If you love working with cars and trucks, opening your own auto repair shop may be a dream come true. However, starting your own business requires a lot more than just being a knowledgeable mechanic. On top of learning business administration, you will need to stock your garage with top-quality equipment essential for every successful auto repair business.
So whether you are thinking about leaving your job to start your own business or are already in the process of opening your own shop, here are ten pieces of auto equipment you need for your business.
One of the first things any mechanic who is starting their own business should purchase is a vehicle lift. Vehicle lifts are essential to perform any kind of inspections, diagnostics, and repairs. It is crucial to do your research and compare models to find the one that is right for you. Consider the accessories, power requirements, safety features, and if you want a two-post or four-post model. You can check some out here.
Choose Quality Over Deals
Going with a cheaper model may be enticing, especially as you start your business, but opting with high-quality brand names can save you on costly repairs if something were to happen. Vehicle lifts are a vital investment for your business, so it’s best to find the highest quality lift that fits your budget.
Sometimes auto repairs only require vehicles to be raised temporarily, so it is best to use a jack instead of a lift. However, just like the vehicle lift, it is essential to invest in strong, high-capacity jacks so you can lift any type of vehicle without any issues. You should also consider pole jacks to support axles and other components of a raised vehicle.
Air compressors are not just used to add air to a vehicle’s tires. They are an essential asset used to operate everything from hand tools, power drills, auto lifts, and more. It is also crucial to find an air compressor with the highest capacity possible. Popular auto shop compressors range from 60 to 120 gallons.
Oil Drains and Caddys
As an auto repair business, you will most likely be changing oil and transmission fluids on a daily basis, being one of the regular services you’ll perform. Since vehicles of all sizes hold different amounts of oil, it is important to find an oil caddy capable of holding the largest amount of fluids. You will also want to find a standing oil caddy tall enough to reach raised cars on your vehicle lift to make each job quick and easy.
Sometimes the only way to fix a broken-down vehicle is to take the engine out completely. An engine hoist will help you perform various repairs, from rebuilds to replacements. Like all auto repair equipment, it is vital to invest in the strongest engine hoist possible. You don’t want to deal with the repercussions of dropping a customer’s engine because your hoist wasn’t strong enough.
Battery Charger and Jumper
As an auto shop owner, you will have a bunch of clients dealing with batteries that are past their lifespan and charging issues. Having a dependable battery charger can help you handle these services in an easy and timely fashion. The quicker your turnaround for simple charger repairs, the better it is for your bottom line.
Struts have to be replaced every 50,000 to 100,00 miles, so you’ll have plenty of customers needing strut replacements each year. Strut compressors can help you work faster and therefore make more money. Strut compressors also help you make other repairs when it comes to suspension issues. Make sure you save enough money to purchase a heavy-duty strut compressor so you can easily work on big trucks as well as smaller cars.
While break lathes are one of the most expensive pieces of equipment you will buy for your shop, it is one of the best investments you will make. While expensive upfront, brake lathes will quickly pay for themselves. Instead of taking rotors and drums to another service shop for resurfacing, you’ll be able to do it yourself and therefore save both time and money. Just like vehicle lifts, it is crucial to buy a brand-name brake lathe to easily find replacement parts when needed.
Air Conditioning Machine
Another prominent issue that drivers face each year is faulty air conditioning. Therefore, it is important to get an air conditioning machine that can recycle, recharge, and recover vehicle ac systems in a quick and reliable fashion.
Today, most cars you will service run off of integrated computerized systems, so it is essential to have computer scanners to help identify and detect issues in the engine. To ensure you have the ability to diagnose all types of computerized vehicles, make sure your scanner can work with OBD, OBD1, and OBD2 computers.
Free Standing Press
In order for your auto shop to properly repair axel bearings, struts, and more, you must invest in a free-standing press. It is also important to find a press that can handle at least 30 tons so you won’t have a problem working on larger vehicles.
You are going to deal with a lot of different fluids in your shop, so you can never have too many drain pans. However, sometimes drain pans are too small, so consider investing in a bunch of large aluminum baking trays to easily slide under vehicles to catch drips and spills.
Steel Work Bench
As a mechanic with your own shop, you are going to need a lot of hand tools. Consider finding a heavy-duty steel bench that can easily fit and handle all of your tools. Having one place in your shop to keep all of your equipment makes your life a lot easier when you’re trying to find a specific tool.
How to Obtain Your Equipment
Unless you take out a business loan, buying everything at once can be pricey. Instead, start by purchasing the most important equipment first, then slowly add other, less vital pieces to your collection. Remember, do your research and find the best quality pieces of equipment you can find, and before you know it, you will have a full auto shop.