If your car breaks down, your first instinct will probably be to call the nearest auto repair professional. Sometimes, however, all you need is your trusty auto tool kit.
Contrary to the popular opinion, you don’t need to be a mechanic to fix every little problem with your car. As long as you’re sufficiently prepared, basic roadside emergencies won’t be ruining your day.
The only question is which automotive tools you need to carry with yourself. Here are 7 items that should be staples in every auto tool kit.
1. Automotive Multimeter
Struggling to figure out why your vehicle is malfunctioning? The easiest way to locate the issue would be to use a diagnostic tool to test any electrical components. An automotive multimeter is a perfect tool for this task.
2. Jumper Cables
A dead battery is one of the most common reasons for your car stopping on a highway. Fortunately, you can always use jumper cables–and someone else’s battery–to jump start the vehicle.
Keep in mind that both batteries need to have similar voltage, or your electrical components might end up damaged.
3. Grease Gun
Need to apply some lubrication in your car? Use a grease gun! This item allows you to apply lubricant through apertures, which usually lead to grease fittings.
Grease guns come in three main types: manual (lever), manual (pistol grip), and pneumatic.
4. Life Hammer
Most life hammers are compact items that are typically kept near the driver’s seat. If you need to get out of the vehicle as quickly as possible, you can use the hammer to break the window. In a pinch, this neat tool can also cut through seatbelt fabric.
5. Tire Chains
If you’re driving through ice and snow, you’ll want to make sure your car gets enough traction. You can do so by attaching tire chains to your car’s drive wheels. The bad news is that driving with chains will reduce your fuel efficiency.
Before purchasing tire chains, make sure they’re allowed in your state. Some regions prohibit their use to preserve road surfaces.
6. Needle Gun
As the name implies, needle guns come with a set of chisels known as needles. This tool is usually used to remove loose paint, rust, scale, and dirt from metal surfaces. If your car needs a new coat of paint, don’t forget to clean it up with a needle gun beforehand.
7. Multi-Drive Wrench
As you probably know, screws, nuts, and bolts come in many types and sizes. You can try keeping different wrenches, but they’re likely to take up too much space in your car. A single multi-drive wrench is a far more elegant solution.
Auto Tool Kit Limitations
The only disadvantage of a well-equipped toolkit is that it’s not a solution for every emergency. In some situations, there will be no other choice but to contact an auto repair shop.