10 Handtools You Must Have In Your Car Toolbox: Handle Emergency Breakdowns

I’m sure you must have done it once. It happens to everyone sooner or later. If you have driven long enough you surely know that getting a flat tire is as easy as turning the engine on.

In the United States alone, approximately 7 tire punctures occur every second, resulting in 220 million flat tires per year.  Statistics also show that every driver will experience on average up to 5 flat tires in their lifetime.  So the likelihood of running into such a roadside emergency is very high.

Your car can decide to break down at any time without any warning. you can never predict what can happen, no matter how careful you are. And if you are going to a place that doesn’t have any easy access to automotive shops and mechanics, the situation is even worse.

Therefore, preparing for the unexpected ahead of time is a must thing every driver must do. Emergency hand tools are often overlooked. But a little extra preparation will help you fight the hurdles you face in your journey.

Most drivers get furious with unexpected breakdowns. So in this article, we will be discussing all the hand tools you must have in your car toolbox.

I myself have faced such situations many times and I will strongly recommend you have a basic car tool kit. You can carry out an emergency repair for yourself if you have these.

As there are a lot of tools available made by different manufacturers so I have shortlisted only the important ones so that it becomes easy for you.

Let’s get started !!

Related post: Best Toolkit To Keep In Your Car

Most Common Car Problems and Issues

You would agree that many of us look for opportunities waiting for weekends and vacation breaks to drive and take a break from daily chores.

A road trip with family and friends is the perfect way to spend time off. But one can never predict the upcoming problems that can be faced in your journey.

Here is a list of commonly faced problems that can be solved if you have the right hand tools with you.

1. Flat tire

A flat tire can happen anywhere and to anybody irrespective of the condition of the road, you are driving in. It is the leading cause of road accidents worldwide.

Make sure to carry a spare tire in your car. And consider carrying 2 spares if you are on a long drive. No matter what tools you have, without a spare tire, you are helpless.

In addition, always include a tool kit so that if it comes to you, you can repair your tire and move ahead in your journey.

2. Breakdowns

If you are planning a long trip, there is a possibility that you will have to deal with breakdowns. You can end up being stranded if you don’t have access to a mechanic nearby.

Things like wheel bearings and brakes don’t need replacing very often but if they fail on the way you could be in a hustle.

Hence it will be helpful if you have hand tools and some basic knowledge so that you can fix minor issues yourself or at least identify the problems for major breakdowns.

3. Streaky wipers

Imagine you are driving a road that is unfamiliar and is not able to see beyond your windshield. What can be more dangerous than that? You have a high probability of meeting with an accident.

Cleaning your windshields and wipers would often suffice but if the wipers are brittle and broken, it’s time to get some new ones.

When you have the necessary hand tools, you can easily replace the wipers when they get damaged without having to call a mechanic.

4. Dead battery

Most of us tend to forget the last time we replaced our batteries. A battery can go flat if the battery is old and has lost the ability to keep the charge.

Flat batteries cause inconvenience and can be a major source of stress. You can jump-start the car if you have accidentally left a light on or have some minor issues.

Other factors include faulty charging, parasitic drain, defective alternator if the battery is beginning to show its age, and leaving the car unused for a long time.

Basic Handtools You Must Have In Your Car Toolbox.

There are many tools you can keep in your toolbox, but here we will be discussing the emergency toolkit for your car that you can’t consider skipping.

Skipping one of these handtools means taking yourself into trouble. So make sure you have all of these in your car toolbox apart from the First Aid Box.

If you are confused about what to put in your car toolbox, just grab all of these tools mentioned here. You won’t regret investing in them.

1. Hydraulic Car Jack

In most car jobs, It is required to lift your car. Car jacks serve the purpose. They are very handy and a must-have tool for every car.

When you need to work on your tires, gas tank, brakes, or other parts that lie below your car you definitely need a hydraulic working in order to lift vehicles off the ground to perform repairs or change a flat tire.

But before using a jack you need to know how to operate a jack and purchase a high-quality set of jack stands to save you in case the jack slips or fails.

2. Wrench Set

Almost every automobile repair job needs a wrench in order to tighten the nuts and bolts to specified torque settings.

Without a wrench set, it is not possible to even start working. So, it is always great to invest in a set of quality wrenches that is metric and standard-sized.

Excellent quality wrenches come costly but they will definitely serve your purpose and last long.

3. Pliers

Pliers are very versatile tools with so many uses. They can be used to cut wires, grab objects tightly, loosen or tighten bolts, or adjust metal parts.

Purchasing a complete set of pliers can be a great deal if have a budget. But if are out of budget, you can always go for a standard pair.

However, don’t compromise on its quality if you don’t want your pliers to break while performing your job as cheap pliers with low quality do break easily.

4. Ratchet And Socket Set

Although you have your wrench, when you need to work in tight places and in awkward angles, a ratchet is probably the best tool to have in your toolbox.

Ratchet comes in three different sizes. If you have the budget, I would suggest having all three sizes would be a better idea.

