Even if your car is in tip-top condition, there is no guarantee that you won’t encounter a problem during a trip. Possible problems, such as a flat or blown-out tire, brake trouble, battery trouble, and more, could suddenly come your way before you reach your destination. If you carry a basic car toolkit, you’ll be able to do minor repairs while on the road.

Must-Have Car Repair Tools

(Pixabay / jolimaison)

The most common repair need you could encounter during a trip is a tire change. Changing a tire is a simple thing to do, but you’ll need special tools to accomplish it. Even if you don’t know how to change a tire, your car’s instruction manual will guide you through the steps.

To change a tire, your toolkit should include the following:

  • Jack: Jacks come in various forms including scissor jacks, bottle jacks, bumper jacks, or floor jacks. A scissor jack is the easiest to carry in your toolkit because of its size, but it does require a lot of manual effort to use.
  • Spare tire: Most cars have spare tires in the trunk, but newer car models may only have a tire repair kit. If that’s the case for your vehicle, check in your instruction manual for directions for how to use the tire kit. Other new cars are equipped with run-flat tires, which means that the flat tire can still be driven on until you see a tire shop.
  • Lug wrench: Lug wrenches typically have a socket on one end and a pry bar at the other to help you remove the nuts and then remove the tire.
  • Wheel lock: A wheel lock is a special keyed lug nut socket that is used to prevent thieves from stealing your wheels. If your car has wheel locks, make sure that you keep the key in a safe place, such as taped inside your car instruction manual, because it is often misplaced or lost. If you misplace it, you will not be able to change your tire—or at least not without considerable hassle.
  • Alignment studs: These make it easier to mount the wheels onto your car because you don’t have to align the wheel bolt opening with the wheel hub openings.
  • Extension bars: The spare tire is located in different locations depending on the car model. When it is located under the vehicle, you will need an extension bar to lower the spare on a wire.

In addition to changing a tire, there are other repairs that you may need to perform if your car malfunctions while you are en route to your destination. If you want to be prepared for whatever the road throws at you, you will need some additional basic tools, including:

  • Socket set: A mechanic tool set includes standard and metric sizes of sockets and drivers. The set will come in handy for fixing minor problems in the car.
  • Pliers and wire cutters: There are plenty of electrical problems you may encounter during your trip. You could need these tools to re-connect a broken electrical line.
  • Wrenches: Things could get loose in the car that will need to be tightened. A set of wrenches, both open and closed, could be your lifesaver.
  • Screwdrivers: A complete set of screwdrivers can be used in various repair projects in your car.
  • Work light: Your car problem could be a minor one that could easily be fixed during daylight hours, but if it’s nighttime, you could be in a lot of trouble. Keep a work light with extra batteries, so you’ll be able to make any necessary fixes at all hours of the day.

Keeping a basic car toolkit in your trunk will help you be prepared in many different circumstances and give you peace of mind in the meantime.




Breakdowns are common. That is why drivers are always ready with their tools whenever and wherever they are going. However, what is the use of these tools if you do not know what they are and what they can be used for? This infographic has a solution to your problem. Find out the common tire tools you probably have in hand right now.

4 Common Tire Tools [infographic]