Even if you aren’t mechanically inclined, you still need to keep a basic set of tools with you on the road. Of course, for major repairs, you may need to seek out an auto mechanic’s shop, but for quick fixes, it pays to have the bare necessities on hand.
Wrenches – Wrenches come in different sizes to fit different-sized nuts and bolts. Various car manufacturers use standard sizes, but sadly, these sizes can differ, meaning there is no universal wrench. Having a set of wrenches in your vehicle means you can change headlights and taillights, tighten loose engine bolts and more, all without paying the prices of a mechanic. You may also want to consider getting a ratchet and ratchet fittings instead of stationary wrenches, as this will allow you easier access and greater turning ratios.
Screwdrivers – Whether flat-head of Phillips-head, screwdrivers are important tools to have when traveling. While most screws are standardized, others are smaller or larger than standard, meaning you should always have a supply of screwdrivers on hand which can accommodate different sizes. If you’re concerned about tough jobs or tight places, you may want to consider getting an electric screwdriver. This device will allow you to quickly and easily remove and insert screws, even in tight places, without ruining your hands.
Flashlight – A flashlight can be used for illuminating dark areas of a vehicle, as well as for flagging down passing motorists. Along with a flashlight, you should always keep fresh flashlight batteries on hand to make sure that your flashlight doesn’t die at a crucial moment.
Voltage Meter and Battery Tester – Voltage meters and battery testers are both excellent tools to keep with you while traveling, as each will be able to provide you with essential power and electrical information regarding your vehicle’s health. A battery meter can show you how powerful your battery is, along with whether or not you need to replace it, and a voltage meter can show you what areas of your vehicle’s electrical system are not performing properly.
Specialty Tools – In addition to standard tools, you may also want to keep a variety of specialty tools on hand, including timing belt testers and adjusters and gear wrenches. These tools are meant to help those who have a better idea of the mechanics of their vehicles, so if you aren’t sure of how to use these tools, you may want to consult your owner’s manual.