What Tools Should I Keep In My Car

What tools should i keep in my car, Traveling means being exposed to the elements, which can be dangerous anytime, mainly if your vehicle develops mechanical problems. So, what can you do to fix it? After all, you’re not a mechanic.

The good news is that you don’t have to be an expert mechanic to benefit from stocking up on a few essential tools and equipment to help you get home or to the nearest repair shop in an accident or other emergency.

In this list, you’ll find some of the most useful and frequently used items that require minimal mechanical or other knowledge. These are the fundamentals. You could keep dozens of different tools in your car, but you could do much worse than carrying these nine low-cost essentials.

What tools should i keep in my car

LifeHammer or other window/seatbelt escape device

That little thing could save your life. If submerged or otherwise stranded in your vehicle, the seatbelt cutter, a notoriously difficult piece of fabric, is kept near the driver’s seat via Velcro or double-sided tape and can be used to break a window. Time is of the essence when you’re out of the air; your car is on fire, or in any other dangerous situation. This simple and inexpensive tool can get more done around the house.

Socket & screwdriver set

Everything can come loose, even on the most up-to-date cars. There are times when nothing more than tying up loose ends will do. This tool can tighten a sloppy battery terminal or hose clamp connection in the engine compartment. Look for loose or disconnected parts under the hood, and you don’t need to be a car whiz.

To ensure maximum adaptability, invest in a set that includes a variety of socket sizes and screwdriver tips. Be sure to practice with the tools before stashing them in your trunk.

Duct tape

It’s possible to use duct tape to fix many issues. For example, do-it-yourself repairs can be made with duct tape to save you from having to call a tow truck or being stranded on the side of the road, saving you money and time. There are many non-automotive uses for it as well. If you can afford it, buy high-quality tape, as it will stick better in a broader range of temperatures and conditions.

what tools should i keep in my car

Tow strap

It’s not just for moving your buddy’s old truck from one weed-infested yard to the next that this piece of super-strong fabric can be put to good use. If you have a tow strap, a passing stranger in a pickup can help you move a disabled car short to medium distances (think a few miles rather than across town or to the next state). In addition, a pickup truck driver can use their position of anonymity to help someone in need. Finally, with its high strength, the tow strap can also be used as an all-purpose tie-down or rescue line.

Before adding your car to your collection, check your owner’s manual for the proper tie-down and towing points. Even if you don’t use it, and incorrectly attached strap can quickly inflict even more damage on your vehicle.

Jumper cables

Whatever the cause, a dead battery is a hassle. Even though it’s a relatively simple piece of equipment, a car can be completely disabled by its failure. It doesn’t matter if the battery is dead; a set of jumper cables will get you to the nearest parts store. Choose heavy-gauge lines with spring-loaded clamps on each end instead of the smaller, less durable ones. ‘ Do not use the type that plugs into the cigarette lighter/cabin 12-volt outlet. To get the most out of your jumper cables, it’s best to invest in a high-quality set.


Things you need to separate or eliminate are sometimes more important than connections you need to make or re-secure. The use of a knife in this situation is highly recommended. What do you do when a piece of rope or other road debris gets wrapped around your axle or your plastic bumper breaks in a collision and rubs against your tire? You cut off the offending piece and continue driving (and be sure to have the car checked out for other, less-visible problems afterward).

If you get stranded, this knife and the rest of the kit will come in handy. As one of the essential tools in human history, it can be used for everything from opening food containers to making a fire in an emergency.

To prevent further aggravation of an already challenging situation, ensure that your folding knife blade is securely locked.

Tire inflator/sealer

If you have a spare tire, make sure it’s inflated. Is the air pressure correct? Suppose your spare tire breaks down. If you carry a can of tire inflator/sealer with you at all times, you can minimize or eliminate all of these issues. There are specific instructions for each brand, but they’re all the same: connect it to the tire’s valve stem, and let it do its job of finding and filling the tire’s leak and allowing you to drive to a nearby tire shop.

If you’re in a pinch, you can use the sticky compound that performs this magic, but it shouldn’t be used for more than one emergency. Reputable shops will replace your tire, but you should expect to pay extra to have the dried inflator/sealer goop off the wheel cleaned.

What tools should i keep in my car

Tire pressure gauge

This is the essential tool in your toolbox, and you should use it at least once weekly. Keeping an eye on the pressure in your tires can help prevent underinflation-related blowouts and maximize your fuel economy and tire tread life. A dial-faced gauge is preferable to the less expensive stick-type meters. The additional cost is $30, but the reading is more accurate and dependable.

