/These 15 Tools and Accessories Every Car Owner Should Own

These 15 Tools and Accessories Every Car Owner Should Own

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In order to be able to get you safely from point A to point B, your car needs a well-stocked toolkit just in case something goes wrong. The fact of the matter is that vehicles are made up of tens of thousands of individual pieces and parts—about 30,000, to be exact—so something’s bound to need attention at some point along the road.

Luckily, many of these pieces and components can be fixed or adjusted by you, so long as you have the right gear for the job. From essential mechanic’s tools to the cleaning supplies that help keep your ride in good shape, these are the tools and accessories you’ll need as part of a responsible car maintenance plan.

  1. Jumper Cables – Also known as booster cables, these clip-on wires can help you jump-start your car when the battery’s dead. And experienced car owners know that, even with automatic lights and other great advancements, the battery will die on occasion. It’s important that you not only own jumper cables, but that you know how to use them.
  2. Multimeter – A multimeter is an electronic measuring tool that measures things like voltage, current, and resistance. This tool is excellent for testing your car’s battery, helping you diagnose issues or simply ensuring that everything’s in good working order.
  3. Emergency Kit – No responsible driver ever leaves home without a car emergency kit. It should contain the following essentials:
  • Flares or orange triangles
  • Small toolkit
  • Pocket knife or multitool
  • Small first-aid kit
  • Jumper cables
  • Flashlight and backup batteries
  • Emergency blanket
  • Poncho
  • Compass and map
  • Water
  • Non-perishable foods
  • Car charger for your phone

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  1. Tire Pressure Gauge – You need to constantly be monitoring air pressure to ensure that your tires are in a safe state. Use a tire pressure gauge to measure air pressure and ensure that your tires have the optimal amount of air pressure.
  2. Torque Wrench – A torque wrench is used to tighten nuts, bolts, and other components to a predetermined value, helping ensure that they are at the proper tension so they aren’t under- or over-tightened, which could lead to potentially serious malfunctions.
  3. Screwdriver and Socket – You never know how far a quick loosening or tightening will go when working on your car. Be sure to keep a stash of sockets of various sizes and always have both a Philips and flat head screwdriver, preferably in multiple sizes, in your trunk toolkit.
  4. Pliers and Vise Grips – Pliers and vise grips can definitely come in handy in the event of an automotive emergency or when you’re giving your car a tune-up in the garage. They help you manage, remove, and adjust pieces and parts while you’re tinkering.
  5. Duct Tape, Bungee Cords, and Ropes – Make sure you don’t leave the house without these three essentials. They can help you transport large, bulky items as well as keep damaged pieces in place until you reach safety.
  6. Tire Changing Kit – Knowing how to change a flat tire is one of life’s most important lessons, and it can save you a whole lot of trouble. Make sure you have everything you need for the job (see list below). We also recommend brushing up on how to do it every so often.
  • Spare tire
  • Tire jack
  • Jack stands
  • Lug wrench
  • Blanket
  • Gloves
  • Wheel chocks
  • Safety triangle
  • Magnetic light
  • Hub cap puller
  • Impact wrench

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  1. Tire Chains – Tire chains are used to help enhance traction when driving in snowy, icy road conditions. If you live somewhere cold and routinely traverse through arctic-like conditions, make sure you own a pair of snow chains. These should only be used if there’s a substantial amount of snow or ice, as using them on the pavement can cause damage to your wheels.
  2. Tow Strap – In the event that you or a fellow driver needs a tow, a tow strap may be able to provide a safe solution. Though these are not for recovering dead cars stuck in ditches or the mud—for that, a recovery strap might be useful—they can help tow freely moving vehicles behind other vehicles. Make sure you know how to safely use a tow strap!
  3. Life Hammer – A life hammer is a small impact tool that prevents vehicle entrapment. In the event you lose power and can’t use your locks or find yourself otherwise trapped within your car, it allows you to shatter windows for safe escape. Many of these products also have built-in seatbelt cutters to prevent you from getting stuck in your safety belt.
  4. Car Cover – How you store and clean your car can have a massive impact on how it performs. If you keep your car outside, consider protecting it with a car cover to defend against moisture, UV rays, storm damage, and other threats that could compromise the beauty and reliability of your vehicle.
  5. Shop-Vac and Cleaning Supplies – Ah, the Shop-Vac! One of the dedicated car enthusiast’s most prized possessions! While it may not save your life, a heavy-duty vacuum cleaner will definitely make car maintenance a little bit easier. While you’re at it, make sure you have good car cleaning solutions, microfiber cloths, car brushes, and a bucket.
  6. Roadside Assistance – If you don’t consider yourself especially handy with cars—or, even if you do and want to be extra safe—you can’t go wrong with a membership for roadside assistance, such as those offered by AAA or your insurance company. These memberships ensure that you have access to a number of services in the event of an emergency. It is also recommended to have the contact information of a towing company in case of a car breakdown.

Owning a car comes with a lot of responsibility. As a responsible car owner, you must be prepared for whatever the road throws your way—a flat tire, a dead battery, a loose belt, or a failed engine. Having the right tools and essentials available to you will help ensure that you always stay safe on the road and that your car runs at its best for many thousands of miles.

(CEO / Editor / Journalist) – Bruno is the owner and CEO of Motorward.com; he’s responsible for the entire team, editorial guidelines and publishing. Bruno has many years of experience in the auto industry, both managing automotive websites and contributing to the press.