Track Day Tools

Your first trip to a Track Day should be relatively straight forward with all of the maintenance done on the car prior to the event. As you get more advanced and drive the car faster and harder you might need some tools and equipment to deal with maintenance items and issues. Don't bring your entire tool box. A select set of useful tools can be all you need in most situations. Here are some things to consider taking to the track.

1972 Datsun 240z Thunderhill Raceway Orange black and white.jpg

Following on from our Getting Started: Track Days article here is a list of tools and equipment that can be helpful doing track days. You will see small tool kits and stuff sitting next to most cars at the track. You don't need all of the items listed. Depending on the age and maintenance needs of your vehicle you might able to get away with just a few items. Also don't let not having these tools stop you from trying a track day.

  • Tire Pressure Gauge - A great item to get your tire pressures sorted and a good investment for your driving future. Try and get a good quality item. I like the ones from Joes Racing Products. Originally I bought the basic 0-60 psi gauge but would recommend the hold valve version.
  • Notepad and Pen - I like to take a small pad and pen so I can write down any issues I notice, track my tire pressures and also make track notes.
  • Jack and Jack Stands - You can get some basic jack stands at any big box hardware store or Harbor Freight pretty cheap. Nowadays they all seem to be very similar in design. Make sure you get the right weight loading if you are running a heavier car. For the floor jack I like the aluminum ones from Harbor Freight the steel ones are too heavy to lug around at the track.
  • Oil - bring at least an extra quart of oil as you might see some consumption during the hard track sessions. Also some cars need extra oil in the pan due to the sloshing that occurs during cornering.
  • Brake Fluid - bring some additional fresh brake fluid.
  • Brake Bleeder - You probably won't need this your first few times out but as you get faster and harder on the brakes you might have to bleed them between sessions. I use Speed Bleeders on the Datsun 240z to make it a one person job, but there are also vacuum pump based solutions.
  • Wrenches / Spanners - Don't bring your entire tool box, likely you will only need a few certain sizes specific to your car. If the car is Metric leave the SAE at home and vice versa. I take my most commonly used spanners and leave the odd sizes home. I also take a small adjustable just incase I come across a fastener that was replaced with SAE or an odd size.
  • Basic Socket Set - Same as the spanners bring what you normally use.
  • Paper Towels - very handy for checking dipstick, cleaning windows or leaks.
  • Cleaning Fluid - I take some simple green and a little window cleaner.
  • Work Gloves - Gloves save getting your hands filthy and scraping them on sharp edges. I use Mechanix Fast Fits as they are affordable, last awhile and are easy to take on and off. Also throw a few nitrile gloves in if you have to mess with any grease or oil.
  • Duct / Painters Tape - Painters tape is useful for putting basic numbers on your car that you can remove at the end of the day. Duct tape is useful for everything.
  • Wheel Chock - A block of 2x4 wood or a rubber wheel chock is handy for holding the car in position. You don't want to use the hand brake after sessions due to the heat in brakes.
  • Jump Pack with Air Pressure - I take a small battery jump pack that has a built in compressor so I can adjust tire pressures and also reset them for the drive home. There might be air at the track but sometimes it is off or not working.
  • Impact - A cordless impact can be very useful if you plan on swapping wheels and tires or even to speed up maintenance tasks.
  • Spare Brake Pads - As you get more advanced you might be a lot harder on the brakes and need to replace pads. Don't let it ruin your day by having to drive to the local parts store. Bring a spare set with you ahead of time.

Again don't let not having any of these tools stop you from trying a track day. You won't regret it and will wish you had tried it earlier in life.

Other Getting Started Articles:

James Chartres

San Jose, CA