What do you need in a compact emergency roadside toolkit?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by OldDog52, Aug 14, 2019.


  1. OldDog52

    OldDog52 Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    Pacific Northwest
    I never actually learned to play very well
    I recently had a flat tire while driving out in the sticks. I started hearing this loud “TAP TAP TAP” noise that turned out to be a good size bolt that went straight into the tire. It had a fender washer on it so the head of the bold was sticking up above the tread. I couldn’t just leave it in. Luckily I was able to pull over at a popular tourist stop (Sahalie Falls). I had to borrow a pair of pliers from someone to unscrew the bolt from the tire. Then started the “SSSSSsssss” sound. Oh and there was no cell service out there.

    The car has one of those compact donut spares, which I was able to get on without any major trouble. Luckily it was more or less properly inflated (I mean who ever checks them?).

    It got me to thinking (duh) about carrying a basic toolkit in the car. Looking on Amazon, there are literally dozens of choices priced from about $20 to $200. I know the tools in those kits are probably of poor quality, but they’d be better than nothing in an emergency.

    What do you consider to be the essentials for a roadside repair kit? I’m thinking:

    • Adjustable Crescent wrench
    • Slip joint pliers
    • Needle nose pliers
    • Philips and flat screwdrivers
    • Strong zip ties in various sizes
    • Flashlight
    • Blanket or tarp
    • Wheel chocks
    • Maybe something for the tire jack to sit on like a block of wood
    • Work gloves
    • Warning triangle(s)
    I’m open to suggestions. Feel free to go nuts. :D
     
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Good list. I'll add Tire fixing tools supplies and a can of "flat fill". In case the spare gets a nail too... (I don't even have a spare in my current ride. :nailbiting::nailbiting:)
     
    OldDog52 likes this.
  3. A AAA membership card.

    Was the fender washer tort?
     
  4. Mktrat

    Mktrat Seriously, are we not doing phrasing anymore?

    Apr 9, 2013
    The Mitten
    The correct socket size for the vehicle and a two foot long breaker bar.

    So much easier than the stupid toys they put in the cars these days.
     
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  5. OldDog52

    OldDog52 Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    Pacific Northwest
    I never actually learned to play very well
    From what I’ve read about that stuff, it should be used only as a last resort. Sometimes all the goop gloms together in one place and throws off the balancing of the wheel. Also it’s no good for large punctures or damaged sidewalls. But yes it’s probably a good thing to have.
     
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  6. Winslow

    Winslow

    Sep 25, 2011
    Group "W" Bench
    I'd add a reflective-striped safety vest, a cheap/disposable rain poncho, and couple of the "FRED" emergency LED flashers. They also come in a 3-pack in a cool little storage bag. Nice & bright, and since they're a source of illumination on their own, they're far more visible at a distance than the option of depending on other people's headlights (which aren't always decently bright or well-aimed) to hit passive triangles set on the ground once they get within range of you.

    I also have an air pump that runs on a 12v / cig lighter plug. It's best to have the car running when using that one, and while it's not very fast, it does work, and saves the labor of pumping things yourself, and/or the trouble of using (and having to get a tire shop to clean out) the inflator-in-a-can gunk.
     
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  7. OldDog52

    OldDog52 Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    Pacific Northwest
    I never actually learned to play very well
    Except there was no cell service. I actually have free roadside assistance coverage but I believe there’s a 50 mile limit on how far they have to go to reach you. I should check that. But regardless, I had no way of contacting them at the time.
     
    Renaissance likes this.
  8. Winslow

    Winslow

    Sep 25, 2011
    Group "W" Bench
    I almost forgot: A tire gauge, appropriate to your wheel / tire size! :thumbsup:
     
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  9. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    Seems to me if you're driving in the sticks(presuming no cell phone service) a fully stocked tool box and cooler should be in the trunk.

    Jumper cables
    Lined windbreaker jacket
    Blanket
    Sunglasses
    Sun block

    You could try texting someone to call for help.
     
