How Well Do You Really Know Your Auto Shop Tools?

Jacqueline Samaroo

Image: da-kuk/E+/gettyimages

About This Quiz

Gear up and get your engine revving to take on the ultimate auto-shop tools identification quiz! Many people enjoy working on their own vehicle whenever minor issues arise. They take pride in knowing that they're able to fix the problem themselves without the need to seek professional assistance. What cannot be denied, however, is that some jobs simply need the skill, know-how and experience of the auto mechanics in a repair shop. Importantly, too, they have the tools to get the job done right the first time!

Auto mechanics have an impressive lineup of tools at their disposal to carry out regular vehicle maintenance; diagnose engine problems; perform major repair work and any other job a client requires of them. Quite a few of these tools will look familiar to the average person, but others are so specialized that even the most avid at-home car doctor might not recognize them. They range from small hand tools to large, fixed pieces of equipment, and each one has special functions auto repairers know how to take full advantage of. Do you? Here's a chance to prove that you know more than just a thing or two when it comes to auto-shop tools. Take the quiz!

Can you name these sturdy devices auto mechanics depend on to hold a vehicle up off the ground?

Bottle jacks, scissor jacks and hydraulic floor jacks can all be used to raise a vehicle, but it's the job of jack stands to keep the vehicle elevated. Jack stands are rated according to the maximum weight they can bear.

It's made up of a bundle of thin chisels, but do you know the actual name of this rust remover?

Rust isn't the only thing a needle scaler can remove from automotive parts. It's very good at chipping away caked-on dirt, paint and mill scale (hence its name). Mill scale is a flaky, bluish-black coating which forms on hot iron or steel and often has to be cleaned away before parts are worked on or painted.

Do you recognize this piece of equipment which hoists motors up into the air?

The engine crane or engine hoist can lift the engine out of a vehicle, but it's not meant to continue holding the engine while it's inspected or worked on. For that, the engine should be transferred to an engine stand.

Tuning up an engine is easier with which piece of equipment shown here?

A timing light may be referred to as a timing gun when it's shaped like a pistol. This design makes the gadget fit better in your hand and in the confined spaces of the engine bay.

It could be called a grease catcher, but do you know the actual name of the item in this picture?

Using an oil drip pan does more than keep the auto-shop floor free of grease. The collected oil is recyclable, since it can be filtered by certain recycling centers and reused. Some centers will even pay for used car oil brought to them!

Do you know the somewhat frightening name of this item that auto mechanics use when they need to work under a vehicle?

Creepers come in various designs with features such as padding, a raised headrest and the ability to fold up and be locked into position as a seat. Some also feature variable height settings for perfect positioning and maximum comfort when working.

You can use the item here to illuminate your work space, but can you name it?

An LED headlamp is an affordable choice when dark work spaces, such as a vehicle's engine bay, need to be illuminated while repairs are carried out. Plus, it does not generate much heat, so it won't leave you hot-headed!

Do you recognize this item often sold as a set of multiple interchangeable pieces along with at least one ratchet wrench?

Sockets are typically put to use with ratcheting socket wrenches. They come in various sizes for use with fasteners of different measurements.

What name does this reliable tool for cracking rusted and stuck fasteners go by?

Nut splitters can save plenty of time, energy and frustration when dealing with a rusted or damaged nut. The device is placed into position around the nut and screwed until its tooth cracks the nut in two.

Do you know this useful tool used to pry apart objects which are stuck together?

The crowbar is a steel bar used as a lever for prying things apart. It's generally well-made and can last for a very long time with minimal maintenance. Taking care of a crowbar usually means not getting it wet or drying it off as soon as possible if it does. It should also not be put under so much strain that its shaft bends.

What practical name is given to this workstation where components are cleaned of their dirt, grease and rust?

It's often necessary to clean vehicle parts both before and after working on them. That's because dirt, grease, residues and rust make it difficult to work on a part in the first place and can interfere with how well the parts work once they're fitted back in place.

Can you name this item which powers the pneumatic equipment in the auto shop?

Many auto mechanics prefer air-powered tools to electric ones, since air-powered tools tend to be more powerful. Some air-powered (or pneumatic) tools frequently used in an auto shop are drills, impact wrenches, air hammers and needle scalers.

What's the name of these inclines used to get a vehicle off the ground?

Before driving a vehicle up onto ramps, care should be taken to ensure that the wheels are centered behind the ramps. Once the vehicle is up on the ramps, centering of the wheels should be checked once more. If they're not properly centered, then the vehicle should be backed off and the ramps adjusted to a better position.

Can you name these wedges used to keep a vehicle from rolling down a hill?

The wheel chock may look like a simple device, but it's a very important safety tool when a vehicle is on an incline. One such instance is when the front wheels of the vehicle are up on ramps and wheel chocks are used behind the back wheels to keep the vehicle stable.

Do you recognize this gadget used to brighten up a vehicle's engine bay?

Many underhood lights are designed with magnets to attach them to the inside of a vehicle's hood. Another methods includes padded hooks so that the light can be attached to the edges of the hood without scratching the paint on the vehicle's surface.

It's easy to see that this auto-shop tool is a type of hammer, but do you know its correct name?

The large head of a rubber mallet lets it deliver gentle blows over a wide surface area. Rubber mallets are often used in instances when you want to protect the material being struck from forceful blows which could mar or damage it.

The type of protective gear shown here goes by what name?

Safety goggles can protect your eyes, but there are times when protection for the other parts of your face is also required. At those times, a full face shield can be used. It can protect your face from chemical spatter, heat, glare and flying debris when drilling.

Do you recognize this tool which can grip and turn the boots on a vehicle's ignition devices without damaging them?

