5 Tools Every Driver Should Own

Last updated:

You assume a tremendous amount of responsibility when you purchase a vehicle. Automobile insurance and routine maintenance are no brainers when it comes to protecting your ride. However, these means of protection are not immediately helpful when the unexpected happens. Keeping a small collection of simple tools in your vehicle’s trunk or cargo area will drastically decrease the chance of a small problem becoming a huge hassle. Each of the 5 tools below can be purchased at most supercenters or automobile supply stores. Additionally, almost anyone can use them to make simple repairs or adjustments on their vehicle.

What are the Five Tools Every Driver Should Own?

  1. 1

    Tire-Pressure Gauge

    A tire- pressure gauge ensures that your tires are filled to the proper capacity. If you have a low tire, a slow leak, or are forced to change to your spare tire after a flat, a simple tire gauge will help you inflate the tire to the proper air pressure. Tire-pressure gauges work by measuring the force of air leaving your tire when its attached to the valve. The most common type of tire-pressure gauge is a small cylinder with a tab that is forced out when the gauge is connected to the tire. The tab is marked in PPI or pounds per inch. The measure of your tire’s pressure equals the increment closest to the base of the gauge. Digital tire-pressure gauges are also very common and give a more accurate measure of PPI. Most gas stations, convenience stores, supercenters, and auto supply stores carry tire-pressure gauges for around five dollars.

  2. 2

    Lug-Nut Wrench

    A lug-nut wrench is universally included in every vehicle’s spare tire kit; however, hasty roadside repairs often cause this essential tool to be misplaced. If you don’t have a lug-nut wrench, you simply won’t be able to change a tire. Lug-nut wrenches are designed to conform to the lug-nuts that fasten your wheel to your vehicle’s axle. Check to see if your vehicle has one of these special wrenches in its tire replacement kit. If not, it is essential that you purchase one to keep in your car. Any auto supply or hardware store will carry lug-nut wrenches for less than ten dollars. This tool is an essential for any driver and will prevent you from having to call for assistance when you get a flat tire.

  3. 3

    Jumper Cables

    Jumper cables should be in the trunk of every single car on the road. Having a dependable set of jumper cables prevents you from being stranded by a dead battery and allows you to help other motorists you may encounter. Make sure that your jumper cables are in good condition with no rust on the clamps or nicks in the rubber coating on the cable. It is wise to purchase a pair of jumper cables with a length of at least ten feet. A pair of jumper cables will cost around thirty dollars but will be well worth the money when your battery dies.

  4. 4

    Screwdrivers

    A Phillips and a flathead screw driver are two inexpensive and small tools that should be kept inside your vehicle at all times. You never know when you will have to change a headlight, remove a battery, or change a windshield wiper. Screwdrivers can be purchased at any supercenter for a couple of buck each. Also, purchase a separate set for your home and for your vehicle so you won’t have to look for them when the need arises.

  5. 5

    Rope or Chain

    A length of rope or chain or a tow strap has a thousand uses for the average driver. If you break down, having a strong piece of rope or a tow strap will enable a friend or Good Samaritan to tow your vehicle home and prevent you from racking up a costly tow truck bill. If you are hauling a bulky item in your trunk or cargo area, a length of strong rope will secure the item inside your vehicle. A hardware store will carry chain and heavy-duty rope that can be cut to your desired length; ten to fifteen feet is a good idea. Tow straps can be purchased for less than twenty dollars at supercenters or auto supply stores.

A few simple tools can get any driver out of a tight spot.

The five listed above are essential for anyone who owns a vehicle. Take a day to purchase these items and make sure they are stored somewhere in your vehicle that is easily accessible should you ever need them. When you purchase a car, you want to make sure you are able to take car of it. These five tools serve many purposes and will enable you to complete many simple repairs and routine maintenance tasks on your own.

Andrei Zakhareuski, Driving-Tests.org Founder
Andrei is a driver with 11+ years of experience and the founder of Driving-Tests.org.

You may also like:

5-Step Emergency Guide to Changing Tires on Your Own

It is essential for drivers to know how to change a tire on their vehicle. Almost every driver will experience a flat tire at least once and this skill can make the experience a little less of a hassle. Before you begin the process of exchanging a flat tire for the spare tire, there are several preparatory steps that must be taken. First, make sure that you slowly steer the vehicle off of the road and park in a safe area. This area needs to be wid ...

New Drivers – How To Prepare for Road Trips

The freedom of the open road is something every driver looks forward to experiencing. Now that you have your newly obtained drivers license you, too, can get your kicks on route 66, or wherever it is you want your travels to take you. But, as a not yet seasoned road warrior, yet, you should approach your first road trip as adventure, but also a responsibility.Be safe, have fun and you will be bound to make many more road trips to follow. The k ...

7 Vital Items You MUST Keep in Your Car to Be Prepared for Emergencies

No matter what type of climate you live in, it is always a good idea to be prepared for an emergency situation while driving. Most cars have plenty of room to store a few small items that will make an unpredicted emergency less stressful. The following is a list of items that should be stored in your vehicle to ensure that you will be prepared if you happen to become stranded while driving. 7 Things to Keep in Your Car1 Jumper cables should be ...