Author Topic: Tools for the car  (Read 6381 times)

Offline ScottK

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Tools for the car
« on: October 12, 2011, 09:56:08 PM »
I was trying to find a thread on what tools people keep in the car for repairs/emergencies.  Couldn't find anything specific (my search terms probably sucked).

I have four cars, and was looking to duplicate whatever I get in each car.  What tools would you consider "absolutes"?  I was thinking mainly a set of 3/8" sockets (SAE & Metric, do I bother with deep sockets or just make sure I have every size in 3/8 available?), standard set of wrenches (SAE & Metric), real screwdrivers (no jewelry size or big), 1 or 2 crescent wrenches, pliers, needle nose with wire cutter, 1/2" breaker bar with lug nut sockets.

What do you think?  Any big holes?  I know I can't cover everything; trying to be reasonable about it.  I want to keep the toolkit budget right around $100 if I can for each car.  Prefer 6pt tools, but I can't seem to find any cheap ones like Harbor Freight to keep my cost down if anything is stolen.  Recommendations on kits that come with all this?  I am trying to avoid having too many pieces/tools in the car.  Do I really need a kit that comes with both 1/4 and 3/8, and tons of little bits that I can lose?

Offline ncjeeper

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Re: Tools for the car
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2011, 11:43:54 PM »
You should be able to piece meal a kit from Harbor Freight for under a 100 bucks. They always have some tools on sale. I would go with 3/8 and 1/2 sockets regular and deep well. Buy a decent ratchet to use with the sockets. As for plyers and screwdrivers they dont have to be anything fancy. Just something that will work on the roadside to get you going again. I would add a couple of nut drivers in 1/4 and 5/16 to tighten hose clamps and such. I would also get a pair of vise grips. To top it off thrown in your bag some bailing wire, duct tape and zip ties.

Offline bartsdad

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Re: Tools for the car
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2011, 11:49:53 PM »
Vise-grip pliers
Vise-grip pliers
Hammer
Pry bar
Channel lock/slip groove pliers
Headlamp and gloves


I like to customize my kits specifically to each vehicle. I know which sizes the cars use and which tools I need to complete most tasks that will leave me stranded. Most of the tools in my car kits came from Northern tool or Fleet Farm. Nothing fancy for sure.$100 is a very reasonable budget for a tool kit.

As important as tools, is the repair supplies you carry with them.

Hose clamps
Zip ties
Duct tape
Bungee cords
Mechanics wire (I really like wire for tying rebar instead of "mechanics wire")
Electrical tape
Fuses (get ones that fit your vehicle)
Electrical wire

endurance

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Re: Tools for the car
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2011, 07:25:43 AM »
While I took enough shop in high school to rebuild a carburetor on the side of a road (and I've done it with my older vehicles), these newer vehicles are #1, more reliable, and #2, more difficult to fix.  That's why I focus on the most likely things to go wrong and my tool kit is pretty minimal (screwdrivers, adjustable wrench, small vice-grip).  What I do carry is spares for what I can fix:

Fix-a-flat (in case it goes flat some place that would be dangerous to change, I have multiple flats, or discover a flat spare)
Jumper cables or a jumpstarter/inverter/compressor/usb charger (cables in the car, jumpstarter in the truck)
Duct tape, electrical tape, bailing wire
Tow strap (even in my little car, because that guy in the big truck might not have one, but he's always willing to show off how hard his truck can pull on things)
Insulated wire (10-12 ga)
Breaker bar for tire wrench (handy for some other things, too ;))
Spare wiper blades (at least the driver's side)
Spare headlamps (at least the low beams)
Windshield washer fluid
Quart of oil and ATF
Tire chains (I keep mine with my spare year-round)
Fuses

Also useful:
High visibility vest (not only for the side of the road, but serves as an all-access pass in many emergencies)
Rain gear you can work and walk in (and enough disposable ponchos or garbage bags for every occupant of the car)
Get Home Bag (similar to a BOB, but be sure to include good walking footware, winter clothing and keep it light and portable)
Latex/Nitryl gloves
Rags or paper towels
Cheap, disposable wool gloves (army surplus liners) (thin enough to work in, thick enough to keep your hands off cold tools)
Ratchet straps (the 10,000 pound rated ones can work as a come-along in a pinch)

Offline RPZ

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Re: Tools for the car
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2011, 11:59:03 AM »
Simplest way to kit your toolbox is to keep any tools you use to work on a particular car in one bag, container, roll etc. If you find yourself needing any of those tools for any other purpose, duplicate them so the car kit can stay in the car. Remember to have some duplicates in the form of sockets, a couple of adjustables and a visegrip or two.

