Small Business Brief

Auto Dealership

Complete List of Body Shop Equipment Needed to Open an Auto Repair Store

Are you looking to open up your own auto repair shop? If this is your goal but you are feeling a bit overwhelmed because you are not sure about which body shop equipment you will need, we are here to help you make the list of reliable car mechanics

There are certain essentials needed to perform even basic repairs for your customers. 

Jack and Jack Stands

There will be many times that you will have to raise a vehicle that a customer brings in to look underneath the car. You can’t go cheap with your jack equipment. Make sure that you invest in high quality and strong jacks to give you peace of mind that there won’t be a tragic accident while the vehicle is raised.

Along with some jacks, you can also buy some pole jacks to help support the car once it is upon the jacks. Pole jacks will give you extra support.

Vehicle Lifts

Another way to lift a vehicle easier is with vehicle lifts. These will raise the vehicle to the height you need for inspection and for diagnostics. When you are looking at your vehicle lift options, keep an eye out on the power it needs to work, and the accessories it comes with.

A lift will last you for many years as long as you invest in a high-quality machine. Even though it will cost a little more, invest in a known brand to ensure you can find replacement parts in the future.

Air Compressor

The air compressor is another piece of equipment that will become necessary multiple times. It will help operate many of the tools you have in the shop such as auto lifts, and certain hand tools. Make sure that when you choose your air compressor, it has enough power for all of your needs.

Engine Hoist

If you will be working on engine rebuilds, repairs, or replacements, then an engine hoist will come in handy and will become necessary. Make sure that while you are shopping for an engine hoist you pick one that is able to handle the weight of the largest engine you can expect to work on.

Oil Drain

Oil changes and transmission fluid changes are pretty common services people get done at an auto repair shop. These services require an oil drain that has enough room to hold the fluid that is being flushed out of the vehicle. 

As your shop grows and you find yourself doing more oil changes you might want to consider adding a standing oil caddy to your arsenal. This will reach the raised vehicle and make your job easier and more efficient.

Battery Charger

There will be times when a client brings in dead batteries that they want charged. A battery charger along with a jumper will help those dealing with either charging problems or with dead batteries. 

Transmission Jack

This jack is to make your life and work easier when you are working with a heavy transmission. Make sure you choose a transmission jack that will be able to support the weight of a variety of different transmissions.  

Strut Compressor 

If you plan on working on suspension systems or struts then a strut compressor will be useful. You will be able to replace struts without a problem. Working on struts is a specialty that can help make your repair shop profitable.

This is an item that will also help make your shop more unique in your service capabilities.


A press will come in handy when you are bending metal for a customer’s vehicle, or when you are dealing with bearings and bushings. The press will make it easier and faster to remove gears, ball joints, U-joints, and bushings to name a few. It will also allow you to press parts together as needed. 

Some presses have a bed that can go up and down to make working on rear axle bearings and piston pins easier. If you ever need to add high viscosity mixers to your press you can always do that as your business grows. 

Brake Lathe

If you are going to do brakes for clients then having your own machine to resurface rotors and drums will make life easier and cut down on expenses in the long run.

When a client brings in their vehicle for a brake service, with the brake lathe you won’t have to bring the rotors or drums to another service shop for them to resurface. Doing this is expensive and adds up rather quickly, the more brakes you service. 

Keep in mind that you want to invest in a big name brand when it comes to your lathe because when you need replacement parts, it will make life easier.

Air Conditioning Machine

If you live in an area like Florida that there is plenty of heat year-round then investing in an air conditioning machine will allow you to offer air conditioning services. The machine will be able to recharge vehicle air conditioning systems and will make flushing and diagnosing air conditioning systems faster. 

With the right machine, you will be able to recover and recycle air conditioning systems as well.

Time to Shop for Body Shop Equipment 

Now that you have our list above of body shop equipment that you will need when you open your auto repair doors, it is time to go shopping. You can choose to order everything online or pick up the equipment if you live in an area where this equipment is easily accessible.

As your shop grows you can upgrade your equipment or buy other equipment you find necessary to run your business. 

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