When you buy a Jeep, you typically need to make or be ready to make repairs and perform basic maintenance on it. This is especially true if you if you off road your Jeep. There are basic tools to fix or maintain your Jeep that can make your life easier.
If you decide you want to start tackling some of your Jeep and automotive repairs and care, you will need some basic tools and equipment. The basic tools you need to fix or maintain your Jeep can be broken into must-haves, should haves, and nice to haves. Most are common to all vehicles, but some are more specialized for Jeeps. Below I will provide lists and basic descriptions.
What are the “Must Have” Tools I Need for My Jeep?
These are the true basic tools needed for Jeeps and even other vehicles. Many of these tools should be kept in your Jeep, especially when off-roading.
- Basic wrench set
- Basic socket wrench set with both short and deep sockets—deep sockets are sometimes needed to reach over a protruding bolt
- Socket wrench extender set—some nuts and bolts are hard to reach
- Basic screw driver set with flat and Phillip’s head—consider sets with different lengths
- Vise grips
- Oil filter universal wrench
- Spark plug socket set
- Ramp set (12,000 lbs. recommended)
- Hydraulic jack (3 ton recommended)
- Jack stand set (recommend a 2-ton pair and a 4-6-ton pair)
- Wheel chock set (recommend two sets– could also use bricks)
- Oil catch pan
- Funnels (recommend one for each: oil, antifreeze, power steering, brake fluid, and transmission fluid)
- Tire pressure gauge
- Shop towels
- Disposable gloves
- Impact gloves
- Old work clothes– free
- Rags– free
This should get you started with the basics.
What are the “Should Have” Tools I Need for My Jeep?
Next, here are the should have tools for working on your Jeep to repair or maintain it. Some of these are more specialized.
- Spinner lug nut wrench
- Torque wrench (3/8 and 1/2)
- An Allen wrench set
- A Torx set
- Spark plug gap coin
- Spark plug wire grippers
- C clamp (4-6″ for brake jobs)
- Flat tire plug set
Adding these tools to your must have list, gets you almost everything you need for 90% of all repair jobs you would do on your Jeep at an intermediate to advanced level.
What are the Nice to Have Tools to Work on My Jeep?
The nice to have tools for your Jeep, are ones to consider after the other must and should have tools have been acquired. Here are nice to have tools to consider for your Jeeps.
- Impact wrench and battery
- Impact driver
- Power wrench
- Sawzall and battery
- Air compressor and tools
- Angle grinder
- Low profile floor jack
- Shop press
While these tools aren’t required, they do make Jeep repair easier and will allow you to do more advanced work on your Jeep.
Remember to Buy Jeep Tools, Not Gadgets
When it comes to tools for your Jeep, be frugal– you want tools, not gadgets. Specifically, tools that save you time or money. Everything else is a “nice to have” gadget. Here is what you should think about when considering acquiring something for your Jeep tool kit:
- What does it do?
- How often will you use it?
- Can you rent it?
- Would a used tool work as good as new?
- Will it save you time or money?
- Will it produce a “better” result?
Here is a simple strategy—don’t waste money that could be better spent on your Jeep, let other people buy the gadgets and make sure you acquire the tools.
Be Sure to Always Use the Right Tools on Your Jeep
When working on repair or maintenance of your Jeep, it pays to get the job done right and more importantly, safely. The secret is to always use the right tools.
When tackling a Jeep repair project, I like doing it right the first time (most individuals do). I also like to do it safely. I always try to use tools that are specifically designed for the job at hand. The key point here is that there are different tools for different jobs.
Choose the right tools and your results will always be better and safer. Please remember to be safe and use protective gear: eyewear ear protection, and a breathing mask.
Learn How to Use Your Jeep Gear or Tools Before You Need Them
The time to learn how to use something is before you really need to use it. This especially applies to off roading your Jeep. What should you do?
- Get comfortable
Time spent now, saves waste, frustration, and foolishness later.
Consider Keeping Two Sets of Tools
What? Why two sets of tools? I like having a basic set of tools in each of my Jeeps—you never know when you will need them. However, I also like to keep tools in my workshop. There are many jobs that require the same tool, at the same time. I keep two sets of wrenches for this very reason. An example would be that it doesn’t hurt to have a long set and a short set of wrenches. An extra set also allows you to keep a set at home and another on the road . . . a worthwhile investment.
Simplify Your “in-Jeep” Tool Kits with Multi-Tools, Kits, Sets, and Bundles
Always try to simplify your tool kits with multi-tools. A “dog bone” wrench is on wrench with eight sized wrenches in it. Screw driver kits, wrench and socket sets, and other multitools, all save you space. Think “Swiss Army” tools.
Keep Your Jeep Tools Sharp, Clean, and in Good Working Order
As a Jeep owner, you will come to learn that tools are important, and they need to be keep in good working order. I cannot express this point enough– keep your tools sharp and clean! Why?
- Effectiveness– Sharp and clean tools work better
- Safety– Dull tools lead to accidents
- Precision– Sharp tools allow for precise work
- Professionalism– Craftsmen know that their tools are everything
Tools should be wiped off and cleaned with a cleaner if needed, before putting them away. Your tools are supposed to make your life easier, safer, and faster– make sure your equipment is ready for the job at hand.
Finally, always check tools for wear. It is common sense, but always check tools for wear . . . clean it, fix it, or replace it if need be. Don’t use defective tools. This isn’t just an annoyance issue, it could be a safety issue.
Shelter Your Jeep Tools and Equipment from the Elements
Tools are an investment that can help you with your Jeep, and your tools save you time and money. You need to protect that investment. Always be sure to cover or put them away, paint, wax, or oil your Jeep tools. Leaving tools to the mercy of the elements like rain or snow is not a good or recommended practice.
Some Final Thoughts about Building Up Your Jeep Toolbox
You may already have some of these tools, but you can also find most on sale from time to time and many can be found dirt cheap in yard sales. Don’t buy specialized tools unless you have multiple vehicles and continued use– many auto parts stores have loaners that you can use for one-time jobs. Spending about $150-300 on the “must haves” covers most (about 90%) Jeep and other automotive DIY jobs. The savings on one tune-up or brake job will more than cover that initial investment– trust me on this one.
If I have spent $500 on specialized auto tools and equipment, I have saved more than twice that in EACH of the last four years. There are still some jobs I can or won’t do– mainly jobs that require very specialized and expensive training and equipment, but 80% of the work on a Jeep can, and should be yourself.
Finally, I highly recommend you become familiar with your owner’s manual and strongly recommend getting the Haynes (XJ, CJ, Wrangler, or Grand Cherokee) or Chilton Auto Repair and Maintenance manual for your vehicle. These manuals can also be considered some of the basic tools you need to fix or maintain your Jeep