Five of every ten car owners do not have a set of tools which they can use to help fix their cars should they need emergency repairs on the roadways. They rely heavily on their insurance companies and pay a yearly fee for breakdown service so they do not have to interfere with anything that goes wrong with their cars.  

While it is a good idea to have this service, the road service sometimes becomes inefficient.  When this happens it frustrates car owners and they begin to question why they pay that breakdown fee with their insurance premiums.  It becomes very inconvenient when the road service technicians do not show up on time.

Every car owner can make temporary repairs to fix things like a leaking radiator hose, loose screw or bolt, and other minor problems that may develop while on the roadway until repairs are completed at the nearest repair shop.

With some very basic tools you can help yourself and perhaps others as well with minor car problems.  So, it is wise to carry your own tool kit. Here is a very basic tool kit every car owner should keep in their trunk in addition to the jack assembly that came with your car:

Four Inch Flat Blade Screwdriver: This screw driver can be purchase at almost any hardware store. The metal shank is four inches long from the bottom of the handle to the tip of the blade. The bottom of the blade is flat and about a quarter of an inch wide. This screw driver blade fits in any slotted screw head which you can tighten by turning it clockwise and loosen by turning it counter clockwise with this screwdriver. You can use this screwdriver to tighten a screw on the hose clip of a leaking hose that has an oil or water leak under the hood of your car.  You can also use it anywhere else for tightening or loosening slotted head screws if the need arises.

Four Inch Phillips Head Screwdriver: This screwdriver is similar to the flat blade screw driver but the tip has a cross sectional shape like the letter “X”.  This screwdriver fits over the head of screws with the “X” configuration. Again, you turn clockwise to tighten and counter clockwise to loosen the screw. Some vehicles have both flat slotted head screws while others have the “X” shaped screws.  That is why you should keep these two types in your tool box set.

Ten Inch Adjustable Wrench:  You can also buy this tool from your local hardware store. It is also called a crescent wrench – a brand name- that became a generic term for this type of wrench. It has a thumb screw which you turn with our fingers to open and close the jaws. This wrench is used to tighten or loosen hexagonal nuts which may become loose or need tightening.  A hexagonal nut has six sides onto which you can adjust the wrench jaws and pull on the handle to tighten or loosen the bolt. Be sure that the jaws are fitted tightly on the hexagonal bolt head before you turn the handle otherwise it could slip and hurt your knuckles hitting against other objects.

Six or Eight Inch Pair of Pliers: A pair of pliers is just like a pair of scissors. Instead of cutting edges on the blades, it has rounded and flat serrated jaws that could clamp around any small object to hold, bend, twist or turn until you achieve the desired result. You could bend a piece of wire and wrap it over a water hose and then twist it with the pliers to stop a leak.

With these four tools you can do many quick repairs that will allow you to get to the nearest repair shop safely where you can address the problem properly.

However, here are some additional tips:

  • Keep some rags handy to wipe up spills and your hands after you complete the repairs.
  • Secure a small roll of 26 gauge wire to tie anything which may become loose.
  • Get a pen knife with a 4 inch blade or anything similar type.
  • Keep a hacksaw blade with 24 teeth per inch—optional—to saw off any thing the need to be cut.

Now, with all these basic tools get yourself a nice tool box set and secure them safely in your car trunk.  You will be prepared to handle emergency repairs while on the roads away from home and help your fellow men who may have car problems as well.