Top 10 Equipment Needs for Opening an Auto Repair Shop

The goal of many skilled auto mechanics is to open their own auto repair shop at some point in their career. But, putting up an efficient, profitable shop will have you looking to acquire much more than mechanical skills.

You'll need to stock your shop with lots of repair equipment. But we're not here to stack up a high credit card bill for you. So, we want to keep things as simple as possible while having your shop stocked with the best equipment. 

When to Start the Business and Purchase Equipment

Once your skills are up to the task and have learned to recruit, hire and delegate. The best career path is to hone your skills and gain experience as as a shop owner from the eyes of a technician.

That might have gone over a few people's heads. But many techs think that because they're good with their hands, that they know how to run a shop. This couldn't be further from the truth. Keeping your tech job while dabbling a bit into the administrative side of the business will have you learning what makes a shop successful.

This will also give you the time to earn enough money to begin acquiring the equipment you will need to operate your own auto repair shop.

Auto repair equipment that you will need to get your shop ready for business may include:

1. Vehicle Lift

Every mechanic needs to get under the vehicles to perform essential inspections and diagnostics. Your shop will need lifts to raise the vehicle to the height needed for these services.

Match your needs to the various models and capacities of lift models. There are many characteristics that you need to consider. Including safety features, 2-post vs. 4-post construction, accessories, and power requirements.

Be sure to buy lifts that are of high quality and name brand, to ensure availability of parts and service. Lifts are an important investment for your repair shop, as they're built to last many years

2. Air Compressor

You will need a reliable air compressor to operate many tools within your shop, including pneumatic hand tools and some auto lifts. Get the highest capacity you can afford, to be sure you have the power you need for powering the needs of your shop – a good example would be a 60 or 120-gallon compressor.

3. Jack, jack stands, and pole jacks

Many auto repairs will require raising vehicles at least temporarily. So a strong floor jack will be utilized on a regular basis. Get a high-quality, high-capacity jack, and strong jack stands to support the vehicle once they're elevated. Pole jacks will also be useful to support axles or other components of raised vehicles.

4. Oil drain and oil caddy

Services like changing oil and transmission fluid will need an oil caddy with enough capacity to contain the largest fluid volume. As your services expand and you’re working with vehicles on lifts. A standing oil caddy that can reach the raised vehicle will make the job easier and quicker.

5. Battery charger and jumper

You know this better than we do but many jobs will pertain to dead batteries or charging problems. Your shop will need a good battery charger and jumper to handle these services. You don't need to break the bank but considering that you'll get a lot of these cases, it's pivotal to showcase your best equipment to your customers. 

6. Engine hoist

Engine hoists are fundamental for any garage or shop. Whether it's rebuilding, repairing or replacement, an engine Hoist will wear many hats in your shop. Be sure to buy one that has the capacity to handle the largest engine you expect to service.

7. Brake lathe

Sure, when you’re doing brake jobs, you can take rotors or drums to another service for resurfacing. But that’s expensive and cuts into your time and profits. Buying your own Brake Lathe will make brake services more efficient and profitable. Which means they'll quickly pay for themselves. Be sure to purchase a name brand lathe, to ensure availability of replacement parts when needed.

8. Strut compressor

A good strut compressor will be very useful when working on suspension systems. Having this item will add to your service capabilities and help make your auto repair business profitable.

9. Air conditioning machine

If you’re going to offer air conditioning service (which we recommend you do). Get an air condition machine that will ease recovering, recycling, and recharging vehicle A/C systems. This will make flushing and diagnosing A/C systems faster and more reliable.

10. Press

There will be many uses for a good Press in your shop – working with bearings, bushings, and bending metal.

Extra Auto Repair Equipment Needs

Your business will additionally need these items to perform day-to-day services:

Transmission Jack

Transmission work is much more efficient when you have the appropriate method of supporting a heavy transmission jack come in various handling capacities and features. So get one that meets the needs of the services you offer and that will handle a variety of transmission makes and weights.

Workbench with vise

Working on parts will be (for the most part) done on your workbench. Make sure you have a durable, sturdy, metal workbench that will stand up to heavy-duty work. Work such as hammering may be necessary to separate frozen parts.

Obtaining Your Equipment

Whether you’re working as an independent mechanic on the side, for another shop. Start purchasing critical equipment as you can afford it, putting it aside for your own shop.

Keeping an eye open for quality used equipment may allow you to acquire these items at great prices.

Our site is stocked with thousands of products ranging in prices so if you’re unsure of which tools your shop truly needs to invest more in, allow our product experts to steer you in the right direction. 

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