6 Most Basic Diagnostic Tools All Car Technicians Use

Car diagnostic is like a medical examination for your vehicle, which combines plenty of tools used, but also diagnostic machines, so the technicians can estimate what’s happening with the car and what should they do to fix it.

Being a car mechanic is a profitable business, and every new technician should know a few of the most useful tools they can use to repair vehicles.

Every good workshop must have at least a minimum of equipment in order to work smoothly. Beginners are good to learn from the more experienced and understand the secrets of this interesting profession. Vehicle diagnostics is not just about connecting to a computer, which will test the vital functions of the vehicle. Sometimes that job requires getting your hands dirty and checking in more detail and seeing what is happening and how to proceed to solve the problem.

In fact, to have a successful auto workshop, you need to initially invest in a number of useful tools and equipment and provide the conditions for the development of your business. If you look at websites like, you will be able to find what the basic tools you need are and you will start assembling the assortment in your workshop.

Some of the tools we will mention are standard for mechanics and technicians. Some of them are easy to use and do not include technology, while some are used with the help of additional software so that they can perform the diagnostics properly.

1. Car scan device

This tool connects to the plugs in the car and reports with data on what the “vital” functions are. With the help of this report, the technician can further select the tools he needs, start troubleshooting, detect potential hazards, and the like. Most often, this device also has a code reader, where each code indicates a specific error, which differs from the factory settings of the vehicle. Sometimes a code scanner can be an additional device, but in newer models, those two devices are integrated and work in sync.

2. Mechanical stethoscope

This is a hand tool, which does not require technology, but only a trained ear, which will help the mechanic to hear if there is any sound that indicates that there is a defect in the car. Although it is not one of the key tools, it can significantly change the approach and make the job easier when used properly.

3. Impact Wrench

Another non-technological item that is very important to have, especially if you are repairing older car models. You need to have it in several sizes, for different specific repairs. Always have them at hand, because when you “hand over” everything else, these wrenches will always be there for you.

4. Scopes and different types of meters

Measurements are very important in diagnostics, so it is important to take them before taking any corrective measures. That way you will know what to do and how much to actually intervene, without making a mistake. Some cars are specific and different from others, so you have to be prepared and certain repairs to be different. Sometimes you need to measure the level of liquid in the accumulator or lubricating oil. Thus, even for the most specific measurements, you must have a way of doing them.

5. Different types of pumps

Pumps are also an integral part of every autodiagnostic workshop. With them, you can do many things, such as cleaning the ducts, extracting excess fluid from the engine, as well as general improvement of the overall operation of the vehicle. When shopping, ask well for each purpose. Sometimes you need to improvise, but sometimes it is enough to have finished of different sizes and use the pumps properly.

6. Appropriate protective equipment

Since working with vehicles is specific, delicate, and at a given time quite dangerous, you must also have adequate protection. These include goggles, a helmet, gloves, matching footwear, and clothing that is resistant to fuel and acid leaks. We are sure that it is easier for you to work with your bare hands, but the risk is too great and it is not worth taking. Being protected at work, both you and your employees mean having the right clean equipment at all times. Sometimes even dust and dirt can be quite dangerous to you, due to the risk of inhalation. Therefore, protect yourself and your workshop. Do not start work without protective equipment.

Other important tips

To run a successful car repair shop, you must be serious about your approach to work. Equipping is the first thing you must do because you can not work without proper diagnostic tools.

Therefore, do not forget:

-To find a suitable supplier of new tools.

-To choose the tools you need.

-Always find a way to become more professional in what you do.

-To follow the trends that prevail.

-To be up to date with the news.

-To learn to work on newer car models.

-Understand each other in additional and basic equipment.

-To be serious in approaching customers.

-Always keep the workshop clean and tidy.

-To wear protective equipment.

-Do not spend money on unnecessary tools.

-Listen to your customers and do not try to charge them more with scams.

-To transfer your knowledge to younger assistants.

-To renew the stocks of necessary tools and equipment for work.

-Do not store flammable substances and pressurized bottles in the workshop.

-To have a crisis plan in case of disaster.


As you can see, in addition to the diagnostic equipment, it is very important to have regular work discipline in your workshop. You will have customers with specific requirements and problems, and you need to meet them, knowing at all times where your diagnostic equipment is on their vehicle. Get all the basic tools, and if necessary, upgrade your offer. That way you will ensure a reliable and successful business that will bring you enough profit, and the good news will be transmitted and other potential customers will find out about you.

Ricardo is a freelance writer specialized in politics. He is with from the beginning and helps it grow. Email: richardorland4[at]