Who keeps tools in their auto? What you use?

Discussion in 'The Barber Shop' started by Toothpick, Jan 10, 2019.

  1. Toothpick

    Toothpick Moderator

    Turns out I got most this stuff already. Mostly just tools now i need to add
    And the first aid kit needs some help.


    Here’s what’s left from the list. Probably going to eliminate some stuff:

    Adjustable wrench
    15mm wrench for oil drain
    Marine tape
    Small hammer
    Hose clamps
    Needle nose plier with cutter
    Spetznaz shovel
    Crash axe
    Multibit screwdriver
    Tire repair kit
    Vise grips
    4 way lug wrench
  2. Good stuff! As for the first aid kit, IMO don't buy pre-stocked (they're often have sub-par contents) instead assemble your own. You can fill it with better quality products and to any specific needs you or your family may have.
  3. /\ well done!
  4. In addition to a couple of screwdrivers and a pair of needle nose pliers, I keep about 50-100' of paracord, a Leatherman multi-tool with a Tekton (14) nut driver set that fits the multi-tool and (most important) a cheap fixed-blade Mora knife in case I need something larger than the Spyderco Delica I always have in my pocket. Depending on the season and how far I am from home, I may also have a disposable cig lighter, an Allstart jump starter with AC inverter & light and a small air compressor that clamps onto the battery for power.
  5. I have a cloth tool bag in the truck that has a full set of wrenches, a folding knife, a utility knife, screwdrivers, pliars, channel locks, vise grips, hammer, cutters, a small wire brush, sandpaper, electrical tape, duct tape, hose clamps, zip ties and several more items like this that I can't think of at the moment. I also have a nice Husky 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2 inch socket set that has three ratchets and about every socket that I could possibly want or need in it. Not a big fan of Husky tools but I bought this because the layout of the set was so nice. No wasted space and just jam packed with tools. It's rather extensive and came in a nice large black case that, while very large, would still fit under or behind the back seat of the truck.

    I carry a lot of tools, likely more than most people have at home. I carry so many tools because, when we'd go camping a while back I'd sometimes have to work on an ATV or dirt bike. So having the right tools on hand was the difference between the kids having a great time riding or sitting in the camper complaining. The truck is a diesel and the added weight doesn't seem to impact my gas mileage all that much so the extra weight isn't a big deal for me.

    I also have a nice flashlight, a tow strap, ratchet straps, a set of very good jumper cables, a 4-way lug wrench and a tire pump that plugs into the cigarette lighter. There's a partially depleted first aid kit that includes the basics with the addition of some steri-strips (these can be used in place of stitches to close a serious cut). The steri strips have saved myself and several others trips to the hospital. I've added them to all of our first aid kits and have some under the removable liner in my dopp kit as well for when we travel. Great to have on hand.

    Being in a warmer climate I try to keep things like some extra drinking water and a gallon or two of premixed coolant in the truck during the warmer months. Heavy blankets and things like that aren't as important.

    While I haven't had to use much of these supplies myself I have saved quite a few other people with the tools, water, coolant, jumper cables and medical supplies. I try to help people out if I can while still staying safe myself.

    I have changed a few tires on the side of the road and the 4 way lug wrench sure does come in handy to speed up that task. With cars flying by it can be a little nerve wracking so it's best to get done and out of the way as quickly as possible. Another highly recommended item to have on hand if you're one that would change your own tire.

    What I don't have in the truck that I should is a fire extinguisher. It would certainly suck to watch your vehicle catch fire and not be able to do anything about it. I should add a nice pair of leather work gloves as well.
  6. ackvil

    ackvil Moderator

    A quality flashlight, a Leatherman tool, two screwdrivers (regular and phillips), vise grips, and although not a tool an essential: spare fuses.
  7. A must, unless you can see in the dark. Being old, I keep a clip on hat light in my car.
  8. ackvil

    ackvil Moderator

    Another thing to have is an air pump that works off of your auto battery.
  9. Toothpick

    Toothpick Moderator

    I’m working with a regular cab Ford Ranger here. IDK where I’m going to store a 4 way lug wrench and an air pump. Although, I don’t currently have a car jack it would be a good idea to make one fit in there somewhere, then of course I’d also need the 4 way lug wrench. I see foldable lug wrenches that seem like a better fit for me.

