It’s great to have a garage full of well organised tools that let you strip down and put your car back together, but there’s certainly some tools you’ll want to have on the road. Keep in mind that while you can grab what you’ve already put in the shed, you might actually be better dropping past your local Burson Auto Parts or Autobarn and grabbing a second set that you take with you, leave in the car when it’s parked at a mates, or even lend out to those who aren’t as forward thinking.
- DUCT TAPE
The sticky tool that can fix just about anything, ‘to a degree’. Duct tape is brilliant and a multifaceted talent: it will pack together broken body panels in a pinch, keep a bumper from falling off while you get back home, and keep a broken window together (as long as it isn’t under much pressure).
Duct tape will also serve as a handy fix for leaking hoses, keeping liquid in a cracked container and even insulate heat from your hands if you wrap it around your fingers. Cheap and strong, you’d be a miss for not adding a roll of duct tape into your emergency toolbox.
- SOCKET AND SPANNER SET
There is basically no way of getting a bolt out without a socket and/or spanner set. Items like spark plugs are deepset and a spanner won’t help, so think about a combined set with both spanners and sockets – and don’t forget the trusty 10mm!
- SCREWDRIVER SET
Like sockets and spanners, you’ll be having a bad day if you need to adjust a screw or remove a clip and don’t have a screwdriver. Given you don’t really need all sizes, a couple of handy flat and Phillips heads will be all you need.
- ADJUSTABLE WRENCH
You can substitute the spanner set for a quality adjustable wrench. Yes, it won’t grip as tight and will be a bit thicker for those hard-to-reach places, but the adjustable wrench comes in different sizes and will be a lifesaver if you have to tighten a bolt back up or pop off a battery terminal.
- JUMPER CABLES
It goes without saying that if you need to jump start a car you need jumper cables. Without these trusty black and red wires of life you’ll be stuck waiting for a call out or a very nice mate. It also means you can play the good Samaritan for those unfortunate enough to have left their headlights on and need a jump.
Not just for helping to see what’s going on in the engine bay, you’ll be beside yourself if you break down at night and don’t have some quality light. Consider a torch and a floodlight, though even just one small torch is better than nothing when you’re stuck on the road to nowhere at 1am.
While you’re at it, consider having a small bag with some safety glasses, gloves, rags and hand cleaner on hand. The latter is particularly important if you take pride in your interior, which means you also might consider a towel to lay on.
Of course, the type and age of your car will dictate what tools you need, too. Investing in some new tools, to keep wit the car exclusively, can be money well spent. So, now you have a good excuse to drop past your local Burson Auto Parts or Autobarn and get an emergency toolkit together for your car.