Much of the damage that happens to a spark plug's boot or wire is caused by use of the wrong tool to grip the boot when the plug is being pulled out. The boot and wire of a spark plug are less likely to be damaged if a pair of spark plug pliers is used.

If you know that these items can unfasten decorative and finishing elements from a vehicle, do you also know what to call them?

Fasteners, which hold trim in place, tend to be hidden from view so as to keep the vehicle looking as streamlined as possible. Working with a trim removal tool to loosen these fasteners is a good idea, since it will not damage the trim or the material under it.

What's the name of this very handy tool which pumps out compressed air?

Properly inflated tires will wear much more evenly than if they are over- or under-inflated. Plus, under-inflated tires are proven to cause a vehicle to consume excess fuel.

Which piece of equipment for bending and shaping metal components is shown in this image?

The hydraulic shop press is a compact piece of equipment which delivers a great deal of force to bend and shape metal. It's not uncommon for an auto shop to have a larger free-standing shop press and a smaller desk-mounted one (known as an arbor press).

Are you enough of a car doctor to name this tool which lets auto mechanics listen to the internal workings of an engine?

An automotive stethoscope can be used to diagnose problems in vehicle systems which have internal moving parts—most commonly, the engine. It's typically sold with a detachable horn and probe to better locate where an unusual sound is coming from.

Do you know what this crooked and very useful type of wrench is called?

A bent-handle flex-head ratchet can get into tight spots and turn fasteners from different angles. As with other tools, the fact that it's bent means that it is sometimes referred to as offset.

You can probably spot this as the ideal tool for pounding minor dents out of your vehicle, but can you name it?

One side of an auto body hammer's head is typically flat, but the other end comes in a variety of styles. These styles are used to name the hammer, with common varieties being pick, chisel, claw and cross peen auto body hammers.

Do you recognize this versatile power tool which makes short work of removing lug nuts?

A cordless, electric impact wrench is a very convenient tool to have in a repair shop. It can be used anywhere in the building without having to worry about the cord running out of length or getting entangled in other objects. You just have to remember to keep the battery charged.

Do you know the name of this gadget that measures electric current and voltage?

The multimeter is a diagnostic tool which comes in both analog and digital versions. It can be used with both AC and DC to measure voltage, current and resistance.

Auto shops rely heavily on this piece of equipment, but can you identify it?

The tire changer saves plenty of time when taking a tire off and placing a tire on a rim. It should only be used by someone who is trained to use it. Some manufacturers will offer to train auto-shop employees in how to safely and effectively use the tire changer.

Can you name this simple writing tool used just like a pen or pencil?

The scriber, or scribing tool, has a tip made of very hard material which is resistant to wearing and will remain sharp for a long time. Materials used to make the tips of scribers include tungsten carbide, tool steel and hardened steel. Some scribers are made with a tiny industrial diamond mounted in a steel tip.

This device for holding items firmly in place goes by what name?

The bench vise is one of the most common type of vises used by both professionals and amateurs. It features a clamp so that it can be tightly secured to the edge of the bench.

Which handy turning device is shown in this image?

Oil filter wrenches come in various designs, but they all serve the same purpose: to make it easier to remove an oil filter. This can be a challenging job without the right tool, since the outside of the filter tends to be slick with oil, while a buildup of grime holds the filter firmly in place, making it hard to turn.

What's the name of this shorter-than-usual hand tool used to tighten and loosen fasteners?

Although it will not provide as much torque as a longer screwdriver, the stubby screwdriver gets put to plenty of use in an auto shop. It's a good tool to have when a fastener is located in a confined space with very little room above the fastener.

This measuring device with its convenient display screen goes by what name?

Calipers are used for taking internal and external measurements of objects. They are not always easy to read, however, which is why a digital caliper displaying the measurement on a screen is such a handy device.

Which set of tools used in tandem with auto body hammers is shown in this image?

Dollies are made in a wide range of sizes and curvature. They can be used when creating a new part or when reshaping a damaged part.

An auto mechanic can do diagnostic checks on a vehicle's electrical system with which tool shown here?

A voltage tester, or test light, is sold in two varieties. The first is the contact type, which requires the tester to be placed directly on the item being tested. The second safer option is the non-contact type, which only needs to be brought up close to the item.

Which flexible viewing gadget is shown in this image?

The inspection camera is a type of borescope, very much like the endoscope a doctor uses. Some inspection cameras feature their own screen for viewing images of the area being inspected, while others are designed to be linked to a separate device, such as a phone or computer.

This common object can be found in kitchens as well as auto shops, but do you know what it's called?

Funnels can be used when pouring all kinds of liquids. Care should be taken, however, not to use the same funnel for all liquids (oils, coolant and water, for example).

Do you recognize the pounding power tool shown here?

The air hammer (or air chisel) is driven by pneumatic power and is very useful for cutting sheet metal during restoration work. The air hammer is most often designed so that it can be used with chisel heads of various sizes.

Which of these terms matches this tool used for correcting auto body dings?

A suction cup dent puller is an easy, convenient and inexpensive way to fix dents on a vehicle. The suction cup dent puller may not be the best repair option when it comes to large dents, dents which result in paint damage and dents in locations where electrical components are behind the dented panel.

This device makes short work of raising vehicles off the ground and goes by what name?

Hydraulic floor jacks vary in size, maximum weight capacity and the material from which they are made. The basic design is the same, however, with a piston pushing liquid in a cylinder to create sufficient force to raise the vehicle.

Can you identify this tool for loosening and tightening fasteners that have star-shaped sockets in their heads?

The two most common styles for the tip of a screwdriver are slotted and Philips, since they're also the most common screwheads used. Tip styles that are seen less often (such as the Torx) are meant to discourage consumers or untrained persons from disassembling or trying to work on certain equipment.

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