10 Smart Tools for a Mechanic’s Toolbox

When it comes to repairs and maintenance, having the right tools is crucial for a mechanic to perform their job with confidence and efficiency. Without the right tools, even the most skilled mechanic can struggle to complete a task correctly or in a timely manner.

Whether it’s performing an alignment, oil change, or car repair service in Longmont, a mechanic’s toolbox should be equipped with a variety of tools to ensure that they can handle any task that comes their way. Here are ten useful tools that are ideal to have in your toolbox. 

Socket Set

A socket set is an essential tool in any mechanic’s toolbox for performing tasks like auto repairs in Longmont. A high-quality socket set should include various sizes and types of sockets, a ratchet, and extension bars. Mechanics can use socket sets to remove spark plugs, loosen or tighten bolts, and perform other tasks.

Wrench Set

A wrench set is another must-have tool in a mechanic’s toolbox, especially when performing jobs like an alignment in Longmont. These sets come in different sizes and types, and mechanics can use them for various tasks, including tightening nuts and bolts, adjusting suspension components, and more. Wrench sets can help ensure that every component is tightened securely and safely, preventing any issues that may arise due to loose components.

A high-quality wrench set should include a range of sizes and types of wrenches, such as combination wrenches, box-end wrenches, and open-end wrenches. Combination wrenches have an open end on one side and a box end on the other, making them versatile for different tasks. Box-end wrenches have a closed, boxed shape that can provide more torque, while open-end wrenches have a U-shape that can access hard-to-reach areas.

Screwdriver Set

A set of screwdrivers is also a must-have for mechanics who want to perform tasks like car service in Longmont. They come in various sizes and types, including flathead and Phillips-head screwdrivers. These tools are useful for removing interior trim panels, adjusting carburetor screws, and performing other tasks.


A good set of pliers is another essential tool that mechanics should have in their toolbox, especially when working on stubborn bolts or wires during auto repair in Longmont. Pliers come in various types, including needle-nose pliers, slip-joint pliers, and locking pliers. Mechanics use pliers to hold and bend wires, remove stubborn bolts, and more.

Needle-nose pliers are thin and pointed, making them useful for accessing tight spaces and holding small objects, such as wires or screws. Slip-joint pliers are adjustable, allowing the mechanic to adjust the jaw size to fit the object being worked on. Locking pliers, also known as vise-grips, can clamp down on objects and hold them securely in place while the mechanic works on them.

Torque Wrench

A torque wrench is a crucial tool for any mechanic who makes sure that nuts and bolts are tightened to the correct torque specifications. Since it’s especially useful for tasks like installing wheels, where over- or under-tightening can cause serious safety issues, it’s always good to have on hand. With a torque wrench, a mechanic can work confidently and ensure that every bolt is tightened to the correct level.

Oil Filter Wrench

Mechanics who perform regular oil changes in Longmont, CO, need a filter wrench in their toolbox. This tool is designed to grip the filter, allowing it to be removed and replaced quickly and easily. Oil filter wrenches are essential for quick and efficient oil changes.

Pry Bar

Pry bars are another valuable tool that should be part of every mechanic’s toolbox. This tool is especially useful when working on auto repairs in Longmont, as it is designed to pry apart components that are stuck together, such as ball joints or tie rods. Mechanics use pry bars to apply leverage to stubborn bolts or nuts, making the job easier and more efficient.

A pry bar can come in different lengths and sizes, making it versatile for various repair and maintenance tasks. When choosing a pry bar, mechanics should look for one that is sturdy and made of high-quality materials. A pry bar with a comfortable grip can help reduce hand fatigue during prolonged use.

One common use for a pry bar is to remove suspension components that are stuck together. This can be particularly challenging when working on older vehicles or vehicles that have been exposed to harsh environmental conditions. A pry bar can make the job easier by providing the necessary leverage to separate these components.

Inspection Light

An inspection light is a small, handheld light that can be used to illuminate hard-to-see areas of a vehicle. This tool is useful for tasks like inspecting under the hood or under the vehicle, which is essential during a car service in Longmont. Mechanics can use inspection lights to identify any issues that may be hidden from view, ensuring that every aspect of the vehicle is checked thoroughly.

