Hello there and welcome to the BMW Car Club of America.

If you are a BMW CCA member, please log in and introduce yourself in our Member Introductions section.

What's the basic toolset needed to work on (most) BMW tasks?

Discussion in 'DIY (Do-It-Yourself)' started by MGarrison, Nov 8, 2008.

    • Member


    Post Count: 2,961
    Likes Received:156
    After a recent lengthy conversation with.... someone... (ahem... cough... cough! :p) this topic came to mind -

    What are the basic tools needed to work on these cars... and which are the most essential -anyone?

    I don't have time this moment to list my whole toolbox, but - for starters, here's my 2 cents:

    Flatblade & Phillips screwdriver sets.

    Pliers - 2-3 varieties of needlenose, some vice-grips, slip-joint, 12" and the largest channellocks, and some long-reach pliers.

    Metric 6-pt. sockets, 1/4" & 3/8", standard & deep, 5mm-21mm, plus 22mm, & 24mm, extensions (wobble and standard, sometimes a loooong extension is needed as well - consider a 1/2" for long extensions, long 3/8" extensions can twist/flex), universal joint extensions, (flex joint sockets can also be handy at times, but probably not essential), and drive adapters (1/4 to 3/8, 3/8 to 1/4, plus 1/2" adapters if you get some 1/2" sockets)

    Torx bit set, and Torx socket set

    Metric Hex-bit socket set. Maybe larger sizes needed on occasion, like 14mm & 17mm.

    Metric combination wrenches 7mm-24mm

    Ratcheting metric wrenches (perhaps not absolutely essential, but handy, and sometimes THE tool for the job)

    Pry Bar Set

    Breaker Bar

    1/2" & 3/8" ft-lb torque wrenches (in-lb torque wrench also useful)

    Floor Jack & 2-4 jack stands.

    Wheel chock(s)

    Safety goggles

    Ball Pein & 2lb & 4lb Dead Blow hammers (not needed often, but every once in awhile, you may need the BFH).

    Flashlight(s) - a headband light is useful, as occasionally is a flex-shaft light

    Inspection mirror

    magnetic pickup tool

    spring-loaded 'finger' pickup tool

    Metric feeler gauges (needed for valve adjustments on earlier BMW's)

    Allen/hex wrench set (metric)

    11mm flare nut wrench (needed for brake line fittings) -

    Long swivel spark plug socket - (yes, you can use the spark plug tool in the trunk toolbox) However, this is much handier; the problem w/ a regular spark plug socket (for me, anyway) is that, unless you have a locking extension, the socket stays stuck on the spark plug instead of the extension (when installing, that is), and takes a good bit of effort to pull off the plug w/ some pliers or vice-grips.

    Drill & Drill Bits

    Ok, that's a start... what'd I forget?
    • Member
    • Staff

    steven s

    Post Count: 2,278
    Likes Received:76
    Rubber gloves
    Brake piston compressor
    anti-sieze compound
    zip ties
    • Member
    • Technical Service Advisor


    Post Count: 1,880
    Likes Received:15
    Big-azz channelocks. These will save your butt more than once. And I mean big. Like 6" span. Also, a really long extension with 1/2" to 3/8" for removing bell housing bolts if you ever need to pull a trans. I like air tools, too. Impact wrench, air ratchet, die grinder, cutoff tool. I don't really have tons of tools and have had no problem getting things done. I am not a tool freak like some of the guys I work with- I have one waist-height box and access to some special tools.
    • Member

    TeamStowell We love driving!

    Post Count: 634
    Likes Received:3
    As a new owner of an old car, I was hanging with some 2002 folks at Oktoberfest, and I brought up the question of what did I need in my trunk when I take the Euro out on longer trips.

    I followed their suggestions, and didn't we end up using exactly what they suggested on our 250 mile cruise to Bavarian Autosport's Show and Shine? A cell phone and AAA card got me out of my jam rather effectively. Although less useful in the garage, I won't travel without them in my road tool kit.

    JayM guest

    Post Count: 6
    Likes Received:0
    Always have a bag of various trim clips and fasteners.

    And +10 to the cell phone and auto-club card for the "roadside assistance" kit.
    • Member

    Brian A

    Post Count: 657
    Likes Received:7
    - rechargeable flashlight,
    - florescent trouble light,
    - Dremel tool,
    - Gear Wrench to socket wrench converter
    - punches (center, drift etc)
    - "dentist picks"
    - hand cleaner
    - bandaids,
    - crying towel
    • Member


    Post Count: 422
    Likes Received:4
    I have used my set of dental picks more often than I ever dreamed I would...incredibly handy tools to have! By careful though...they are very sharp and improper use of said dental picks will lead to the use of 'bandaids' listed above (this coming from someone currently sporting a lovely bandaid on his leg covering a nice round hole left by aforementioned pick...don't ask).

    Also, I have an automotive stethoscope that has come in really handy for identifying phantom noises coming from the engine compartment (which you get a lot of in a 2002).

    Jeron guest

    Post Count: 210
    Likes Received:2
    Lots of good ideas above.

    One critical item missing is:
    PB Blaster or Liquid Wrench

    Some jobs can not be completed without it especially on older models.


Share This Page