No matter your driving needs – whether it’s running errands or embarking on a road trip – having the right car accessories can make all the difference in reducing stress, relieving headaches, and preventing unexpected repairs along the way. These essential must-haves could save you from expensive repairs while on the road!
1. Handheld Inflator
Handheld inflators are indispensable accessories that every driver should keep in their car. These inflators connect directly to a 12-volt power outlet in your vehicle, making them easily accessible during on-road emergencies and for home use. The best models feature both digital and dial gauges, making it effortless to select the proper air pressure setting. They also come with preset inflation modes, LED lighting capabilities, and even an SOS flash mode for emergencies. Additionally, they are portable yet durable, with sturdy plastic or metal parts and long cords that offer plenty of reach. The finest handheld inflators even have thermal overload protection to prevent overheating or burnout.
When using a handheld inflator, start by removing the valve cap before connecting your pump hose and beginning to pump. It may take several repetitions to fully inflate the tire, so take frequent breaks to conserve energy and rest when needed. Many hand pumps offer switches between high volume and high pressure modes, which helps save energy. Some even come equipped with gauges, allowing you to track the air pressure as it fills and automatically shut off at your desired setting.
Cordless inflators offer another solution, as they connect directly to your vehicle’s battery, providing maximum inflation power. This feature is especially handy for commuters covering long distances or for those with multiple vehicles needing servicing. Typically, these pumps contain lithium-ion batteries with rechargeable features, allowing you to top off their charge during use.
2. Pressure Gauge
A pressure gauge is an essential component of using a car tire pump, as it enables easy identification of any issues or inefficiencies with your tires’ air pressure levels. Both analog and digital gauges are available, but digital gauges offer many advantages over analog ones. They can be programmable and offer more options beyond just measuring pressure.
Digital pressure gauges use transducers to measure liquid and gas pressure levels around them and display this data on an LCD display screen. Additionally, these devices may generate output signals and have data logging capabilities or customizable engineering units, providing more flexibility.
Most pressure gauges are designed to measure gauge pressure, which refers to atmospheric pressure measured relative to ambient atmospheric conditions. Gauge pressure is zero-referenced, meaning it includes atmospheric weight as it changes with elevation or weather conditions. A Bourdon tube pressure gauge is one of the most commonly used mechanical devices for measuring gauge pressure, using a C-shaped tube sealed at one end which moves a pointer according to applied pressure with relatively high accuracy.
When checking tire PSI, find a gas station with free pumps offering open air hoses. Crouch down by your low tire, hold onto the air hose against its valve stem, and read off the numbers from your gauge until they match the desired PSI rating.
3. Work Gloves
Work gloves provide essential protection from sharp objects, punctures, and chemicals while shielding your skin from cold temperatures or harsh weather elements. They also offer extra padding to reduce fatigue in your hands.
There are automotive-specific gloves that have been specifically engineered for use. They range from dexterity-enhancing leather gloves with touchscreen capability and soft terry cloth thumb areas designed to wipe away sweat, to gloves with insulation against electricity, reinforced knuckle protection, or flameproof and cutproof materials that provide additional safety measures.
Mechanic gloves should fit securely without being too tight in order to provide maximum grip while working on vehicles and machinery. Furthermore, durable materials should withstand frequent washings and heavy use. Many auto parts stores offer their own brand of mechanic gloves, or you can find other varieties at discount tool shops, salvage yards, and swap meets.
Mechanix Wear gloves offer high quality at an economical price point, and customers rave that the gloves provide flexibility and durability without showing signs of wear and tear quickly. Machine washing makes care easier too! Just make sure to find your ideal size using their size chart. Note that gloves with breathable material may absorb oil or coolant, which could eventually ruin them over time!
4. Car Jack
Car maintenance tasks often require the use of a jack, so having one readily available is essential. However, it’s important to be cautious when using a jack, as improper jacking techniques could cause irreparable suspension damage or frame corrosion. Always follow the guidelines in your owner’s manual for best practices and use wheel chocks or blocks beneath the tires that you plan to jack up. Furthermore, use jack stands if you need to get underneath the vehicle while it is lifted, as unexpected falls could result in serious injury.
Hydraulic jacks, also known as floor or bottle jacks, operate by having a metal base section with a lever-like rod tool protruding on one side. You position this rod against one edge of your vehicle before cranking it slowly back and forth to pump hydraulic fluid through its cylinder and lift your car or truck.
Hydraulic jacks come in various types, depending on their intended use. High-lift jacks are great for off-roading adventures as well as changing tires on uneven ground, while other varieties such as low-profile floor jacks provide close workspaces.
Remember, having these must-have accessories for your car tire pump can save you from unexpected headaches and costly repairs on the road. So, equip yourself with these essentials and enjoy a worry-free driving experience!