    So let’s see: 4 way lug wrench, air pump, tire jack. I might as well get a truck bed toolbox.
  10. Four-way could be set against the back wall of cab, I would think. I do that in my Dodge. Fourways are my go to tire tool, because I drive Dodge and Fiat. They are less stressful on the FCA/CDJR chrome capped lug bolts/nuts, but they have three unneeded ends. Gorilla has a nice collapsible tire tool. The Gorilla might be better for limited space if saving that type hardware isn’t a concern. Four-ways spread the force better and tend not to crack the chrome cap as readily. They also make breaking abolt lose easier if overtightened. Men with enough foresight to carry tools probably wouldnt encountermthat but some shops will surprise you if you have your work done by others.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
  11. Don’t forget the deck of playing cards:)
  12. Toothpick

    Toothpick Moderator

    Ahh crap! How could I forget!
  13. Instead of a four way, a 1/2 drive breaker bar is a good choice. Also helps if it's one of the longer ones in case the gorilla at the tire shop hammered them down until the impact wrench stopped. Most of the 12v choices for airing up tires are not that good. The rule of thumb is that if it plugs into the cigarette lighter, it's probably slower than molasses in wintertime. A can of fix a flat, plus a plug kit and extra glue are also good additions. My plug kit saved me the work of putting on the spare once...and thousands of miles later the plug is still holding.
  14. That's the way I have my four-way, and I have a regular cab truck.

    Looks good, Jason. To finish your first aid kit I'd stop by the local EMT station or ask your doctor. I worked emergency services for years but not as a medic. Also an Israeli bandage or two or three doesn't take up much space, and super glue and some type of tape has been used for decades to seal minor wounds instead of stitches. For scissors get a set of EMT ones. Good stuff.

    Not really any need for a bed toolbox...I even have a floor jack behind the seat of my regular cab truck and still have space to put some things when I have to travel, but I do have a regular sized truck and not a compact. AAAANNDD...drum roll...I have a very good locking bed cover for the truck bed along with a cargo bar. That's about like putting things in the trunk of a car but everything like you are talking about goes behind the seat.


    A wise man here.
  15. I detest 4 ways. Here's what I have for tire repair...

    Viair 12v compressor
    Screen Shot 2019-01-12 at 8.15.07 AM.png

    Set of lug sockets
    Screen Shot 2019-01-12 at 8.17.33 AM.png

    Extendable ratchet
    Screen Shot 2019-01-12 at 8.12.18 AM.png
    1/2 in. Drive Extendable Ratchet

    A jack takes up a fair amount of space and can be dangerous to store in the cab (in an accident). Your truck did have a factory jack, is it gone? Perhaps sourcing a factory replacement from a breaker yard?
  16. Toothpick

    Toothpick Moderator

    Def. don’t have room for the compressor. That would be ideal in an extended cab though.
    The ratchet and lugs are doable though. I like that better than the 4 way
  17. The compressor is pretty compact, about 6"x6"x10".

    So without a compressor a tire repair kit is not much good. Just make sure your spare tire is in good shape and inflated. Of course, without a jack, all the tools and spare are pretty useless.
  18. This is what I have. I love it. No need for an outlet and extension cord, just clamp it on the battery for power. Perfect for someone like me without a garage or for when my daughter in a nearby apartment and would call saying her tires were low and the idiot light was on. I keep it in a small bag with a gauge and extra caps. Doesn't take up much room at all. I use AAA or OEM lug wrench for a flat.
  19. So I went back and read the whole thread again, because I was a bit confused about what your goals/needs are Jason. Still am to some extent.

