The complete guide of Automotive tools: With names & pictures

Nov 07, 2019 | Same topic: Technical car terms to know
Here's is the list of Automotive tools (with names & pictures), and how to use them properly in case you want to begin wrenching on your own car.

1. Automotive Tools and Equipment

Now you’ve fulfilled your lifelong goal of buying your own car. While many Filipinos tend to buy new, more often than not, many car enthusiasts will buy used. For many newbie enthusiasts though, they’ll often find themselves scratching their heads when it comes to buying the tools they need to start working on their cars on their own.

But regardless, we salute you on becoming or trying to become a more independent car owner who doesn’t need to go to the mechanic every time something goes wrong.

As such, here’s our guide on the different automotive tools and equipment that’ll make your life easier. We’ll also be covering some other more advanced tools that will need a bit of familiarity to use and will only be used in really advanced projects.

Before we talk about the automotive tools list themselves, let us first list their different classifications or groups. There are the screw drives, the wrenches, and the keys.

Screwdriver or screw drives is a tool used to install and remove screws. Wrenches are used to turn objects using torque. Other wrenches are used to stop objects from turning. Lastly, keys are similar to screwdrivers that they are used to turn objects while also using leverage like a wrench.

>>> Learn more about automotive tech terms and definitions

2. Automotive Hand Tools: Common Wrenches

Name and Pictures 

Description 

 Box-End Wrench

Box-end wrench

Box-end wrenches are the opposite of open-end wrench in that their ends come with a closed opening that wraps around bolts or nuts. Typically, the interior sides of the ring of these wrenches come with ridges that are meant for use on hexagonal bolt heads.

There are other box-end wrenches for different bolt heads like the eight-point wrench for square nuts and bolts, and twelve-point wrenches for bolts with more sides.

Usually, box-end wrenches’ ends are off-set from the handle. This provides easier access to a nut or bolt. Another usual feature of box-end wrenches is that they’re usually double ended typically with the other end a size smaller.

Open-End Wrench

Open-End Wrench

As the name implies, these are the opposite of box-end wrenches because the part that grips the nut or bolt is open. Like the box-end wrench, the open-end wrench is also double-ended and features a bigger or smaller sized opening at the other end.

Unlike the box-end wrench tough, the open-end wrench doesn’t have an off-set handle but the open ends are typically angled about 15 degrees for more range of movement in tight spaces.

    Combination Wrench

Combination Wrench

 A combination wrench like the first two wrenches are double-ended but with one end being a closed, box-end wrench, and the other is an open-end wrench.

Usually, both ends of a combination wrench are the same size.  

Flare Wrench

 Flare Wrench

 While not common in the Philippines, flare nut wrenches are similar to a box-end nut but the part that holds bolts and nuts is not entirely closed. It’s opening though is narrower than an open-end wrench and it has a “jaw” which increases contact with the nut or bolt.

In automotive repair, its commonly used to secure brake and clutch lines as well as fuel pumps and temp sensors. 

Ratcheting Box Wrench

Ratcheting Box Wrench

Is a box wrench that has a ratchet which means it has a reversing lever. By activating that lever, the wrench can be flipped over to the reverse direction for more leverage.

Unlike other ratchet wrenches, the ratcheting box wrench’s socket cannot be interchanged.

Flex head socket wrench/Saltus Wrench

Flex head socket wrench/Saltus Wrench

Like the ratcheting box wrench, the Saltus wrench, otherwise known as a flex head socket wrench has a permanently affixed socket to the handle.

The socket is linked to the handle with a rotating joint which of course allows for access to tight, hard to reach nuts and bolts. But there are others means to reach that stubborn bolt.

Striking face box wrench

Striking face box wrench

For hard to turn bolts, there’s the striking face box wrench, otherwise known as the slugger wrench.

Unlike a normal open-end wrench, this features a heavier, more robust handle with a block end which is designed to be struck by a hammer. This type of wrench also provides the shock to release stuck nuts and bolts.

 

>>> Worth to note: Essential tools needed in a car tool kit for DIY car maintenance

3. Automotive hand tools: Socket Wrenches

Name and Pictures 

Description 

Breaker Bar

Breaker Bar

Just like the striking face box wrench, this wrench is useful for loosening stuck bolts and nuts. Instead of force, however, the breaker bar uses large amounts of torque from its very long handle.

By classification, the breaker bar is a socket wrench so typically it is business end has numerous sizes.

Socket Wrench

Socket Wrench

Socket wrenches’ feature a hollow cylinder which grabs a bolt head or the end of a nut. Usually, socket wrenches also come as ratchet wrenches and it generally has a built-in universal joint that can couple into a number of other socket wrench sizes.

Ratchet Wrench

Ratchet Wrench

The ratchet wrench uses a socket but what makes it particularly useful is its one-way mechanism which allows for a continuous motion without removing the socket to turn the wrench again.

So instead, the motion required for turning a bolt or nut is a simpler backward and forwards motion which is of course easier.
  

Speed Wrench

Speed Wrench
 

Features a crank shaped handle driving a socket. Due to the handle, working on a nut or bolt is faster due to the speed it can be turned.