5. Screwdrivers

After nuts and bolts, screws are another common method of fastening used on vehicles. Hence it is highly recommended to own a screwdriver set.

You should never use the wrong type of screwdriver. Otherwise, you will end up damaging the head of the screw. So you should consider owning all the different types of screwdrivers to provide you with as many options while servicing your vehicle.

6. Hammer

A hammer is a tool with numerous applications which must not be skipped. Get a hammer with a wooden handle as this is best shock absorbent.

When you need extra force to remove something or to push something, a hammer can provide you with the required force to carry out your work.

Also sometimes grease and dirt just jam some components. In such situations, only a hammer can save you.

7. Tyre Inflator

Almost all of us carry an extra pair of tires with us all the time. But how many of us carry a tire inflator? Not many of us. Right?

Pressure check of tires is one thing that we always tend to forget about. It just skips your mind. Just imagine a situation where your tires are lying flat due to no pressure.

Would you want such a situation for yourself? Well, you definitely wouldn’t. Therefore it is always a good idea to carry a tire inflator in your toolbox.

8. Life Hammer

This is a small tool that can do wonders in emergency situations. Many of us avoid keeping this tool with us thinking it’s of no use.

I hope you never get to use this tool but we can’t deny the fact that every year the lives of approximately 1.3 million people are cut short as a result of road accidents and 20 to 50 million people suffer from non-fatal injuries as per WHO.

In any case, you need to escape away from your car due to an accident, the life hammer will save your life. Never forget to keep a life hammer whatever may be.

9. Knife

A knife is the most basic tool with multipurpose use which you just can’t skip having in your toolbox. Sometimes, it’s not about re-securing or re-assembling. Many times it’s about detaching or cutting. That is when a knife comes in handy.

Also, in case you get stranded somewhere, your knife will become your survival tool. You can use your knife to make a fire, to hunt, as a defense tool, and many more.

you can also keep a multipurpose knife which will serve as a good tool for a car when you have no tools around or when you are in an emergency.

10. Wheel Stopper Block

If you live in a hilly area or are fond of driving in mountainous trenches, you should definitely consider keeping a wheel stopper block in your car.

Imagine driving uphill and you need to stop your car suddenly. If you don’t have a stopper block then your car will roll down and there is a chance of an accident.

Always position the wheel block below the vehicle’s center of gravity. On a downhill grade, position them in front of the front wheels. On an uphill grade, position them behind the rear wheels.

Other Tools You Should Always Keep In a Car.

We have discussed all the important handtools that you must have in your car toolbox. But apart from these, we have some other important tools that must not be forgotten.

  • First Aid Box
  • Portable Fire Extinguisher
  • Flashlight
  • Water
  • Duct Tape And Scissors
  • Latex Gloves
  • Lubricants And Cleansers


So, there you have it. Ten hand tools you must have in your car toolbox. This list have been brought to you taking all factors into consideration. The best idea is to get all ten of these.

Also, I have mentioned some necessary tools and equipment which you will be requiring along with the car’s toolset.

Before using any tools or equipment, be sure to read, follow and understand all manufacturer’s instructions on their proper and safe use.

Quality hand tools can last for a lifetime. So,I would suggest you do not compromise on the quality. After all, it’s about your life.

FAQ: Handtools You Must Have In Your Car Toolbox.

Having so many tools in the market, many of us get confused about what to and what not to include in a car, and that is why people ask a lot of questions related to it. For your ease, I have added some of the most commonly asked questions and have answered them.

Q1. Should I Go For a Cheap Car Toolkit?

Ans: Keeping handtools in your car means preparation for emergency situations. There is no benefit to keeping them if they don’t serve you or break during your needs. A good set of toolkit may cost you initially but in the long run, you are going to benefit from them because car breakdowns are completely unpredictable.

Q2. Should I Invest In a Toolkit Box?

Ans: It is very important to have a toolkit box so that they are safely and securely stored in your car. Moreover, when you have a toolbox, your tools are in a convenient location, ready to use making your tasks quicker and more efficient. A box even protects your tools reducing the chances of damage.

Q3. What Car Tools Brand Is The Best?

Ans: That completely depends on your requirements. You have craftsman and Husky. On the higher end, there is Mac and Matco. Since emergency handtools have minimal usage, go with one like Craftsman. They are reasonably priced and have a good warranty. Also, they have a very large inventory of tools.

Q4. How Long Does It Takes To Fix A Flat Tire?

Ans: Fixing a flat tire isn’t usually a difficult job. Most tires, if they are repairable, can be repaired quickly and easily. For most kinds of repairable damage, it takes about 40 minutes to an hour to repair the hole. That gives enough time to locate the damage, evaluate it, repair your tire if possible, and test the repair.

Q5. How often should I replace my tires?

Ans: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that drivers change the tires on their vehicles every six years. However, if you drive aggressively by braking and accelerating harshly, your tires will wear faster. Also, If you are driving frequently on poor;y maintained roads, you will get more wear and tear.

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