer moisture levels.
If you purchase an oxygen and acetylene torch, you will be able to solve your customer’s rust issues with ease. This piece of equipment also allows you to add another service level to your portfolio.
6. Tall free-standing Press
You also need to purchase a tall free-standing press and ensure that it is able to hoist atleast 3-0 tonnes. This piece of equipment will be needed for a number of different things like axle bearings, struts, and much more.
It’s generally not recommended to buy the smaller, tabletop presses.
7. Brake Lathe
A brake lathe comes in handy for fixing noise and vibration problems of vehicles. This helps in improving the brake system of vehicles and also extends their useful life.
It is an excellent service to add to your portfolio of automotive repair to acquire a new base of customers.
8. Engine Hoist
An engine hoist is one of the most indispensable pieces in your list of top tools and equipment to purchase. They come in handy for performing engine repairs; you can use them easily to lift an engine block out of a vehicle and fix specific problems.
Engine hoists are actually quite common in auto shops and are used to install gasoline and diesel engines in tighter, crowded engine compartments.
It’s also recommended that you purchase an engine leveler along with a hoist. This will ensure that everything remains leveler.
The best part is that they are not even that expensive and make the process of repairing engines much easier and more efficient for your team.
9. Battery Charger and Jump Box
You must have heard the words battery charger and jump box being thrown around frequently in auto shops. It’s recommended to buy the best battery charge that you can afford.
Getting this is an absolute need because battery chargers are constantly used in shops. If you use cheap ones or knock-offs, they won’t work half as well as the good quality ones. The end result? The batteries will die out much sooner!
You’ll also need a jump box to jump cars or vehicles as they arrive in a tow truck.
10. Drain Pans
Some of our experts in the field tell us that you can never really have enough drain pans in your shop. They are quite useful for catching drips and spills. You can also use large aluminum trays, as they also come in handy.
Usually, they are thick and only an inch tall which makes them useful to slide under the cars to catch any spillage and reach tough spots under the car.
They are also advantageous in the sense that you don’t have to be exact since they are quite big in size.
11. A Quality Steel Workbench
You will also need to purchase a good quality steel workbench that can handle the other equipment and tools in your shop. Steel is always preferable compared to wooden benches.
12. Strut Compressor
Getting a strut compressor can actually help you make a lot of money. People always need struts!
It helps you work much faster and you can do a lot more suspension work on your customers’ cars. If you purchase a heavy-duty compressor, you will be able to handle much bigger vehicles like Ford F-150s.
Again, this is a tool that you should definitely add to your list of must-buys for your auto repair shop!
This one is a pretty much no-brainer for every auto repair shop. You will need a lift so you can easily raise vehicles and work under them. It’s the centerpiece of repair shops and service bays everywhere and you must have seen them around often.
It’s recommended that you purchase an asymmetrical, 2-post lift with a top bar with at least 10,000 lb capacity. You can also use symmetrical lifts but it all depends on what you need for your shop so you will have to do some research.
14. Oil Filter Wrench
An oil filter wrench supports you in removing any kind of oil filter. It makes the removal process easier by gripping oil from the edges.
There are different types of oil filter wrenches including a socket-style, strap-style and universal oil filter wrench. You will have to figure out which one you need for your shop, depending upon your needs.
15. Tire Pressure Gauge
A tire pressure gauge impacts many things including handling, braking ability, and fuel mileage. You will need this tool to ensure that the tires of a vehicle are properly inflated.
16. Wheel Balancer
Last but certainly not least, you will need to get a wheel balancer to perform wheel balancing for vehicles. Wheel alignment and balancing are important repair procedures and require equipment.
Usually, the profit levels for wheel alignment are not high but it also attracts other sales. Hence, you should get the equipment needed for your wheel alignment. Adding wheel alignment to your portfolio of services can be helpful to drive sales.
Kicking off an auto repair shop is no walk in the park. You will have to install air hoses overhead, ensure auto mechanics’ safety and get all the equipment and air tools needed for repairs.
Just a gentle push in the right direction and you’ll know exactly which equipment you need for all their mechanical repairs.
From jack stands to rotating wheel alignment plates, the list of equipment that you need is a long one but we have you covered if you have an auto repair shop.