Tool kit for the road
I need to put together a toolkit for my vehicle. I'm not much of a mechanic but I always feel a little naked when traveling away from my home without tools for emergency repairs. I know some of the basics needed like wrenches, screwdrivers and all, but what do others carry?
I'm wondering what kinds of repairs experienced drivers have had to make before, what repairs are common and what tools would you not want to be caught without when on the road. I'm talking about repairs that it is reasonable to make at the scene, I'm not looking to change out a motor out there. Any ideas?
Great forum, by the way! CM
As you might guess this is subject of endless discussion on this forum. If you use the search function, (the gray button) on the top of the page -- enter tools as the search phrase and select all threads -- you will get scores of responses and posts.
Hope that helps.
Didn't find anything
Actually, I found a lot of posts about emergency supplies and equipmnt to carry but I dont see anything about a TOOL kit -- like chrome shiny spanners and scrwdrivers and stuff. I was hoping the mechanics out there could give me some ideas about what a tool kit should have in it for a road trip. CM
A simple answer would be, whatever tools you think you'd use. But then I wouldn't get to talk about tools, so I'll go into more detail. At the very minimum I always carry a multipliers like a leatherman or some sort. I also have a locking pliers, multitip screwdriver (the kind with both phillips and flat blades), allen wrench, crescent wrench, and duct tape in the trunk of my car at all times. If you know what to do, you can probably handle maybe 95% of emergency problems that pop up with just a screwdriver and pliers.
If I'm going on an extended trip, or will be in remote areas in an older car and I think I might have trouble, I also carry a universal fan belt, a hammer, needlenose pliers, slip joint pliers, more screwdrivers of various sizes, another wrench, some wire, electrical tape, lighter, gator-grip, WD-40, rags, spare bolts and nuts, headlamp (not flashlight), paper towels and hand cleaner. That's about all I can think of right now, but I know I've carried more. Hmm...I've even carried a hydraulic floor jack for a while, but that was for a specific purpose.
I really all depends on the situation and how handy you are. I like to be prepared, but I also don't want to be carrying a whole garage with me. Just bring what you think you are really comfortable with and know how to use. I've used the tools for reparis like fix a leaking heater hose, tighten a loose nut on a suspension, and help replace a bushing on a sway bar that came loose, and remove a battery to install headlights, and fix a broken muffler hanger. And I've known other people who've had to replace a thermostat and a starter motor with the tools in their cars. So those are the type of emergencies I've seen. So if I think about it, the tools I've actually needed and used have been pliers, screwdrivers, duct tape, and wire.
BTW, do you live in canyons or do you go canyoneering?
That's exactly the kind of info I was lookng for. Thanks for your answer. I figure theres always the basics, but then what is the one thing you would need if you DIDNT have it. The kinds of repairs i'd be doing would be the obvious ones like belts, starters, alternators, hoses, things like that. If it was something more complicated, I wouldn't reconize the problem anyway. I used to carry a little tiny screwdriver on my key chain, the car I had went through points about every 20 miles. So I always carried a set in my pocket and that little screwdriver. It also had a feeler gauge on it if I rmember right.
I live in the Grand Canyon State -- so I am Canyon Man! Thanks again for your answer.
I went and picked up a mechanic's tool kit from Sears. For about $30, I got a socket set - including a sparkplug socket, wrenches, needle nose pliers, wire cutters, and a few other odds and ends that all come in a carrying case that doesn't take up much room in a trunk. The kit I got was the generic brand - they make Craftsman versions for a few dollars more - but its covered pretty much any project I've tryed to take on in the garage or on the side of the road.
Throw in some duct tape, a bottle of motor oil, and some WD-40 and you should be good to go.
And a flashlight too - if there is one things I've forgotten to bring (or forgotten to change the batteries in) and discovered I needed, it would be a flashlight.
For most repairs that will need extensive tools, you will most likely need a tow to a mechanic, so just carry a basic set of Screwdrivers, sockets, wrenches, etc. Basically what you would need to, say, put a radiator hose back in place. DO carry though Duck (duct) Tape, some extra oil, transmission fluid, redi-mixed coolant, and things like that. Oh, and the most important: A good jack, and a lugwrench that fits ALL of your lugnuts (they sell a tellescoping multi-size lugwrench at Schucks/Kragen/Checker Auto Parts (i use it and like it alot, extra leverege and it has all the sizes for my lug nuts, which have different sizes for some reason.)
But in a nut shell, you really will have no use for a whole lot of tools on the side of the road( but a tow rope helps too!) Thats all that I have ever carried in my car, and it suits me just fine.
<i>(The AAA guy)</i>
As an alternative to a flashlight, I would recommend a good headlamp instead. Especially helpful if there's no one there to hold the light for you, and just makes things easier. Actually, I carry both, plus a large spotlight that plugs into the cigarette lighter. Just remember, if you're going to carry a emergency light, try to use one that takes lithium batteries and preferably LED. Alkalines will most likely be dead within 6 months if kept in a car, and bulb will blow just when you need it the most.