18 Essential Car Tools for Every Driver

Daniel Mwangi
8 Min Read
Image of car break-down

As a driver, your car can be the most amazing servant or an overly nasty master. The car will faithfully submit to your commands to take you places in all the accompanying bliss. Nevertheless, it can take a mind of its own and decide to terminate your journey in very crude ways or in very unusual locations. A flat tyre, busted horse pipe, stalled engine, loose nuts, and strange fires are just some of the problems your car may decide to serve you in the middle of a trip. These essential car tools will get you on top of things in any eventuality.

Most of these issues can be successfully sorted by a driver armed with the most basic car tools. This will help you stay safe by getting the car out of places that may be insecure, save you time, and save you money on towing or rescue costs.

This article will let you know the essential car tools that you need to always have in your car for any eventuality on the road. 

What are the Essential Car Tools?

1. Car jack

The most useful tool when you need to jack up your vehicle. It enables you to change a flat tyre, rotate the wheels to check for faults, and change parts such as brake pads.

2Lug wrench

This is the L-shaped or X-shaped wrench or spanner used to loosen or tighten car wheel lug nuts. It is also called a wheel brace in some regions.

3. Torque wrench

It helps you to tighten bolts or nuts to the specified torque value. This helps avoid damage to car parts due to under-tightening or over-tightening.

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4. Portable Tyre Inflator

A compact air compressor designed to run off the 12-volt cigarette lighter socket. It lets you inflate your flat tyre if you don’t have a spare, or the time and place do not allow for tyre change.

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5. Reflective triangles

Warning other road users about a stalled vehicle ahead is of utmost importance for everyone’s safety. Reflective warning signs are the best because they are clearly visible even when it’s dark.

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6. First aid box

Scrapes, grazes, and minor cuts can be comfortably taken care of on the road with a basic but correctly kitted first aid box. Always remember to check it regularly and replenish the contents accordingly.

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7. Blanket

Cars are at times notorious for serving unplanned nights out in the most unusual locations. I can confidently tell you that it’s unforgivingly cold out there, especially when the engine warmth dies down in the middle of the night.

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8. Life hammer

It can get quite scary being trapped in a vehicle with a jammed seat belt, during a car crash or collision. A life hammer helps you break the window and cut the jammed seat belt. Always keep it in easily accessible places in your car.

9. Portable fire extinguisher

This often underrated fire retardant tool could dictate life after accident for your car, and mitigate against fatal harm for you or your passengers. Regular service and functionality checks are paramount for this life-saving device.

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10. Torch/Flashlight

A flashlight is another addition to your pack of essential car tools. Groping in the dark for bolts, nuts, and other car parts is not the best of experiences when you are stuck on the road. Light is of absolute importance if you are to correctly and speedily diagnose and rectify the fault that got you stalled.

11. Jumper cables

There is no other miracle that you can perform on a drained battery to get it to crank the starter motor or drive the vital electrical parts. A fellow road user may be willing to help you out in jump-starting the car, but without cables, the offer will go down the drain.

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12. Tow strap

The other offer for help a fellow road user can give is to tow you to a safer location or where you can get your car repaired. If this all-important link is not readily available, then you will remain stuck till Heaven sends a miracle.

13. Wrench and Sockets set

Loosening a bolt or nut here, or tightening a loose one there, may be all you need to get back to normal. Do not drag a whole toolbox full of wrenches, but just a few that are compatible with your car.

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14. Screwdriver set

These simple tools drive some sense into and out of screws. They can make the difference between sleeping out in the cold or getting safely to your destination. Keep a piece or two and thank me later.

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15. Pliers and Wire cutters

A simple clamp here or a slight twist there may be the gateway to getting the engine back to life. A cut to a wire supplying power to a faulty accessory that you really don’t require may just be a wire-cutter away.

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16. Hammer/Mallet

You might be surprised how some basic operations can be stalled by the mere absence of a hammer or mallet. Some parts just need a little knock on the head to get them back to their senses.

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17. Insulating tape and Duct tape

All you really need is a little insulating tape to get the shorting wire back in the prescribed manner. Some strip of duct tape will hold the sagging side mirror or headlight back in shape, and you are comfortably back on the road.

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18. WD-40

Last, but definitely not least. This magical fluid will beautifully serenade those stubborn nuts and bolts to turn smoothly in your favour. It negotiates a quiet divorce between rust and joints and lets you work blissfully thereafter.

Bottom Line

TechAuto Junction wishes you all a safe driving experience coupled with memorable positive events all the way to your destinations. But just in case your car decides to give you a nasty butt in the back, we are glad we have equipped you with sufficient information. Pack these essential car tools into your car and you will definitely thank us later.

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