Car Lift

A car lift is a crucial investment for any mechanic, as it provides a safe and efficient way to work on vehicles. With the ability to raise a car to a comfortable working height, mechanics can access parts of the vehicle that are otherwise difficult to reach, making repairs and maintenance tasks faster and easier. By using a car lift, mechanics can work with increased precision and accuracy, improving the overall quality of their work. Additionally, a car lift can help prevent workplace injuries by eliminating the need to crawl under the car or use unstable jack stands. Overall, a car lift is an essential tool for any mechanic who wants to work efficiently, effectively, and safely.


Whether a mechanic is performing a routine oil change or a major auto repair in Longmont, having the right tools in their toolbox can make all the difference. From socket sets and wrenches to filter wrenches and inspection lights, there are a variety of tools that every mechanic should have in their arsenal. With the right tools at their disposal, mechanics can work quickly and efficiently, ensuring that every job is done right.

Common Causes of Wheel Misalignment

When driving, it’s important that a person always be in control. This means that they’ll need to be able to steer to avoid accidents. If there are any issues with their steering, they may need to get auto repair in Longmont.

When it comes to steering, they are a variety of issues that could cause a person to have problems. One of these includes having wheels that are out of alignment in Longmont. If this is the case, it will need to be fixed. Below are some of the common causes of wheel misalignment.

Common Causes

Hitting curbs

Hitting curbs happens. Whether a person is parallel parking or pulling into their home or a business, they could accidentally hit a curb. In addition to curbs on the side of the road, a person might also accidentally run into a concrete parking barrier.

Whether a person hits the curb or parking barrier softly or with force, it can cause issues with the wheels. It doesn’t take much to knock them out of line, and the harder the vehicle hits, the worse the issue will be. If a person has hit a curb or parking barrier recently, they may want to get some car service in Longmont to ensure that everything is still alright with their wheels.

Hitting speed bumps

Speed bumps can be found in a variety of different places. Their purpose is to slow people down so that they don’t speed through certain areas. Sometimes, they can be found in housing developments or around schools. In some places, they are found in parking lots to keep people from going too fast.

There is no standard size for speed bumps, and sometimes they are much larger than they look. A person might think they’ve slowed down enough to get over the hump, only to find themselves bounced around the interior of their vehicle. This can be incredibly uncomfortable for the occupants, and it can be incredibly damaging to the wheels.

Even if a person slows way down to hit these bumps, if this is an element they encounter every day, it can lead to major issues with the vehicle. Having the wheels checked every so often to ensure they are still in line is advisable.

Hitting potholes

During certain times of the year, potholes are unavoidable. This is especially true after winter, when water has gotten into the street and frozen, lifting up parts of the asphalt or concrete and creating holes. Any road can be impacted, and potholes can be much deeper than they look.

Most people try to avoid running into potholes, but it’s not always possible. Sometimes, they are hidden under puddles or the last remnants of a spring storm. It can be a jolt to hit one of these, and it can have a huge impact on occupants and on the wheels.

It’s best to avoid these at all costs, but if they can’t be avoided, then hitting them slowly is advisable. Like speed bumps, there is no standard size of potholes, and they can cause major damage.


Another way wheels get out of line is by being in an accident. This can cause a variety of issues, including damage to the body and internal damage. Even if it seems like the accident was minor and only the body was damaged, it’s still a good idea to get the vehicle checked out by a professional.

The amount of energy that is transferred from one vehicle to another during an accident can be intense. Even if it seems to have happened at slow speeds, the automobile could still have been hit with enough force to cause the wheels to be knocked out of line. This can make driving dangerous. Getting the automobile looked at for other issues is also beneficial.

Not maintaining the vehicle

There are certain things a person needs to do to ensure that their vehicle is running optimally. These include getting an oil change in Longmont, having the fluids checked, and having the wheels balanced and rotated. All of these will ensure the vehicle lasts for a long time and doesn’t cause issues while a person is driving down the road.