    You want tools to be kept in your truck because you don't want to go to your shed and you want to be able to do some roadside repairs but wouldn't know where to begin if you needed too. You don't have a lot of space in your vehicle and don't have a jack to lift the vehicle. This is the what I'm getting from your posts, forgive me if I am mis-interpreting any of this.

    I can pretty much handle any repair I need to, but without the proper parts all the tools in the world won't help me get back on the road. So let's look at this from a practical standpoint given what I think your wants/needs are.

    Most common roadside repair is going to be flat tire & dead battery.

    Flat tire
    -Jack (factory jack is typically stowed out of the way, safely, and they're fairly compact)
    -Spare tire (check it at least quarterly if not monthly for proper inflation/condition)
    -Lug-nut Ratchet (much nicer to use and more compact (extendable) than a 4 way or the factory wrench)
    -Set of lug nut flip sockets (6 sizes that will cover most any wheel lug, handy if you need to help out someone else)
    -Tire repair kit (What if your spare is no good or if you run over something that causes multiple tire failures? I use a Safety-Seal kit, much higher quality than the "Slime" type kits)
    -12v Inflator (you need to fill your tire on the side f the road somehow...)

    Dead battery
    Getting a jump is is great but what if there is no one around with another battery? A couple years ago I switched out my heavy/bulky jumper cables for a Li-ion jump pack. Compact, lightweight and saves you from reliance on a stranger for help. Mine also has USB ports for phone charging if needed. The downside is that it's electronic and you need to check the charge at least monthly.

    Unless your going to carry a set of belts/hoses/a spare alternator, etc... I really dont see the point in carrying a lot of tools in the vehicle. Also keep in mind that many cars are fastener size specific, For example, I can do 75% of work in the engine bay of a Japanese make with 8, 10, 12, 14mm tools, a Euro make with 10, 13, 15mm tools. So forget about the 100 piece tool set that is mostly filler crap that you wont need. Build piece meal vehicle specific kits that will save a lot of weight and space.

    -Pliers, I use Knipex 08 12 145 combination needle nose. These will do anything I need for simple roadside repairs.
    -Screwdriver, a simple muti-bit screwdriver does anything I'll need.
    -utility knife
    -Scissors, I keep a pair of Engineer PH-55 that will cut through most anything and double as excellent "EMT" shears.
    -I ditched the duct tape and electrical tape for self fusing silicone tape.
    -Bailing wire. Broke an exhaust hanger? Wire it up. 3-4ft coiled comes in really handy for a multitude of roadside fixes.
    -Head lamp (and extra batteries). I want to work hands free so this puts the light where I need it and allows me to work unencumbered.
    -Flashlight, I have one in my glove box but I went to a small magnetic LED mechanic light that lets me stick it or hang it where needed, also works as a flashlight. Mine uses the same type of batteries as my headlamp. On batteries, I only keep Energizer lithiums in the car, they are resistant to leaking and handle a wide temp range in storage.
    -55ga drum liner or "contractor bag". This is my tarp, poncho, ground mat, etc...
    -A pair of work gloves and a couple rags

    That's all I carry. 5 simple tools and a few simple consumables.I dont carry engine fluids or WD40 (but WD40 makes sense for drying out electrical connectors). I check our vehicles often for fluid levels and tire pressures which keeps roadside repair necessity at a minimum.

    I have a first aid kit too, but that is separate.

    My line of thought is that I want to spend the minimum of time on the side of the road doing anything. It's dangerous.

    Edit: I almost forgot, I do keep spare head light bulbs. Also, when I change windshield wipers I throw the old ones in the back just in case. Not being able to see is bad.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
  20. If your spare tire is under the rear of the bed you might want to make sure you can get it down seen a lot of them so rusted they had to be cut off.
    I own and drive regularly a '92 Ranger w/388k mile on orig 4cyl engine and 5 speed trans.
    The under bed mount is long gone. It's become my hunting, fishing, yard work and honey do truck.
    For clearance/mud I put the tallest tires i could get on the orig rims. I put in a truck bed tool box from tractor supply to keep stuff out of the limit cab space. I have two spare tires in the bed bolted down.

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