Simple tools that car owners should keep in the trunk

12966724_SHaving a mechanic in the car would come in handy when your tire starts flumping on the freeway or when your engine refuses to crank. Unfortunately, life doesn’t always work that way.

Even if you consider the underside of your hood as foreign as the dark side of the moon, there are some simple tools you can use to keep your vehicle running properly. And don’t worry, you don’t have to be a mechanic to use them. Here are some everyday gadgets that will help keep your vehicle on the road.

  • A shop towel and funnel: Pretty simple, right? But those two tools will help you maintain the right amount of oil in your engine. That’s important. Oil is a lubricant that keeps your engine running smoothly. Without it, your engine could suffer serious damage. The shop towel will help you check the oil. The funnel will prevent a mess if you have to add a quart.
  • Jumper cables: We’ve all had forgetful moments when we’ve left our headlights on. Although some of us have been lucky enough to have our engines crank afterward, others have found their batteries as dead as a burnt-out light bulb. Jumper cables will allow you to hook up your battery to someone else’s to give your vehicle enough juice to get going again.
  • A lug nut wrench and jack: These handy-dandy devices will help you change a tire if you find yourself stranded along the freeway with a flat. Just position the jack beneath the frame of the car, lift the vehicle high enough to remove the tire and unscrew the lug nuts using that odd-looking, cross-shaped wrench.
  • A tire-pressure gauge: Although many drivers use their eyeballs to measure the inflation level of their tires, it’s probably wise to invest a couple bucks in one of these gadgets, which will help keep your wheels in tip-top condition.

Sound simple enough? Those tools will do wonders for making you better prepared on the road.

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