Car Troubles? No Sweat! The Must-Have Toolbox for Every Car

Cars are complicated machines. They require continuous maintenance to perform well, and various parts can fail and may need replacement or repair. To best look after your car, it’ll be a good idea to have a few different tools that can allow you to perform different jobs on your car. 

Of course, there are going to be certain things that you should leave to a qualified mechanic, but there are still plenty of things you can do yourself to maintain your vehicle better. Here’s a look at some of the tools you should have with you to make it easier to service and look after your car, as well as specific products you can get online. 

If you need more advice about how to look after a new car, there are plenty of useful guides that can be found here on Car Adviser.

In this guide

Jump leads

One of the most common reasons for a car breaking down is because it has a flat battery. A flat battery can be a massive headache, as it may prevent your car from starting when you need it most, or it can cause you to be left stranded on the motorway. 

Thankfully, if you pack a jump lead, you’ll be able to give your car a jolt that will instantly restart the battery and allow you to continue with your journey. 

Jump leads are long cables that are connected to your car’s battery and then use a power source to create an electrical current. This power source can be provided by either another motorist or you can also carry a spare battery that can be used to power the jump leads. 

When using jump leads, you need to make sure that you connect the right cable to the correct port. These are usually colour-coded red and black to help you out. Make sure that you use jump leads with caution, as you could give yourself a shock if mishandled. 

AA Insulated Booster Cables/Jump Leads AA4550

AA Insulated Booster Cables/Jump Leads

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Based on over 2,732 reviews.

When getting jump leads, you’ll be able to get by with a basic pair like the AA Insulated Booster Cables. These can be used for cars up to 3000cc and comply with European Standards so that you know they’re safe and effective. They’re fully insulated, so they can be used in all weather, and they come with a handy storage bag.

Noco Boost

NOCO Boost X

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Based on over 5,070 reviews.

However, if you’re looking for something more quality that takes better care of your battery, you can get an option like the NOCO Boost. This provides massive power from an attached battery pack to help your car start instantly. It also has more safety features to avoid any issues and is suitable for all kinds of vehicles, including vans, cars, and motorbikes.

Car jack

It can be hard to replace a flat tyre while on the road. This is because, to get a new tyre on your car, you’ll need to elevate it to be able to remove and attach a tyre properly. 

Because of this problem, car owners should carry with them a car jack. This device is used to help raise the car by a few inches, which makes it much easier to remove and replace a damaged tyre. 

Problems with the wheels are one of the most common reasons for vehicles breaking down, meaning that having a car jack is one of the best ways to protect yourself from a highly probable issue. 

Using a car jack is very easy; you just place it under the frame of your car, near the tyre you need to replace, and then crank it so that it expands and lifts the car up.

VONROC Trolley jack

VONROC Trolley jack

Customer score

Based on over 58 reviews.

There are multiple different types of car jacks that you can get, including scissor jacks and trolly jacks. One of the best trolley jacks you can get is the VONROC Trolley jack. This device has increased manoeuvrability so that it’s easy to get the jack in the right place, and it also comes with a safety valve to prevent overloading. This jack can lift up to 2 tonnes of weight and also comes with a long lift rod making it very versatile.

LEADSTAND Scissor Jack

LEADSTAND Scissor Jack

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Based on over 255 reviews.

If you’re looking for a good quality scissor jack, you can get the LEADSTAND Scissor Jack. This product is suitable for cars and sports utility vehicles and has a maximum lifting weight of 2 tonnes. This device can be used manually or with an electric drill to save labour, making it easy to use. It also has a time-saving design making it easier to use.

Tyre pressure gauge

To make sure that your car is performing well and also ensure that it’s safe to drive, you must monitor the level of pressure within your tyres. This is because a pressure that’s too low will wear your tyre away quickly and make your car feel unstable to drive, whereas a pressure that’s too big will cause your tyre to wear away unevenly and increase its risk of popping. 

Plus, the wrong tyre pressure can also impact your maximum mileage and make your car harder to brake, so it’s important to check it regularly.

It’s a good idea to check your car’s pressure every few months before you set off on any long-distance drives. To check your tyre pressure, you’re going to need a gauge. 

This relatively small and simple device measures the psi within a tyre. To use it, you first need to unscrew your tyre valve cap and then push this device into the valve. This will release a bit of pressure from the tyre, which will be measured on the gauge, giving you an accurate idea of the current pressure within your tyre.

Digital Tyre Pressure Gauge

Endark Digital Tyre Pressure Gauge

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Based on over 594 reviews.

