11 Essential Tools for Your Travel Toolbox

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Just as a toolbox is an important fixture in your home, so too is one important when you are traveling. You never know what can happen on the road. An automobile is a complex machine, and there are countless things that can go wrong with it. While many repairs will need a lot more than a toolbox can provide, having one on board that is well stocked with the right tools can be a big help in many situations. This list of essential travel toolbox tools will enable you to solve many minor problems while on the road.

Keep in mind that all of these tools might not necessarily fit into your toolbox, but they should be able to kept neatly in the trunk or in the spare tire area.

Tire Repair Tools

  • Car jack: Most cars have a car jack installed somewhere in the trunk or under the vehicle. It is a necessary tool to remove a flat tire and put on the spare.

  • Tire Iron: This tool is used to remove the lug nuts from the wheel housing in order to remove the tire. It can be the larger '+' shaped tool or the more compact L-shaped variety.

  • T-Handle Probe: Part of your tire plug kit, this tool is used to probe the puncture to clear space for the plug.

  • T-Handle Needle: You use this tool to insert the tire plug into the puncture.

  • Pliers: A pair of pliers is a handy tool to have on board to remove objects from tires and apply pressure or clamping leverage elsewhere.

    Other Travel Tools

    • Jumper cables: Don't expect other drivers to have a set of jumper cables if ever your car battery goes dead and you need a jump start. It's best to have your own set.

    • Adjustable jaw wrench: This wrench is useful for numerous jobs like loosening and tightening the bolts on battery terminal clamps.

    • Flathead screwdriver: You never know exactly when this all-purpose tool will come in handy. It can be used to remove and replace screws, gouge, pry and even grab hard to reach metal objects if the tip is magnetized.

    • Phillips head screwdriver: A Phillips head screwdriver is often needed in the cab of your car to remove screws securing light covers. You may also find it useful to remove headlight covers to get to the bulbs.

    • Socket set with wrench: A socket set with ratchets and extensions should be kept on board just in case you're having engine trouble and need to check a spark plug. Although it gives you less leverage than a tire iron, a ratchet can also be used to remove lug nuts.

    • Funnel: Pouring new motor oil into the engine compartment is much easier with a funnel.

    Having an all-purpose tool such as a Leatherman on board takes care of many of the tools listed here in one easy-to-store contraption. The toolbox should contain a number of accessories in addition to just tools such as motor oil, shop rags and starting fluid. While you may not need every tool all the time, when you do need it, it's better to have it present.