Although cars have been trending more and more toward computer controls and diagnostic equipment in recent years, it’s important to start with the basics. With that in mind, there are a few decidedly low tech (and somewhat less than low tech) tools that every DIYer and backyard mechanic should have in his or her toolbox.
Some of the most basic car diagnostic tools include a:
If you’re working on an older car, then this sort of equipment (along with items like a compression tester, leak-down detector, etc) is basically all you’ll need to perform your own diagnostics. However, this type of gear can also be essential in properly diagnosing newer vehicles. The only difference is the starting point since vehicles that have computer controls will often provide you with “trouble code” to get you started.