10 Types of Automotive Machinery Used In Auto Shops

You'll notice the same basic types of automotive machinery when you visit a car manufacturing plant or auto repair shop. We created this list to help you get familiar with the different types of automotive machinery, how they operate, and what purpose they serve.

Table of Contents

Types Of Automotive Machinery

1. Electronic Diagnostic Equipment

Electronic diagnostic equipment encompasses the type of handheld tools that use digital controls and electronic sensors to solve electronic and electromechanical auto problems. The equipment achieves this goal by enabling mechanics to compare their analysis of a vehicle with the information the car manufacturer’s database provides.

2. Welding Systems

Welding systems are some of the most common types of automotive shop equipment used in the automotive industry today. Welding machines use heat and air to melt two or more metal pieces and create one larger metal piece.

Since welding machines are such versatile tools, they can be used to carry out various functions—such as repairing cracks and fixing damaged fenders or bumpers. Another factor to keep in mind is that welding systems generally require three-phase power to carry heavy loads. If your auto shop only receives utility single-phase power, you’ll need to invest in a single to 3 phase converter.

3. Lifts and Hoists

Lifts and hoists are a type of heavy-duty automotive machinery used to move vehicles between locations, load and unload them, and are necessary to complete maintenance and repairs. Their primary function is to elevate vehicles so mechanics can inspect and work on the undercarriage components with greater visibility.

Some basic types of lifts and hoists include:

  • Forklifts
  • Jacks
  • Pneumatic lifts
  • Scissor lifts

4. Scanners

Automotive scanners help mechanics diagnose, test, and repair vehicles by scanning a car and reading the information provided by the computer system in your car. This type of automotive machinery plugs into your car to read the error codes and generate a report listing possible solutions to fix the problem. These devices can be either handheld or stationary. Scanners generally focus on the following parts: bodywork, engine, transmission, brakes, and suspension.

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5. A/C Machine

An A/C machine fixes problems with the air conditioning systems of vehicles. By removing moisture from the air in a vehicle, the A/C machine regulates the internal temperature.

Here are the three components of an A/C machine used in the automotive industry:

  • Evaporator: Produces cold air by cooling down the refrigerant gas that has been heated by the engine
  • Condenser: Releases heat from the compressed gas back into the atmosphere so it can be cooled down again by atmospheric air or water before returning to a closed-loop
  • Compressor: Compresses the refrigerant gas so that the evaporator can cool it
automotive machinery

6. Jacks & Jack Stands

Similar to the purpose of lifts and hoists, jacks and jack stands support the weight of a vehicle while it’s being raised and provide a stable base for mechanics to work underneath it. They’re typically made of metal, wood, or plastic and can be used to lift objects that are either too heavy or too awkward for one person to lift alone. Jacks and jack stands are even equipped with rubber pads so they don't damage the surface they're placed on and have handles for convenient portability.

7. Oxygen-Acetylene Torch

An oxygen-acetylene torch is a type of gas torch often used for cutting and welding metal. This type of automotive shop equipment uses a mixture of oxygen and acetylene gases, which produces an intense flame that can be adjusted to meet the user’s needs. Oxygen-acetylene torches can also correct rust issues on cars residing in particularly moist or humid areas.

Below are the three parts that comprise every oxygen-acetylene torch:

  • Burner: Produces heat through combustion by mixing air with fuel gas
  • Nozzle: Emits a high-temperature flame
  • Handle: Holds the nozzle in place while allowing control over how much air is mixed with the fuel gas, thus controlling how hot or cool the flame will be

8. Free-Standing Press

A free-standing press is an essential part of the automotive production and repair processes. This type of automotive machinery can be used for various purposes such as bending, pressing, and shaping metal sheets. A free-standing press is different from a hydraulic press because it uses air or hydraulic, rather than water, as the main source of pressure. It also differs from a turret press because it doesn't rely on an external power source.

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9. Brake Lathe

A brake lathe is a machine that carves out metal to create the shape of a brake disc and smooth it out. The process, known as "turning," is done by rotating two different-sized cutting tools against one another. This device corrects common brake problems, such as excessive noise or vibration.

10. Battery Charger & Jump Box

A battery charger is an automotive device used to recharge a car's battery when it dies. Car batteries can die from natural wear and tear as well as after sitting idle for extended periods.

A jump box is a portable power source used to start a vehicle that has a dead battery. This device contains a set of jumper cables with alligator clips attached to one end. The jumper cables attach to the battery terminals of two vehicles to provide enough power from one to start the other.

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