What Tools Should I Pack In The Trunk Of My Car

Exploring what tools to pack in your trunk.

tools to pack in the trunk of your car

When you buy your first car, all you can think about is getting out on the open road and experiencing everything this world has to offer.   Aside from getting you to and from work and transporting you and your girlfriend/boyfriend somewhere fun on weekends, your car is supposed to allow you to go exploring.   When you embark on long journeys, you will encounter a wide range of situations, some good and some bad, but the enjoyment you will derive from the freedom to participate in these adventures will be well worth it.

There will be times when your good fortune runs out and something goes wrong with your journey, resulting in an emergency/breakdown situation.    You never know where these incidents will occur; it could be on a quiet country road at 11 p.m., for example.   It could be a flat tyre, a dead battery, an encounter with wildlife, damage from a crater-sized pothole, or getting stuck in mud or sand.   The thing is, dealing with these situations during the day is much easier than dealing with them at night.   So, when you try to stock your car with the items you’ll need to be prepared for most situations, keep in mind that they may occur far from home in the middle of the night.  

If you rarely leave your well-populated town or city, you can probably get away with not having too many tools in your car’s trunk.   However, the further you travel into less populated areas, the more prepared you must be for any bad luck that may befall you.

I understand that learning you need to spend more money on your vehicle is not something you want to hear.  If you’ve only recently purchased your car, you may already feel as if it’s more of a boat than a motor vehicle (BOAT = Bring-On-Another-Thousand).   As inconvenient as it may be to spend more money, you must consider your safety and well-being if something goes wrong.  

In the best-case scenario, you may be able to do enough in an emergency/breakdown situation to get you and your car home, or in the worst-case scenario, you may be able to make the situation safe while waiting for help.

You must understand that no car is perfect, and that things will happen mechanically and electrically to your car without warning, and that there will be times when there is nothing you can do but call roadside assistance or a tow truck.   On other occasions, if something goes wrong with or to your car and you have good mobile phone reception and a trunk full of tools; you may be able to use YouTube to learn about what you need to do to get home.

Preparing for bad luck in the middle of the night.

breakdown emergency lighting

The first thing that comes to mind is the need to have a couple of high-quality rechargeable lanterns, a high-power rechargeable torch, a rechargeable headlight, and a couple of safety warning lights.  Because the warning lights may not be rechargeable, keep plenty of spare batteries on hand.   If you find yourself in a breakdown/emergency situation late at night, the first thing you should do is turn on your warning lights at either end of your vehicle.    This will make it very clear to anyone nearby or any approaching drivers that you are having difficulties.

The lanterns are the next thing to deploy; the last thing you want to do is injure yourself while walking around in the dark.   Lighting up your area as much as possible will allow you to see what you’re up against in terms of terrain and may even assist you in spotting an unwanted visitor, such as a snake.  On this website’s ‘Travelling’ page, you’ll find sections on snake bite and emergency first aid kits.  If you’re lucky enough to have someone with you, you have them hold and point the torches at the problem area while you try to fix it.   Wear the headlight for additional visibility.   The headlights are great for when you are on your own at night, you can see what you are doing and you’ve got both hands free to do the work.

What sort of tools do I need to carry in my car?

You’ll need some fairly standard automotive repair tools, as well as a variety of general maintenance tools, because you never know what might be the cause of your breakdown on the side of the road.   A good example would be if you hit a kangaroo, or if a kamikaze kangaroo targets your car.  

Sometimes when a roo strike occurs, you are not going anywhere; they can cause significant damage to a car, especially if you are travelling at 100kph at the time.   You may be lucky on occasion though, if you were able to wash off enough speed before the impact, or if they only ‘clip’ your car rather than ‘strike’ it with the fierceness of a Maverick missile fired from an A10 Thunderbolt (Warthog), you may be able to do some clever work that will get you home.

If the damage is not too extensive, you might just need to:

1.     Straighten out a guard to get it away from a tyre

2.    Wire together a couple of pieces of your car

3.    Hold bits of your car together with some strong cloth tape or duct tape

4.    Unbolt something to fix it up a bit and then put it back on

With the above 4 scenarios in mind, you could probably benefit from having:

A.   A graphite mallet, a club hammer and a claw hammer.

B.    Multi grips, short and long nose pliers, a multipurpose tool and locking pliers.

C.    A roll of .7mm tie wire and some wire cutters/side cutters.

D.   A socket set, a screw driver set, spanner set, a couple of different size shifters.

E.    A roll of 100 mph tape or some other heavy duty duct tape and a couple of rolls of strong cloth tape.

You could probably get away with a fairly generic 120-piece tool kit for the most part.  Then simply purchase a tool bag and fill it with any additional tools you may require.   You can also get tool bags that come with 80 tools; in this case, if they didn’t come with a socket set or other essentials, you could simply purchase them separately and store them in the bag.

What other things should I consider having in my trunk for emergency situations?

1.     A Tow strap

2.    A set of Jumper cables

3.    160 to 250 LPM Air Compressor

4.    A can of emergency puncture repair

5.    A set of ratchet car stands (this is in addition to any car jack you will have)

6.    A 12V lithium jump starter

7.    A folding shovel

8.    Recovery boards/tracks

9.    A couple of pairs of protective cut proof gloves

10. 5 litres of clean drinking water and some food, like a couple of packets of protein bars, dried fruit, meat jerky etc.

11.  If you normally have your dog in the car with you, be sure to pack a couple of tins of food for them too.

12.  A few utensils, drinking cups, tin can opener, bowls and anything else food/drink related you can think of.

13.  An umbrella, a change of clothes and a couple of towels as it will probably rain when your emergency happens too.

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Onobu Efemena
9 months ago

This is a wonderful article on your post, it has been very helpful. When you decide to buy your first car, it is a thrilling endeavor, marking a significant milestone in your life. Its a journey filled with excitement, choices, and a touch of uncertainty. As you step into the world of car ownership, you will be met with a blend of emotions and considerations that make the experience truly unique. Feel free to check my content on this similar article.

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