Are you a DIY type of person? Like to tinker on your car instead of taking it to a shop? Then we recommend having these car tools handy. You can find these 17 simple yet essential items at most hardware stores. Although some items aren’t typically thought of as “car tools,” they are surprisingly effective.

1. Zip Ties

Zip ties aren’t just for childproofing your cupboards. They can hold body panels together temporarily and keep wires orderly. They can also be used to hold loose hubcaps or other loose exterior parts on to your vehicle. You can find them in different colors – maybe one will match on your car’s exterior!

2. Heavy Duty Magnet

DIY Auto Repair Tools Magnet

“Why do I need a magnet in my car,” you ask? Because a heavy duty magnet will pick up screws, bolts, and other pieces of metal—saving wear and tear on your back. A heavy duty magnet can also help you hold onto loose pieces of metal during car repairs, so you aren’t scrambling to find loose pieces when it’s time to put parts back together.

3. Multi-Tool


Multi-tools are like having a mini toolbox in your back pocket—easy to access and handy for quick, small projects. Most multi-tools contain needle nose pliers, a knife, various screw drivers, and a variety of other tools. A good multi-tool costs around $60 and will be worth every cent.

4. Car Jack and Stands

DIY-Auto-Repair-Tools-Car-Jack-and-StandA quality car jack and jack stands are essential when working under your vehicle. The jack lifts your vehicle off the ground, and the jack stands support your vehicle while you work underneath it.  Therefore, it’s important to have a good quality set to ensure your safety. While your vehicle may come with a jack, purchasing your own higher quality jack and stands is recommended.

5. Tire Gauge

A good tire gauge is invaluable. It indicates if your tires are over- or under-inflated. Benefits of properly inflated tires include:

  • Prevents excessive wear
  • Lowers risk of blowout
  • Creates a smoother ride
  • Increases fuel efficiency
  • Increases traction

Consult your vehicle’s manual for the recommended Pressure Per Square Inch (PSI) and check your tires with your tire gauge regularly. If a tire is flat… consider the next item on this list.

6. Air Compressor

A tire gauge is an air compressor’s best friend! Use an air compressor to properly inflate your tires to the recommended PSI. Air compressors can also power spray guns which are handy for detailing or spray painting your vehicle.

An air compressor can also help power pneumatic tools like nail guns and staplers.

7. Socket Set

DIY Auto Repair Tools Socket Set

A socket wrench is a ratchet tool that comes with a set of cylinder-shaped sockets of varying sizes. Having a quality socket set might cost a bit more, but it’ll be worth it. When considering purchasing your socket set, look for a few things:

  • Comprised of good alloy steel – for lasting durability
  • Metric and inch sizes – for more fitting options
  • Deep sockets –for spark plug work
  • Warranties – for protection
  • Impact sockets – for high-torque with power tools
  • Easy snap-on parts – for versatility

Once you have a quality socket set, you’ll be able to remove all the nuts and bolts you could imagine.

8. Side Cutters


Side cutters, also known as “diagonal pliers,” are handy for cutting wires, copper, brass, iron, aluminum, and steel wire. A side cutter is useful when doing auto body work or cutting any type of metal. You get what you pay for with side cutters. Better quality side cutters will cost more but last longer.

9. Pry Bar

Pry bars are available in varying sizes. Small ones about the size of a pair of scissors are handy for removing audio components from your vehicle’s dashboard or a car’s inside door panel. Larger ones can be used to carefully remove dents and to check a vehicle’s ball joints.

10. Torque Wrench

You’d be nuts not to have a good torque wrench in your garage. Pun intended. A torque wrench requires far less elbow grease than a standard wrench and is perfect for loosening or tightening lug nuts and bolts. You can set it to stop applying force at a certain point, ensuring that you’re not over-tightening (ruining) lug nuts.

11. Locking Pliers

DIY Auto Repair Tools Locking-Pliers

Locking pliers function as an extra hand when two just aren’t enough. Locking pliers, also known as vise grips, holds an item in place while you work. For instance, a vise can hold metal while you weld. The benefit these pliers have over a bench vise is their portability and small “footprint” on the item.

12. Four-Way Wrench


A four-way wrench or “lug wrench” is an X-shaped tool, giving this item its name. It is commonly used for loosening and tightening lug nuts on a vehicle’s wheels, and most vehicles come equipped with one. While a torque wrench is the preferred choice for tightening nuts or bolts to avoid stripping, a four-way wrench is a more affordable option.

13. Acetylene Torch

The acetylene torch is a surprisingly versatile multi-tool and one of the most useful DIY auto repair tools. Acetylene torches can help remove a rusty nut, release a stuck panel, warm heavy undercoating to ease removal, and cut metal. Use extreme caution when working with fire and be sure to keep this out of the reach of children.

14. Fire Extinguisher


A fire extinguisher can stop a small, manageable fire from becoming an out-of-control, perilous situation. Every garage and home should have one. Remember, once you use a fire extinguisher, recharge it immediately—regardless of how much spray was used. Also, inspect all fire extinguishers every 30 days, to:

  • Ensure extinguisher is not blocked by equipment
  • Check that fire extinguisher pressure is at recommended level
  • Inspect that the nozzle or other parts are not hindered in any way

15. Shop Light

DIY Auto Repair Shop-Light

Garages are rarely lit like a ballpark at night, yet often that’s exactly what you need when working on a car. A good shop light illuminates those dark corners so you can see what you’re doing. Be careful with shop lights, though, as they tend to get very hot and break easily.

16. Wall-Mounted Wet / Dry Vacuums


Nobody likes a dirty car. A wet / dry vacuum makes cleaning up those mishaps easier. And if you keep it in plain sight, conveniently mounted on a garage wall, you’ll be able to stay on top of those crumbs and spills in your car. Make sure it has a long hose and various attachments for those hard-to-reach corners.

17. OBD II Code Reader


An On Board Diagnostics (OBD) reader can give you an idea of why certain dashboard lights are on and guide you in the right direction for fixing the issue. Code readers are as affordable as ever and can help you figure out a problem, preventing an unnecessary trip to the mechanic.

Put These DIY Auto Repair Tools to Use

Hopefully, your vehicle doesn’t have issues, but if it does, you’ll be able to tackle a variety of repairs with the 17 tools listed above.

If your car does experience issues that can’t be fixed with any of the tools above, or any tools at all, visit our eBay store. We have a variety of used vehicles that can fill the open space in your garage.