There are many different types of tyre gauges, with some being mechanical and others being electrical. One good option is this ENDARK Digital Tyre Pressure Gauge. This option works perfectly for all types of vehicles and is highly accurate with a 1% variable. It’s also backlit, meaning that this gauge can be used in the dark, allowing you to check your tyre pressure, whatever the weather.

Ring RTG2 Analogue Tyre Pressure Gauge

Ring RTG2 Analogue Tyre Pressure Gauge

Customer score

Based on over 342 reviews.

If you want a simpler and more compact gauge, you can also get the Ring RTG2 Analogue Tyre Pressure Gauge. This is an alternative to digital devices as it instead uses the air to push a weighted measuring stick within the device, indicating how much pressure is in the car. It’s simple to use and far less bulky, making it a good product to store in your car’s door or glove box. 

This specific product also comes with a nifty tool to measure tread depth, allowing you to assess your tyres’ standard. 

Basic toolkit

When on the road, you can never be sure when something will go wrong and, more importantly, what will go wrong. This means that it can be tough to prepare for, which is why it’s a good idea to carry a box of generic and well-rounded tools. 

Although a specialised tool may be best to help fix a particular issue, having a set of generic tools that can be useful in multiple situations is a much better option. 

Within a basic toolkit for cars, it’s a good idea to get things such as screwdrivers, pliers, and a hammer, as these can be used in numerous circumstances. That said, it’s also a good idea to get a wrench that suits the specific bolts used on your vehicle so that you can replace items easily.

Hi-Spec Tools 67pc Auto Mechanics Hand Tool Kit

Hi-Spec Tools 67pc Auto Mechanics Hand Tool Kit

Customer score

Based on over 1,094 reviews.

You can choose from many different toolkits out there, and all will be suitable to store in your car. However, Car Adviser thinks this 67pc Auto Mechanics Hand Tool Kit is the best option. This is because this product has all the essentials and multiple adapters and sockets to ensure you’ll be able to use it for any car. It’s also not too big, meaning it won’t take up too much space, and the tools are made from quality materials. 

Swiss army knife

If you don’t want to store an entire toolkit in your car, another useful tool you can use instead is a swiss army knife. These aren’t going to be suitable for doing repairs in your garage at home. However, they can be beneficial when you’re out on the road and need something to help you in an emergency. 

These tools are compact and come with all the different bits you need, such as a knife, pliers, wrench, and more. 

When getting a swiss army knife for your car, it’s essential to get one with mini-tools best suited to working on a car. You’ll want to avoid an army knife with a ruler or scissors or corkscrew and instead focus on having a spanner, wrench, and screwdriver.

Leatherman Signal

Leatherman Signal

Customer score

Based on over 403 reviews.

One of the best swiss army knives you can get online is the Leatherman Signal Survival multi-tool. This product has 19 built-in tools that lock into place, meaning that it’s a sturdy device that can help with various functions.

What makes this stand out is that it has a great set of pliers, which can be very useful, and also has a few safety features, which can be helpful if you’re left stranded in your car. This device is super compact, and when all folded away, it only measures 12 cm, making it perfect to be kept in your car without taking up too much space. 

Although it is designed for camping and survival, there are plenty of tools in this swiss army knife that can benefit drivers of multiple vehicles.

Car Tools FAQs

Car tools, also known as automotive tools within the industry, are essential because they make it a lot easier to repair, modify, and replace parts within a car. This means that these tools give owners the ability to make small changes to their vehicles so that they can better maintain them. 

Plus, some tools also make their car much safer to own and drive. For example, things like a tyre pressure gauge can be used to check a tyre so that it has the right amount of pressure. 

If you don't have any car tools, issues can affect you more, as instead of being able to help yourself, you'll rely more on mechanics, which can be more expensive and take more time to help you.

If you're buying a new car, it will likely come with a few essential tools. Most will come with a spare tyre and the equipment needed to put the tyre on your vehicle, but that's likely the most you will receive. 

In addition, it's likely best not to rely on the tools that have been provided with a new, as there's a high chance that these tools are cheap and not as good as they can be. 

Buying your own once you've purchased the car is best to ensure that you're using the best tools for the job required. When you do this, you can be assured that the tools are new and capable of performing their job well for you.

Certain car tools can be expensive, and it would be best if you look after them well so that you don't need to replace them constantly. 

The best way to look after any set of tools is to review the user guide for each tool and store it as recommended. Most user guides will recommend that a tool be stored within a case, so they don't get wet and begin to rust. It's also a good idea to clean your tools after every usage so that they remain effective for as long as possible. 

You'll also want to ensure that you're using the tool correctly and for its required purpose. Misusing a tool is an easy way to break it and make it ineffective after a short time. If you're using a car jack or other tool with a specific weight limit, make sure not to exceed this, as this can damage the tool and turn it into a safety hazard. 

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