Nothing was built to last forever, and parts will wear out and/or break. When this happens, it can be incredibly frustrating and costly. However, if a person gets their vehicle in for maintenance work, these issues may be caught before they become major problems.

How to Tell If the Wheels Are Out of Line

If any of the aforementioned things have happened to a person’s vehicle, that doesn’t mean their wheels are out of line, but getting it checked out to be sure can be helpful. There are some signs a person will notice that will let them know if their wheels are having issues. Some of these are listed below.

The vehicle drifts

If a person notices that their auto drifts to one side while they are driving, this could be a sign that their wheels are out of line. This is not a good thing for a vehicle to do, so getting it fixed will make driving safer.

The steering wheel doesn’t return

After making a turn, the steering wheel should naturally return to a neutral position. If it doesn’t, that could be a sign of problems. If the driver has to force the steering wheel back into a neutral position, this could make driving challenging and dangerous.

The steering wheel vibrates or shakes

In addition to the steering wheel not returning to a neutral position, it may also vibrate or shake while driving down the road. This can make it difficult to keep control of the vehicle, as well as give the driver sore muscles. Getting this corrected as soon as possible will make the car and driver happy.

Uneven wear on the tires

Even if a person doesn’t experience any other signs, if they notice that their tires aren’t wearing evenly, this could be an indication that the wheels are out of line. Getting them changed or rotated and balanced could be all that’s needed to ensure the vehicle runs properly.

Everything A Vehicle Owner Should Know About Wheel Alignment

Perhaps Longmont residents have heard about wheel alignment, and how important it is, but they don’t know exactly why. The reality is that it is quite important for helping one’s tires perform as they should while ensuring that the car doesn’t pull in one direction or another when it is supposed to be going straight.

What Is Wheel Alignment?

When one is getting their alignment assessed at a service center in Longmont, they’re getting the suspension of their car adjusted. The suspension is the system that ties the wheels of a car to the rest of the car. The name is a bit misleading because, despite the fact that it is often called wheel or tire alignment, one doesn’t refer to an adjustment of the actual wheels. When this alignment is properly done, the angle of the tires is just right for them to have good contact with the road.

Why Is Wheel Alignment Important?

When one’s alignment in Longmont is properly done, there are a few benefits that come to mind. First off, the tires will last for a longer time, while the vehicle will be easier to drive. Not to mention that less energy will be needed for the car to do its job, which could also result in less money being spent on fuel.

Tire Wear and Its Effects

As mentioned earlier, an uneven alignment leads to tires wearing out unevenly. So, why is this a problem? When a vehicle’s tires are worn out differently, it could lead to issues with the steering and suspension components. This, in turn, can cause a whole host of problems, which is why if this happens, those components will need to be replaced, leading to big expenses.

Signs the Alignment Isn’t Right

One of the biggest signs of a faulty alignment is one’s vehicle pulling to either the right or the left. In addition, if the tires are showing signs of wear that is either uneven or just extremely fast, it could be yet another sign that a mechanic should fix the alignment. Finally, another sign of issues in this department are squealing tires.

Alignment Troubles that Can be Fixed at Home

While in most cases, the alignment should be done by a professional, there are things one can do at home to prevent misalignment or to fix it. For starters, one shouldn’t drive around with a lot of stuff in their trunk, since this can lead to an uneven weight distribution of the car, which can throw the alignment off. Another thing one can do is ensure that their tires always have the correct amount of air pressure.

Wheel Alignment: Why You Should Get It and When to Get It

Wheel alignment is one of the crucial maintenance steps that should be done to your car. Doing this regularly can help ensure that your car is performing at its best. Moreover, it can help guarantee better fuel economy and improved handling. There are lots of reasons why a car would need a wheel alignment. For instance, if you’re driving in Longmont and hit a pothole, chances are your wheels will need an alignment after that. There is nothing to worry though because this is easy to do. Just bring in the car to a maintenance service facility and they’ll do the trick for you.

