If you've ever been stuck on the side of the road you know that having the right tools and patience are priceless. Often, a little of both will go a long way in getting you back on the road.
The following is a list of gadgets -- updated versions of old faithfuls and new toys to play with -- to have in your trunk's tool kit to assist you in some common roadside dilemmas.
1 - Accutire tire gauge and flashlight
Since space is always scarce in a toolbox, Accutire has combined two tool kit necessities into one handy, easy-to-use tool: the accurate, easy-to-read digital tire gauge and a flashlight. Both are irreplaceable in your toolbox; a flashlight has countless uses and whether you have tire problems or just need some routine maintenance the digital gauge is always a handy accessory.
2 - Automotive tire seal
One of the most annoying problems to have with your vehicle is a slow leak in one of your tires. You notice your tire is low, so you fill it up with air only to find it low again the next day. Having this handy item can get your tire back to working condition long enough to get it checked out by an expert. The SLiME Tire Sealant is injected into the tire as if you were putting air into it, covering the tire’s inside wall. This forms a seal to prevent the air from leaking out of those tiny cracks. If you aren’t ready to purchase a new set of tires, this is a must-have, but treat it as a short-term fix.
3 - Electric car jack
Cars come standard with a jack, but those jacks are often hard-to-use and rather labor-intensive. That is where the portable 12v Micro SuperJack Electric Car Jack comes in; it's a new twist on an old, reliable car tool. It weighs approximately seven pounds, but can lift two tons of vehicle, all while working off your car's cigarette lighter. To lighten your load, this jack is operated by remote control, so instead of pumping or twisting your car up all you have to do is press a button. It comes with a 12-foot long power cable so you can easily reach all four tires.
4 - Diagnostic scanner
Back in the old days, cars were rather simple machines to work on because they didn’t have computers running everything. New cars are designed and built to run off computers and the only problem with modern technology is that the shade-tree mechanic doesn’t have access to the information stored in his car’s computer. Welcome to the 21st century with the diagnostic scanner, which allows you see what your car is thinking, so to speak. Plug this bad boy into the computer jack and it will scan your car's computer and give you a list of all the messages going through it, breaking down the coded messages into user-friendly terminology. The scanner is a very handy tool for people who like to do their own car repairs because it helps pinpoint exactly where the problem is in your car. Also, it allows for preventive maintenance since the scanner interfaces with the malfunction indicator lamp and gives you insight into future problems.
5 - Schumacher JumpStarter
Having a dead battery is a major inconvenience. The Schumacher JumperStarter is a lightweight, easy-to-store, time-saving tool that you must have in your tool kit. This jump starter is only 14 pounds and fits easily into your car's trunk without taking up a lot of space. Simply attach the cables to your battery terminals and start your car. It runs off an internal 12-volt battery that should be recharged every few months just to make sure it’s ready when you need it. To recharge the starter, plug it into a wall outlet and it
will let you know when it’s fully charged.
6 - Gas can
Having a spare container for gas is extremely helpful for instances when you can’t make it to the next gas station. A good two-gallon, spill-proof gas can runs under $15 and will save you a lot stress should your tank run empty. I wouldn’t recommend storing gas in the can for long periods of time; gas can go bad and cause your engine to run poorly.
7 - Electrical meter
This portable electrical meter from Monstronix is simple to use and easy to carry in your toolbox. The meter features probes to reach various engine parts, allowing you to check any electrical problem your car might have and help you find the problem quickly.
All the right tools
Who doesn’t like to play with the latest and greatest toys -- I mean tools -- out there? Stock up on these important, practical tools and enjoy the feeling of driving with complete security. Having the right tools in your trunk can save you a lot of time and some gray hairs, so travel safe and enjoy these latest and greatest tools -- just hope you never have to use them.