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  10. OldDog52

    OldDog52 Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    Pacific Northwest
    I never actually learned to play very well
    The scissor jack and lug wrench that came with the car were just barely adequate for the task. They look very “value engineered”. But they did work.
     
  11. OldDog52

    OldDog52 Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    Pacific Northwest
    I never actually learned to play very well
    Texting someone requires cell service or WiFi internet connection. Neither were available to me.
     
    Gaolee likes this.
  12. Winslow

    Winslow

    Sep 25, 2011
    Group "W" Bench
    This is so true. Both are standard equipment for Mrs. Winslow & myself. :thumbsup:
     
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  13. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    Basic socket set, ratchet and extensions.
    Assorted wrenches and screwdrivers.
    Hammer.
    Vise Grips.
    Jumper cables.
    Tire plug kit, 12 volt tire inflator.
    Spare fan belt.
    Roll of duct tape.
    Quart of oil & trans fluid.
    Gallon of water or antifreeze.
     
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  14. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    I can't fault the list of tools. Since I've had to fix flats on occasion while riding my bike, and live in Wisconsin, I will add one more item: Bug spray. ;) Also, paper map and compass.

    Since we happen to own one, I keep a tow rope in the family car. We once had someone in a 4WD drag us out of the middle of a one lane jeep road when our engine boiled over, so we could let it cool off and think about what to do next.

    I've been in some remote areas, and have found it's worth trying to get cell phone service by hiking up to the highest point that you can safely reach. The signals travel by line of sight.
     
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  15. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    I should have added a tow strap to my list..... I forgot.

    I carry an amazing amount of stuff with me and when I'm towing my racecar I have even more stuff..... generator, battery charger, extra fuel etc.
     
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  16. rendevouz

    rendevouz

    Jan 8, 2013
    You forgot the emergency beer:bag:
     
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  17. TheDirtyLowDown

    TheDirtyLowDown

    Mar 8, 2014
    I recently bought one of those nifty lithium battery car jump starters, and I've kept it in my garage for use starting the older car that I park on the street. Handheld -- super lightweight, and it really works. What I worry about is storing it in the car, even in the spare tire well -- I don't know exactly how hot it gets in summer and cold it gets in the winter, and I worry about the lithium battery, and not wanting to have it catch fire. But, it's really convenient when you need it. I'd carry it on long trips in the winter, just in case...
     
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  18. PWRL

    PWRL

    Sep 15, 2006
    This reminds me of the survival kit scene from Dr. Strangelove. I'd post it, but I'm afraid it'd be a no-no.

    Anyway, What I take on long trips is a can of fix-a-flat, tire plugs, one of those inflators that plugs into the dashboard, sockets and so on. Also, I keep a poncho (a real poncho, not a Sears poncho) and often some food. In the desert, I always keep two gallons of water with me. I usually have a Leatherman, so many basic tools are already in that, and I've used most of them already, so I know they work. Sometimes I have a whole trunk full of tools from work, anyway.

    This also reminds me of one of my great laments: the death of the full-size spare. My old CR-V had one, my Malibu does not, and I couldn't find many vehicles with one, anymore. Mine came in handy a couple of times, and put me back on the road quickly during some very inopportune moments to have a flat. And that's when you have flats, not just any old place. I keep thinking of just buying a full size wheel and retrofitting the trunk to fit it.
     
  19. jchrisk1

    jchrisk1 Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    Northern MI
    True, as far as a last resort. But, definitely a good idea to have on hand. Doubling up on tire plugs and filling the tire with flat fill will get you at least get you somewhere to get your tire fixed. I'd rather drive on an out of balance tire than be stranded.

    I will add to the list,
    Zip ties, rope, duct tape, and heavy wire. Saved my butt more than once.
     
  20. Indiana Mike

    Indiana Mike Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2005
    Triple aaa
    Seriously .
     
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  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Jun 23, 2021

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