The speed wrench, however, offers less leverage than a ratchet wrench.
 

Torque Wrench

Torque Wrench

While its end usually has a socket wrench, the handle of torque wrenches usually has a device that measures torque. This is used in assembling parts of the car that requires precision or a pre-indicated, set amount of torque.

These include working on the cylinder heads, head-studs, camshafts, brakes, and especially crankshafts.

 

>>> You might want to know: 9 situations when DIY car repair does more harm than good!

4. Automotive Hand Tools: Adjustable

Name and Pictures 

Description 

Adjustable Wrench

Adjustable Wrench

Resembles the open-end wrench greatly except that one side of the jaw can be adjusted by turning a screw. This makes the adjustable wrench able to handle different sizes of nuts and bolts.

Due to this feature, the adjustable wrench is a crucial part of a toolbox kit that you can carry around in your vehicle at all times

>>> Read more: Top 10 tools must have in car trunk for every drive

5. Automotive Hand Tools: Keys and Screw drives

Name and Pictures 

Description 

Screwdriver

Screwdriver

While there are many common screw types out there, the most common we have in-car models available here in the Philippines are Philips screw heads which feature a “cross” pattern, and the similar Frearson, and the slot drive or “flat-head.”

There are also many types of screwdrivers out there but the most common and the cheapest is the hand-powered screwdriver

Allen Key/Allen Wrench

Allen Key/Allen Wrench

This key is used to turn bolt heads with a recessed hexagonal pattern. 

Usually, the Allen key comes in an L-shaped handle or a T-handle which features a plastic or metal grip.

>>> Also check out: 5 Must-know thing about DIY Auto Repair

6. Automotive Hand Tools: Specialty Tools

Name and Pictures 

Description 

4-way lug wrench or tire spanner

4-way lug wrench or tire spanner

A socket type wrench used to turn the lug nuts on a car’s wheel.

Strap or chain wrench

Strap or chain wrench

Primarily used to remove a cylindrical oil filter which we all know are smooth surfaced and will provide minimal grip. May come with a strap or a socket.

Impact Wrench

Impact Wrench

This tool is a powerful tool that uses quick successions of torque to loosen up a bolt or nut. While electric powered ones are common, there are examples that use compressed air.

Impact wrenches are particularly useful for removing that stubborn nut or bolt. Take note though that these can also over-torque a nut or bolt and will damage its threads.

 

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7. Automotive Hand Tools: Other hand-tools

Name and Pictures 

Description 

Pliers

Pliers

Pliers are an essential tool for many mechanics. They’re used to hold objects firmly while others have a cutting edge along the length of their “jaws” which is, of course, useful for cutting wire, hoses, etc.

Other special pliers are insulated from electricity due to their rubber clad handles. Others come with a “slip-joint”, in other words, their part that provides the fulcrum may be adjusted to accommodate for larger objects

Jack

Jack

You might be familiar with jacks as many brand-new and even used vehicles usually come with a set of tire changing tools. If you didn’t know, Jacks are used to elevating a motor-vehicle for better access to its under-chassis or to raise its wheels when you need to change them.

Usually, the jacks bundled with those utilize a hydraulic system which one needs to pump up. Other jack types called scissor jacks to use a screw.

Jack-Stands

Jack-Stands

While Jacks are used to “jack-up” your car. Jack-stands are used to keep your car up. As such, using jack-stands is the safer alternative than just using jacks, or worse, several pieces of wood to raise your vehicle.

You can also place jack-stands in case your jack suddenly fails. Usually, jack-stands have an indicated weight capacity so do check your vehicle’s gross weight before buying a jack-stand.

 

Multi-Tool

Multi-Tool

Others who own smaller cars know that space can sometimes become a premium. As such, they will find ways to circumvent this especially when tools are concerned. And one way they do this is carrying around multi-tools.

Now multi-tools, as the name says, is a tool containing other tools, much like a Swiss-Army knife. While these are miniature versions of the bigger, full-size counterparts, they are by no means reliable.

Brands to note are Leatherman, which is expensive but they’ll last you a lifetime.

Grease Gun

Grease Gun

Used to shoot grease into a “nipple” or a grease fitting which are usually found in different parts of a car’s under-chassis. Typically, amateur home mechanics will make use of a hand-powered grease gun.

There are however air-powered which uses air-pressure and electrically powered ones which are more portable.

Automotive Diagnostic Tools

Automotive Diagnostic Tools

Another useful tool for detecting your car’s problems is an OBD scanner. This tool talks to the computer found inside your car. If there are issues with your car, the OBD reader/scanner will provide you with a summary of the problem.

If you want to get your hands on these tools for yourself, the automotive tools supplier in the Philippines that we can recommend is Blade, Mach-Tools, or even from online sellers from Lazada. 

Did this guide you in identifying the useful tools necessary for a capable and self-sufficient car owner? For automotive electrical tools though, we’ll have to discuss those in another article.

For more automotive tips and advice, keep reading here on Philkotse.com.

Source: C.G.B.Miguel