As time goes by, less and less people are invested in their vehicles the way they were back in the old days. They care less and less about understanding them, but that’s to be somewhat expected, as larger portions of modern vehicles are becoming more and more complex, and there’s more electronics and computers than ever before. Regardless, every vehicle owner should learn how to do basic maintenance on their vehicle, which could potentially save them a lot of money down the road.

In order to successfully perform basic vehicle maintenance, you need some basic automotive tools. No matter what type of work you’re doing, having the right tools can be the difference between success and failure. That being said, here’s a list of the four most essential automotive tools that every vehicle owner should have at their disposal.

A Driver and Socket Set

Bolts and nuts are the fasteners of every car construction, which makes a decent driver and socket set a must-have for your tool kit. Also, you need to ensure you have a full range of imperial and metric sockets as well as a ¾ inch and ¼ inch drivers. This should allow you to handle most esoteric bolt sizes you might come across during a project. Additionally, socket extensions are a great investment that allows you to access hard-to-reach fasteners, which are plenty.

Socket set

Jack Stands

Jack stands let you lift your car off the ground and access its underside, which greatly impacts the amount of maintenance you can perform. A safe jack stand that’s low enough to fit under your car, yet tall enough to provide you with the necessary clearance so that you’re able to perform work is essential for your tool shed. Use a pair of jack stands to safely hold your car while you’re working underneath it.

jack stands

A Screwdriver Set

You’ll typically come across three types of screws when working on your car: flathead, Phillips and Torx. The first two are more common, while Torx screws show up when you least expect them. For that reason, a full set of screwdrivers can help you handle all of these screws with minimum hassle. You can get screwdrivers with long and short handles for added convenience.

Screwdriver Set

Torque Wrench

A torque wrench is an invaluable addition to any tool shed. This simple tool lets you tighten fasteners to their factory torque specifications, which is important for two reasons: you always want the fastener to be tight enough, but not be over-tightened so it gets damaged. This reduces the need for guesswork, and you’ll always tighten your fasteners just right.

Torque Wrench