Prepare for the Worst: 10 Tools for Cars Every Driver Should Own

Are you new to driving and want to be sure you have all the necessary equipment? To help, here are 10 tools for cars every driver should own.

How sure are you that your car won’t break down on the road? Are you prepared for whenever that kind of scenario occurs? Well, you can’t be ready without the essential car tools.

According to a recent report, Toyota and Honda have cars that are most reliable on the road. Following that lead are Nissan, Audi, and Volkswagen. These brands don’t need as many check engine repairs.

However, cars have limits and every car breaks down at some point. If you’re ready, you can always fix these problems yourself. Read on below for a list of tools for cars that you should always have on-hand.

1. Jumper Cables

Have you ever found yourself in the middle of the nowhere with dead batteries? Well, it’s every driver’s worst nightmare. The solution: you either avoid any place you'd consider “nowhere” or get jumper cables.

Of course, you’d also need a Good Samaritan to help jumpstart the dead batteries. When you do find one, make sure that both batteries are of similar voltage. Also, make sure that neither one of the batteries is leaking acid or has a crack.

2. Socket Set

When we’re talking about the basic car tools that every car owner should have, socket sets top that list. It’ll likely be the tool you’ll use most among other tools. Most socket sets have a variety of the most important drivers and sockets.

3. Wrenches and Similar Tools for Cars

If you want to unbolt nuts, an impact wrench helps you remove lug nuts. Get a torque wrench for putting in your nuts and bolts. If you want something that helps with both, get a multi-drive wrench.

Get a set with a special case for easier keeping. A set is also cheaper than buying different-sized wrenches on separate occasions. If you’re a new car owner, never forget these crucial car tools.

4. Tire Chains

These chains are great winter tools for cars. They make driving on ice and snow easier and lower the risk of slipping. Find one that is compatible with your vehicle.

It’s also important to get one that’s fast and easy to install. You want one that features excellent traction. Before you buy, make sure the chains are compatible with anti-lock brakes.

5. Lubricants and Cleaners

Your car is full of mechanical moving parts that need cleaning and lubrication. When those parts demand lubrication on the road, you have to comply. Although, it’s always a good idea to check and spray for these problems before a long trip.

These two are popular mechanic tools for a reason. Rust penetrants unstick bolts and prevent rust from gathering on the important parts. Silicone lubricants help keep dirt away and it eliminates friction and squeaking.

6. OBD Scanning Tools

Your on-board diagnostics or OBD won’t always be accurate. To fix this problem, you want to have an OBD scanner at hand. OBD1 and OBD2 scanners help you diagnose what’s wrong with the vehicle so you know what to fix.

Depending on your car, you may need an OBD1 or OBD2 scanner. If you have an older model, check the manufacturing date to be sure. If you want to see which one is the best for you, check out our OBD tool reviews.

7. Duct Tape and Electrical Tape

Is your tail light broken or your rearview mirror snapped off? Do you need a quick fix solution for ripped seat covers, cracked windows, or broken hoses? If you want a fix for most car problems, the answer to that is duct tape.

Duct tape is something you might not think of first when we talk about car tools. However, as they’ve always said, duct tape fixes everything. You might not even realize that it’s the key to keeping your car from falling apart until you get home.

Keep a roll of heavy-duty duct tape in the car at all times. If you want, add in a roll of quality electrical tape too. If you don’t underestimate the power of duct tape in your workshop or home, do the same in your car.

8. Work Light or Flashlight

If you like to travel throughout the night, you’d want to have one of these babies with you at all times. You never know where the dark might lead you or your car troubles. However, with a work light or a torch on you, you can always find your way around it.

Torches are an ideal emergency tool, of course. Work lights do better because you can set them down and work. They’re also great at helping you spot anything you might drop on the ground.

9. Life Hammer

It won’t be often when you’ll have to break a window or a windshield. However, when that time comes, it often comes with high stakes. This is why you should have the tool powerful and efficient enough for the task.

A life hammer is a small hammer that you can attach almost anywhere in your car. However, in case of emergencies, you want this to be somewhere with easy access. The best place to put this is by the driver’s seat.

You can also use it to cut through the fabric of the seatbelt when it gets jammed during emergencies. This is one of the most essential car tools that every driver should have. It’s cheap, simple, and small but it saves lives.

10. Multimeter

Do you think you’ve got a hot wire? Confirm your suspicions with one of the most essential tools for your car: a multimeter. Remember that this tool is a voltmeter, ohmmeter, and ammeter all in one.

You can get one in analog or digital format. Both amateur and experienced mechanics will profit from a digital automotive multimeter. If you’re only a car owner, a simple consumer quality multimeter will work well enough.

On or off the Road, Stay Ready

Those are 10 tools for cars that every car owner should have in their vehicle.

No matter how good the quality of your car or how well you take care of it, a time will come when it will break down. You have to be ready to fix any of the minor problems your car might present. As for major problems, you can leave that to experienced mechanics.

But it doesn't end here! If you enjoyed this post, feel free to check out our other guides found on our main page.