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You may think that most people these days don’t bother working on their car, so why would you need a toolkit? If you’ve ever been stuck on the side of the road because of a problem that you could have fixed with a screwdriver, then you’ll understand the need to carry a basic car repair toolkit.
Neither a Lender nor a Borrower be
If you are a new driver, or have been driving for some time without a basic car repair toolkit, this article will give you an idea of what you might need. Oh, and a word of caution, don’t lend out your tools. It’s too easy for others to forget where a particular item came from, not because they’re trying to steal your tools, but just because we all forget sometimes!
Storing Your Tools
You won’t want spanners and screwdrivers rolling around in your boot, so get a proper toolbox. Plastic toolboxes are lighter, and unlike metal ones, will not rust. You should be able to pick up a plastic toolbox quite cheaply.
What to Buy
Some of the tools listed here are more important than others; a tyre gauge for instance is a must, because you should check your tyres regularly if you don’t want to get pulled up. Besides a tyre gauge, you should have the following:
- A pair of pliers; you never know when you’ll need to use them, but buy the best you can afford
- A set of torque bits and an allen key
- A set of screw drivers (metric) including Posidrive and Philips, along with three slotted screwdrivers
- A socket set with a 3/8th drive, again metric
- Duct tape as well as a can of WD40; you never know when a door or part will need oiling. If you don’t want oil and grease covered hands then add a packet of latex gloves to your toolbox
- A 12 volt tyre compressor or foot pump, for those inevitable times when your tyres need some air – as assessed by your tyre gauge.
You Get What You Pay For
With some things, buying cheap is a good idea, as you can get a bargain, but not so with tools. When it comes to equipping your toolbox, buy the best you can afford. If you go to one of the well-known places, Halfords for example, you can be reasonably sure that the tools you buy there will do the job that you want them to.
Whether you are a new or a seasoned driver, make sure that you have a dipstick on board. Checking the oil and water levels at least once a week will save you a good deal of unnecessary problems.
Give yourself time to play with your new toys, so that you know what each item does. Carrying a basic car tool kit like the one described here could save you a good deal on garage and service costs – and that has to be a good thing.