Other handy things to have the newer cars are ignition modules, switches and sensors.

Offline nimzy88

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Re: Tools for the car
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2011, 12:57:31 PM »
I'm a bit a of car fixing noob but the first thing I learned was that phillips and flathead are not as common as torque, torque screwdrivers seem to be a must for vehicles.

Ha I'm sure common sense for a lot of people but something new for me.

Offline ChrisFox

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Re: Tools for the car
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2011, 02:31:50 PM »
I'd also keep a package of J-B Weld or another epoxy. Fixed a cracked differential case on the side of the road one night in the middle of nowhere. Had to wait for it to dry but after sleeping through the night, I drove home and it lasted for a few months.

Offline ScottK

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Re: Tools for the car
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2011, 06:57:42 PM »
Thanks, some items I missed in my head.  Picked up the first set of tools for car #1, ran me 130 at harbor freight, a little more than I wanted to spend, but I think it is more complete.  I decided to go with 3/8 system with some adaptors for some 1/4 and 1/2 sockets.  Got torx and hex sockets to be "screwdrivers" when I need it with extensions.  More bulky than actual screwdrivers, but I am looking for space optimization.  I picked up a package of hose clamps, but I don't think any of them are big enough to around a radiator hose (ugh).  Still need to pick up a roll of wire.  I like I said, I didn't want to go overboard with the tools because I still need to get GoBag in the car and room for grocery runs.  I will try to get a few photos uploaded of the setup in the trunk soon.

Offline Newtopian

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Re: Tools for the car
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2015, 02:45:27 PM »
While I took enough shop in high school to rebuild a carburetor on the side of a road (and I've done it with my older vehicles), these newer vehicles are #1, more reliable, and #2, more difficult to fix.  That's why I focus on the most likely things to go wrong and my tool kit is pretty minimal (screwdrivers, adjustable wrench, small vice-grip).  What I do carry is spares for what I can fix:

Fix-a-flat (in case it goes flat some place that would be dangerous to change, I have multiple flats, or discover a flat spare)
Jumper cables or a jumpstarter/inverter/compressor/usb charger (cables in the car, jumpstarter in the truck)
Duct tape, electrical tape, bailing wire
Tow strap (even in my little car, because that guy in the big truck might not have one, but he's always willing to show off how hard his truck can pull on things)
Insulated wire (10-12 ga)
Breaker bar for tire wrench (handy for some other things, too ;))
Spare wiper blades (at least the driver's side)
Spare headlamps (at least the low beams)
Windshield washer fluid
Quart of oil and ATF
Tire chains (I keep mine with my spare year-round)
Fuses

Also useful:
High visibility vest (not only for the side of the road, but serves as an all-access pass in many emergencies)
Rain gear you can work and walk in (and enough disposable ponchos or garbage bags for every occupant of the car)
Get Home Bag (similar to a BOB, but be sure to include good walking footware, winter clothing and keep it light and portable)
Latex/Nitryl gloves
Rags or paper towels
Cheap, disposable wool gloves (army surplus liners) (thin enough to work in, thick enough to keep your hands off cold tools)
Ratchet straps (the 10,000 pound rated ones can work as a come-along in a pinch)

All of these things are in my truck.
I'll add to that a shovel, axe, tire patch kit, steel toe boots, quart of oil, jug of coolant, air compressor.

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Re: Tools for the car
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2015, 05:47:17 PM »
You have plenty suggestions on what you need,but unless you have the skill to use the tools,you probably won't be rebuilding the auto on the side of the road. I carry the usual pliers ,wrenches,screw drivers...plug kit for tire repair and small compressor and spare bulbs and fuses. Besides that,I call for a tow truck.