Keep an eye on the pressure of your tires when the seasons change. The air pressure in your tires can be significantly affected by the temperature outside, but you already know this if you check your tire pressures weekly.

To avoid losing track of it, try to establish a routine. Set a regular time to do it, like on Monday morning or Friday night. Then you’ll know where to go and whether or not you’re ready for the week ahead.

Before going on a long journey, ensure your tires are properly inflated. The heat buildup on the highway can cause underinflation that would go unnoticed at city speeds and become a severe problem if you’re driving for an extended period.


You may prefer to believe that your roadside mishaps will take place during the daylight hours, but what if something goes wrong at night? If you’re doing any real work at night or in a dark area of your car, you’ll need an actual flashlight, not just a phone flashlight.

Find a flashlight with a magnet on its side for hands-free operation. Always keep a spare set of batteries in the car, and change the batteries regularly. You never know when you’ll require a long-term light source, whether for a few hours or the entire night.

what tools should i keep in my car

Winter bonus items:

Depending on where you live (or the route you’re taking), these might not be necessary all year round, but in the winter, they can be lifesavers (literally).

Mylar blanket and/or wool blanket

The mylar blanket’s ability to trap heat and keep you warm is enhanced if wrapped around your entire body. In addition, as an emergency reflector, the mylar can be helpful even if you’re not traveling in a cold climate, as it can keep the sun’s rays from penetrating your clothing.

You can use a wool blanket to keep you warm, but it can also be used for various other purposes. If you wrap it up, you can use it as a pillow or cushion. You can use it as a bandage or sling if you cut it into strips with a knife. If you’re inventive, the possibilities are virtually limitless. After all, necessity is the mother of invention.

Ice scraper

Even though it should be self-explanatory, many people either overlook it or leave it at home in the garage. Using a unique tool to remove the ice from your windshield is essential to safe driving in the winter. Your credit card or library card isn’t enough.

Tire chains in what tools should i keep in my car

When used correctly, chains can get you out of a tricky situation in any vehicle, front, rear, or all-wheel drive. The instructions and owner’s manual will provide you with all the information you require regarding proper usage.

Folding shovel

Folding shovels are convenient for various tasks because of their small size and features (such as hatchet functions or waterproof handle compartments for storing items like matches). For example, you can dig yourself out of a snow bank on the side of the road, make room for spinning wheels with a shovel in the winter, and more.

what tools should i keep in my car


Make sure your toolbox contains a well-made socket set with plenty of different sizes and shapes of tools. For example, you should have a socket set with sockets ranging in size from 6mm to 19mm, a ratchet, an extender, and a hex key.


You’ll need pliers and wire cutters if you’re doing any electrical work on your vehicle. These two tools will come in handy no matter what you’re doing, whether it’s rewiring your headlights or setting up a stereo system.


You can’t get anything done without a wrench set. Choosing open-ended and ratcheting wrenches will make any job more manageable because you won’t have to take the twist off between turns.


You probably have a few screwdrivers in your junk drawer. However, you’ll want to have a variety of sizes and shapes on hand for your robotic explorations.


A torque wrench is a must-have item in your toolbox. To ensure that nuts are correctly tightened, use this specialized ratchet. In addition, it is much easier to remove the nut in the future if the bolt has been properly torqued.


Long-handled ratchets like breaker bars are used to remove screws and bolts. You just used your torque wrench on those nuts. A breaker bar is the only way to remove them.


Having an impact wrench in your toolbox is optional. However, with electric torque, you can quickly and easily replace or remove lug nuts with this powerful tool. In addition, using an impact wrench can make working on your vehicle more comfortable for those with arthritis in their hands or who fear they may not be able to exert enough force with a standard wrench.


It’s one of those tools you don’t think about until it’s needed. Using a rubber mallet to remove stuck bolts or straighten bumpers is a common household task.


You must have a way to raise your car if you plan on working on it under the vehicle. We recommend using ramps if you are new to car maintenance because they are safer.


Never use a jack or ramp to raise your vehicle unless jack stands are in place. While working under a car, jack stands prevent your ramp or jack from shifting or slipping out of business.


Reading the factory service manual, you can learn a lot about your car’s internal workings. You don’t have to wonder if the information you’re getting is accurate when you use this manual to learn how to perform essential maintenance and repairs on your car.

what tools should i keep in my car

Car ownership comes with minor issues, and having a well-stocked toolbox makes you feel more confident in your ability to fix them.

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