Auto Parts

The Top 6 Tools to Pack for Auto Travel

When traveling, drivers usually expect things to go smoothly, but there are some tools to carry with you, just in case, because auto parts do malfunction, and emergencies do happen. Even the most basic tool can be a lifesaver if you find yourself stranded miles from an auto parts store. While the chances of a breakdown may be unlikely, it’s best to be prepared.

What to Pack in Your Toolkit

A hammer is the first thing to pack in your kit. Your hammer can be handy for loosening stubborn auto parts during unexpected repairs. The claw end is useful for prying uncooperative auto parts. The next items are a multi-head screwdriver and an adjustable wrench. Some auto parts are attached with screws, while others use bolts. The next item is a flashlight. If things go wrong, they tend to do so at night. Pliers are useful tools, also. Lastly, duct tape is the driver’s best friend. If something is loose, duct tape it. If a window is broken, cover it with duct tape. If a seat cover rips, you guessed it – use duct tape.

Jumpstarting a Dead Battery

Pliers can scrape corrosion from battery terminals before connecting battery cables, which are available from auto parts stores, when jumpstarting a car. Clean the battery terminals with your pliers and connect the battery cables to the battery terminals. Be sure to connect the battery cables to the corresponding battery terminals. Red battery cables are usually, though not always, positive while the black battery cables are usually, but not always, negative. Attach the positive cables beginning with the dead battery, then the negative starting with the good battery. Start the car with the good battery first, allowing the dead battery to charge for a few minutes before cranking. Wait a few more minutes before removing the cables in the reverse order that they were attached.

Changing a Tire

The most common auto parts to repair are flat tires. To do this you may have to use all of the tools listed, other than the pliers. Start with removing the wheel cover.  To remove the wheel cover, lighting your way with your flashlight, pry it loose with the claw of your hammer or with your screwdriver. Your jack and wheel lug nut wrench should be located near your spare tire. Use the lug wrench to loosen one wheel lug nut at a time, but don’t remove them. If a wheel lug nut is difficult to turn, attach the lug wrench and tap it with your hammer. Be sure that you’re turning the wheel lug nut in a counter clockwise direction. After this, jack the car up slowly. Then remove the lug nuts and the wheel. The spare tire should then replace the flat tire. Replace the wheel lug nuts, but don’t tighten completely. Lower the car slowly and remove the jack. There are usually five lug nuts, and they should be tightened by skipping every other one, conti
nuing around until all are tightened. If there are an even number then you tighten one, then the opposite, repeating with the next pair to the right. Replace the wheel cover, patching it, and other auto parts, with duct tape if it cracked during removal. Visit a tire or auto parts store for a new tire as quickly as possible.
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