8 Essential Tools Used in Auto Body Repair

The world of auto body repair is full of tools and gadgets that can make your life a little easier. Whether you are starting the Automotive Service Technology program at Arizona Automotive Institute or you’re just a car enthusiast looking to make improvements on your old Chevy, you’re going to need some basic tools to get the job done.

Automotive Service Instructor, Herbert Leist, compiled a list of 8 tools that are essential to auto body repair and that we use in the body shop here at Arizona Automotive Institute:

  1. Porta Power– A Porta Power is essential for doing auto body and frame repair, as well as other jobs. It is commonly used for removing dents in vehicles by applying pushing, spreading, or pulling force. It gives you the extra muscle you need to get the job done.
  2. Paint Booth– A paint booth is a pressure controlled closed environment used to paint vehicles in a body shop. The booth has one or more ventilation systems and burners to heat the air blown. They assist in the removal of the over sprayed paint from the air. Protecting the surrounding environment is most likely the single most important function of the paint booth.
  3. Masking Tape– Masking tape is used to prep the vehicle before painting.
  4. Body Hammer and Dolly – The body hammer and dolly are used to fix the body of the car. The hammer itself does the heavy lifting and physical shaping of smoothing out the dents. While the dolly holds the shape and directs the metal where to go when being manipulated by the body hammer.
  5. Bondo– Bondo is a body filler used to fill in dents and imperfections. It is a material that uses a catalyst to harden. Bondo is a thermal-set plastic that cures with heat and becomes hard, usually within a few minutes.
  6. Slide hammer– A slide hammer is used to pull dents. It attaches to an object needing to be pulled and transmits an impact force to the object without striking the object itself. Slide hammers are typically used in automotive repair when an object needs to be struck from an inaccessible side.
  7. Polisher– A polisher is used to polish the vehicle after painting. No matter how expensive your paint is or how experienced the painter is, dust, runs, and texture happen. That’s where the polisher comes in and removes these imperfections leaving a mirror-like shine.
  8. Spray Gun– A spray gun is used to paint the vehicle after repairs. Like most tools these can vary in quality. Look for one that is lightweight and ergonomic, so as not to strain the hand of the user, and one that has a little overspray as possible. And for an even coat, look for one that atomizes the paint in a uniform pattern.

If you aren’t familiar with these tools and their uses don’t let that stand in your way of becoming an automotive technician. At Arizona Automotive Institute, you’ll get the hands-on automotive technician training that you need to become more comfortable with these tools and the classroom instruction to help you know when and why to use them.

For more information about the Automotive Service Technician program at AAI click here!

Written by: Jennifer Robinson, Social Media Coordinator- Arizona Automotive Institute

8 Things to Know When Going on an Automotive Service Technician Interview

So you’ve completed your automotive technician training and you’re ready to start interviewing. We asked Arizona Automotive Institute, AST Instructor, Jason Cozzolino for some helpful tips to use when going on an automotive service tech interview and he came up with these 8 things to know:

  1. Be Honest: You will be asked about your experience level. Don’t lie. If you have little experience, focus on other good qualities. Such as desire to work in the field, great work ethic, ability to learn etc.
  2. Be Certified: Automotive certifications are important. It isn’t likely that a tech that is just starting out will have all of the ASE Certifications, but it is possible to have one or two. This demonstrates your serious intent of being a professional.
  3. Be Equipped: Tools are important of course, but a new tech is not expected to have the same amount and quality of tools a seasoned tech may have.
  4. Be Informed: It is important to understand how you will be paid. There are several ways a tech can be paid. Such as hourly, flat rate and commission. There advantages and disadvantages to all pay structures. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
  5. Be Sure: There are many types of shops to work at. There are independently owned shops, franchised shops, tire and lube shops and dealerships. It’s important to have a general idea where you want your career to take you.
  6. Be Open: Options are important. Not every shop is a good fit for every tech. Be open to checking out a few shops before making your decision.
  7. Be Positive: Always try and be as positive as possible, first impressions are very important.
  8. Be Yourself: Don’t try to be someone you’re not. By being yourself you offer at least one thing that no one else can offer…You.

Following these tips can pay off by ensuring that you leave a positive and lasting impression on your interviewer. For more tips like these contact AAI’s Career Services Department at (480) 389-2258.

Written by: Jennifer Robinson, Social Media Coordinator – Arizona Automotive Institute