For automotive enthusiasts who understand cars as much as they love them, doing the repairs yourself can be fun and rewarding. Seems easy enough, right? You love cars. You know cars. You can fix and maintain your own car. Just think of the feeling of accomplishment you’ll have, climbing under your automobile and successfully making that repair. Not to mention the sense of pride in knowing that you did it yourself. All that’s standing between you and that first repair is making sure you’ve got the right tools to get the job done – the right way.

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That’s why we sat down with product experts from Matco Tools, a leading manufacturer and distributor of quality professional automotive repair tools, diagnostic equipment, toolboxes and more. And, with their help, we put together this list of the top 20 must-have tools for DIYers and auto techs alike:

  1. A multi-drawer Service Cart – Gives you plenty of lockable, mobile storage space for the automotive enthusiast.
  2. A Neoprene Fender Cover – Sounds simple, but it actually prevents scratching to your vehicle and, with handy pockets, keeps your frequently used tools at your fingertips.
  3. Rolling Creeper – For getting under cars quickly and comfortably.
  4. Floor Jack – We make a 3.5 ton model that is dependable and easy for whenever you need a little lift.
  5. Electronic Code Reader – Check Engine light have you stumped? Find out quickly what the cause is.
  6. Cordless Impact Wrench Kit – You don’t just need a drill, you need an impact wrench. With the best power-to-weight ratio of any 3/8″ cordless impact and a precise variable-speed trigger, this powerful cordless kit gives you power and accessibility. Also features a one-hand forward and reverse switch, as well as an LED light.
  7. Cordless 3/8″ Ratchet Kit – The torque is unbelievable. Complete with a battery and charger, Matco makes a3/8″ cordless ratchet provides 55 ft. lbs. of maximum torque in a compact, easy-to-handle body.
  8. A Ratcheting Wrench Set – You’ll be surprised how much easier a ratcheting wrench makes life. Matco’s SFRTD3TA kit includes a variety of sizes and is great for gripping a range of different fasteners.
  9. Common Ratchets – You also need your run-of-the-mill standard ratchets.
  10. 3/8″ Socket Master Set – You also need a full range of sockets to go with your ratchets.
  11. 3/8” Drive Twist Socket Set – A must-have for removing damaged and rounded nuts and bolts.
  12. Full Screwdriver Set – Forget about the hardware story counter special all-in-one screwdriver. Get a real set, including a range of lengths in slotted and Phillips-head tips. Make sure the handle is comfortable also.
  13. Adjustable Filter Plier – If you’re changing oil in your car, THIS is the tool to own.
  14. Angled Pliers – Not only are these designed for a more comfortable, workable grip, the trio includes traditional combination pliers, cutter pliers, and long-nose pliers for a wide range of applications.
  15. 10″ Quick Cobra Pliers – Self-gripping jaw design provides a secure, non-slip grip, and a patented locking push-button adjustment maintains the jaw size setting. It’s also fast and easy to use.
  16. Digital Multimeter – A good one not only measures standard readings like volts, amps and ohms, but it also has powerful automotive features including frequency, duty cycle, and diode and continuity tests.
  17. Circuit Tester – Great for testing electrical circuits and locating shorts, grounds and open circuits.
  18. <a href="" target="_blank"A set of mini Stripper/Cutter/Crimp Pliers – Cut, crimp, and strip wire in tight spaces.
  19. Compression Tester – Simple, complete kit with adapters to fit just about any compression system.
  20. UV Flashlight – With a telescoping lens, this UV flashlight will pick up a leak in your AC system.

Have questions about these or other tools you’re interested in adding to your toolbox? Just give the Matco Tools product experts a call at 866-BUY-TOOL. Or, if you’re ready to get started building your perfect tool collection, locate your closest Matco distributor or order online at

About The Author

John Guilfoil is the editor-in-chief of Blast: Boston's Online Magazine and the Blast Magazine Network. He can be reached at [email protected]. Tweet @johnguilfoil.

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