Offline machinisttx

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Re: Tools for the car
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2015, 07:10:40 PM »
I'd recommend carrying tools to repair the things you're comfortable doing yourself. As an example, replacing a blown radiator hose. I'd also suggest replacing the crappy OEM spring type hose clamps with regular(and easier to remove/install) worm screw clamps before you need to do it on a roadside or in a parking lot.

Offline RuggedCyclist

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Re: Tools for the car
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2015, 10:13:23 PM »
I describe my tools and other preps for my vehicle in detail here: http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=55823.0

A breaker bar with the socket for your lug nuts already on it is handy.

Whoever says newer vehicles are more reliable is lying... Every vehicle I've driven that was built after 1995 had constant problems. (It probably has nothing to do with the fact that I've never driven anything with less than 150k miles/paid more than $1,000 for a vehicle, and my '81 Ford is more reliable because it's so easy to work on)

Online Carl

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Re: Tools for the car
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2015, 05:48:13 AM »
I describe my tools and other preps for my vehicle in detail here: http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=55823.0

A breaker bar with the socket for your lug nuts already on it is handy.

Whoever says newer vehicles are more reliable is lying... Every vehicle I've driven that was built after 1995 had constant problems. (It probably has nothing to do with the fact that I've never driven anything with less than 150k miles/paid more than $1,000 for a vehicle, and my '81 Ford is more reliable because it's so easy to work on)

I pictured it having a laid stone bed by this time.....

Offline RuggedCyclist

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Re: Tools for the car
« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2015, 12:50:09 PM »
I pictured it having a laid stone bed by this time.....
:spit: That's actually a good idea! If it didn't already get such bad mileage. It would be more that resistant than the metal bed and it could be a mobile showcase of my work!

Offline squidd

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Re: Tools for the car
« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2015, 05:32:16 PM »
I'd also suggest replacing the crappy OEM spring type hose clamps with regular(and easier to remove/install) worm screw clamps before you need to do it on a roadside or in a parking lot.

That's a great idea, getting some needle nose pliers on those suckers can be tricky. They make the hose clamps that come with a tab on them now that allows you to tighten/loosen them with your fingers. Depending on location those might be nicer than the ones you need a flat head or socket for. I might worry about them loosening on their own.

Offline DMG

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Re: Tools for the car
« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2015, 05:34:34 PM »
I carry the hub nut sockets to fit my vehicles. They are way too big to be included in a regular socket set and you need them on most vehicles made in the past 25 years to replace a CV axle or wheel bearing. The torque spec can be pretty high so a 1/2 inch breaker bar is a must.

Offline The Morgan Hill Homesteading Project

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Offline Hurricane

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Re: Tools for the car
« Reply #17 on: May 06, 2018, 11:30:00 AM »
 :knitting:

Offline alexlindsay

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Re: Tools for the car
« Reply #18 on: May 06, 2018, 10:59:31 PM »
12v air pump and one of those rope type tire plug kits. I've never had to change a tire but have plugged so many that ive had to buy more little ropes and glue. Used them to help people on the side of the road too. I've got it down to plugging a tire in 3-5 minutes without ever having to dismount. Plus they only cost about 5 bucks, I've given them to people as gifts and while at first they often wondered they've come in super handy for some people.

Offline alexaura

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Re: Tools for the car
« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2018, 07:08:41 AM »
How do you think the rule of expensive tools will last longer?

Offline armymars

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Re: Tools for the car
« Reply #20 on: June 19, 2018, 09:49:27 AM »
  Don't forget a little dog chain for the muffler. Better then wire.

Offline CharlesH

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Re: Tools for the car
« Reply #21 on: June 19, 2018, 10:22:17 AM »
How do you think the rule of expensive tools will last longer?
 
Hi Alex,  I’m not familiar with this rule.  Can you elaborate?

Offline alexzip

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Re: Tools for the car
« Reply #22 on: July 23, 2018, 12:10:43 PM »
I also do not understand what you mean

Online Carl

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Re: Tools for the car
« Reply #23 on: July 24, 2018, 05:55:23 PM »
I also do not understand what you mean

You get what you pay for....