Whether you are starting your career as an automotive service professional or starting career training in the Automotive Service Technician program at STVT San Antonio, one thing remains true for both, you are going to need some tools.
Here is a list of 8 essential tools used in auto repair, compiled by our very own Automotive Service Technology instructor, Adam Moore:
- Cordless Impacts – Cordless power tools are replacing most lighter-duty pneumatic tools due to the advantages of not being tethered to a hose. Hoses/couplers can be an impediment to using the tools in tight spaces and present an additional danger to customers’ paint finish as well as a tripping hazard on the shop floor.
- Ratcheting Wrenches – Ratcheting wrenches have become essential time-saving tools. The ratcheting function can be combined with a number of other features such as flex-head, locking flex, reversible ratcheting mechanisms, and offset or ‘socket’ style inserts to make ratcheting wrenches useful in situations where conventional wrenches are ineffective or overly tedious.
- Long-handled Ratchet – In days past, a non-ratcheting ‘breaker bar’ was kept at hand to ‘break’ fasteners loose before using a ratchet to quickly remove them. In may cases, ratchet mechanisms have now surpassed the strength of non-ratcheting breaker bars, making a long-handled ratchet able to loosen, as well as tighten, fasteners that would have damaged older ratchets.
- Power Probe – A power probe is essentially a test light which identifies voltage or ground continuity on a circuit and can also be used to connect power or ground into the circuit to test circuit/component functionality. In spite of the danger it poses to expensive electrical components while in untrained hands, a properly used power probe is now considered almost indispensable to top-level technicians.
- Pocket LED Flashlight – The ‘LED Revolution’ is bringing major benefits to automotive technicians. LED bulbs have a long lifespan and are extremely vibration/impact resistant, making them ideal for portable lighting in harsh conditions. They’re also much more efficient than incandescent or fluorescent bulbs, which combines with ever-improving battery technology to give LED flashlights and other portable lighting much greater endurance and allows them to replace corded lights in many applications. Technicians can now meet most of their lighting needs with a pen-sized flashlight that fits in their shirt pocket and can run for many hours on a charge.
- Torque Wrench – A professional technician cannot do his job without being able to tighten fasteners to a precise torque specification, making an accurate torque wrench an essential tool for professional technicians.
- Service Information – Having access to vehicle-specific service information from a manufacturer program or independent provider such as AllData, ShopKey, Mitchell OnDemand or Identifix is essential for technicians to be able to correctly diagnose and repair modern vehicles.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – Technicians’ careers, earning potential or lives could be cut short by failure to protect themselves with PPE appropriate to their work. Technicians in training need only ask those who are experienced in the industry to hear innumerable stories and reasons to ensure your own safety at all times.
If you aren’t familiar with these tools and their uses, don’t let that stand in your way of becoming an automotive technician. At STVT, you’ll get the hands-on training that you need to become more comfortable with these tools and the classroom instruction to help you know when and why to use them.
For more info on the Automotive Service Technician program at STVT San Antonio click here!
Written by: Jennifer Robinson, Social Media Coordinator – South Texas Vocational Technical Institute