Benefits of Wheel Alignment

Wheel alignment has an important role in ensuring that your car performs at its best. Here are the benefits of getting wheel alignment:


  1. Extends tire life

    Properly aligned tires have a longer lifespan. Since the suspension system is in the right orientation, the tires are also in the right orientation. If not, this can lead to uneven wear and tear of the tires, which can lead to a shorter lifespan. With a longer tire lifespan, you can save on getting new tires in short periods of time because your old tires can serve you longer.
  2. Promotes safety

    If your tires aren’t aligned, it can result in difficulty in steering and handling. If this happens and you’re driving fast on the road, it can lead to an accident. You might find it difficult to steer your wheels if they aren’t aligned, which can either cause you to panic or simply be unable to steer them. Hence, an accident is imminent if this is the case
  3. Adds comfort

    Aligned wheels are easier to drive. If you are a long-distance driver, you would appreciate the comfort of having aligned wheels. You won’t have to spend extra effort to turn and maneuver your car. Even if you’re a city driver, you would definitely appreciate the comfort that aligned wheels provide.


When to Get Wheel Alignment?

There are signs that tell it’s time to go to a maintenance service facility and get your wheels aligned. Some of the tell-tale signs include:


  1. An uneven orientation of your car
  2. The car gets easily pulled on one side
  3. Your ride gets too bumpy even on smooth roads
  4. You have a hard time steering your car and maneuvering it
  5. Your tires show uneven wear and tear

If you’re experiencing any of these signs, you should immediately seek help to align your wheels. Neglecting it can lead to more serious and more expensive problems. It doesn’t take a lot to do this so it is best to get it done immediately.

When Do Tires Lose Their Alignment?

Tires can’t just be installed on a car, truck, or SUV and then hold their position forever. Instead, it’s necessary to regularly schedule an alignment in Longmont to make sure that the tires are in good shape and in the correct position on the vehicle. Tires lose their spot on the vehicle in the following situations:

Tire Impacts

While it’s not possible to avoid every single bump, thump, curb, and pothole while going through one’s day, these impacts can affect the way the tires fit on the car. This becomes especially true over time, as while small impacts may not make much of a difference, they can have a cumulative effect. Larger impacts can also have a dramatic effect on the way that the car’s tires fit, changing it all at once and making a big difference at one time.

New Tires

New tires can also be lined up incorrectly on a vehicle. When this is the case, they’ll need to be serviced so that they are set up correctly and wear correctly, otherwise the wear pattern will be strange and the tires themselves won’t last as long. This can lead to increased vehicle maintenance costs over time, while scheduling regular appointments could keep these costs much lower.

Wear and Tear

Over time, regular wear and tear can cause dramatic damage to a set of tires. Simple mileage put in, time on the road, and exposure to road hazards can create major issues. These seemingly simple issues are easy to ignore, but they can cause the wear pattern in a set of tires to vary dramatically from what it should be, until they need to be adjusted on the vehicle. If one doesn’t do this, serious issues can develop. A skilled mechanic can take the time to adjust them for the driver so that they wear more evenly.

Periodic Maintenance is Necessary

Tires aren’t just a set it and forget it vehicle part. They require ongoing maintenance, they need to be adjusted regularly for wear and tear, and they need to be checked periodically to make sure that they are safe to use. This type of maintenance helps ensure that the car is safe to drive and that one isn’t risking an accident or blowout caused by a damaged tire. This periodic maintenance is a crucial part of automotive safety and allows the driver to take the best possible care of their family while behind the wheel.

Those who own a vehicle should take the time to regularly schedule an alignment in Longmont. This essential service helps ensure that it is safe to drive at all times, and that everyone in the family is protected during each road trip.

When to Get a Wheel Alignment in Longmont

When a car’s wheels are out of alignment, it can cause a whole slew of other problems. For instance, the tires will wear unevenly, which means vehicle owners will have to replace one or two much sooner than necessary. Bad alignment also hurts a vehicle’s fuel economy, as the wheels that are not aligned will drag and cause friction. This means the vehicle has to work harder to move forward, which uses more gas. Circumvent problems with wheel alignment in Longmont by watching for the following signs while driving the car in question.

Longmont Alignment Problems: Things to Watch For While Driving

1. The car seems to want to pull to the left or right on its own.
This means the driver has to constantly correct the steering so the car doesn’t drift to the left or the right. The driver might also feel the steering wheel pulling to either side if they relax their grip. This is a good sign the alignment needs to be checked, but it can also mean a couple other things. For instance, if the car wants to list to one side, it might simply mean that the air pressure in one tire is low.

2. The front tires are unevenly worn – the tread might be entirely worn off on one of them.
This is a good sign that the tire in question is not aligned in the right direction, and is therefore being “dragged” at the wrong angle. Pay attention to a tire with a tread that is almost or completely worn away along an outside or inside edge.

3. Steering isn’t as responsive as it should be.
If turning the steering wheel isn’t smooth and easy, the problem might be the wheel alignment. If the steering feels heavy or difficult to turn, the alignment should be looked into. Additionally, after rounding a corner, the steering wheel of a vehicle with bad alignment will not re-center itself as it should.
Drivers and car owners should not forget that driving over potholes, large bumps, or rough road can all contribute to throwing the wheels out of alignment. The chances are also better for this problem when drivers must travel through areas of rough weather that effect road conditions, like heavy snow and ice. People who live where they may encounter these types of conditions need to have their alignment checked at least yearly.

Drivers and car owners should not forget that driving over potholes, large bumps, or rough road can all contribute to throwing the wheels out of alignment. The chances are also better for this problem when drivers must travel through areas of rough weather that effect road conditions, like heavy snow and ice. People who live where they may encounter these types of conditions need to have their alignment checked at least yearly.

Get It Checked Out

If a vehicle is displaying any of the above signs, it should be taken to a car repair or auto body shop to have the wheel alignment checked. This is essential to do, because some of these signs may also point to other problems. Either way, it’s important to get a vehicle looked at with any of the above warning signals, because if ignored, the issue may only worsen, and might end up affecting the power steering or the suspension components. In regard to driving and safety, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Love Off-Roading? Plan Ahead and Find a Good Auto Alignment Shop

West of the Longmont area one can find some great ATV and off-road trails. These trails beckon to sportsmen and women who love to spend the day on a riding adventure. It’s no fun, however, to hit a chuck hole or root or bump and throw the vehicle out of alignment. After the ride is over, it can be a hassle to find a good shop in Longmont that does alignments. Before one goes out, it can pay to locate a good repair shop that can keep a vehicle ready to hit the trails.

Why Get your ATV / 4×4 Re-Aligned?

An ATV’s steering, suspension and wheels all have to be aligned to keep it running straight, versus pulling off to one side. What happens when a three or four wheeler needs realignment? Shops today use advanced systems and software to realign three wheel and quad ATVs. Proper alignment keeps the ATV’s steering and tread wear in optimal condition.

How Often Should an ATV / 4×4 Get Aligned?

It’s recommended that a passenger car get its alignment checked at least once a year. If one is riding often on challenging terrain, it may be a good idea to get an ATV’s alignment checked more often than that.

What are Other Benefits of Proper Alignment?

In addition to better handling, here are some additional benefits to getting an ATV aligned:

·      Better fuel economy

·      Safety – When a vehicle is properly aligned, it functions well and keeps the rider safe.

·      Time effectiveness – An alignment at the shop doesn’t take very long. It saves the rider from having to perform the task, which is often performed better by an expert.

Another great benefit to bringing an ATV in for alignment service in Longmont is that it can be checked for other issues. Just like with a car, it’s important to set up a regular maintenance schedule for one’s ATV. The shop mechanic can recommend the best maintenance schedule. Riders who keep their vehicles maintained can spend much more time enjoying the outdoors.

By following the above repair and maintenance tips, one can look forward to many fun hours off-roading near Longmont. It can really pay to find a good repair shop before one needs to bring the ATV in for work. Establishing a relationship with a mechanic can deliver multiple benefits to ATV owners, including a safer time on the trails.