Tire maintenance & safety

Essential Tire Tools to Keep In Your Vehicle

Last updated 3/10/2022 - Originally published 9/24/2020
Written by SimpleTire

We all have a toolbox in the garage or inside the house, but what about in the trunk of the car? What if you're on the road and you get a flat tire? Do you have everything you need to take care of it from the road?

It's even more important to keep some tools in the car when you're traveling a long distance because you never know what could happen along the way. Check out our list of essential tire tools to have with you at all times and you'll have a little more peace of mind every time you travel. All of these tools can be stored in the trunk or spare tire area of your vehicle.


If you need to remove nails and other foreign objects from a tire, pliers are your best friend. They also come in handy for grabbing small objects in a pinch.

Tire Plugs

A tire plug will save you from having to put the spare tire on the car on a busy road. It's a sticky plug that you stuff in the hole of your tire. Once you re-inflate the tire, it expands to stop a leak. It should stay in place long enough for you to get to a repair shop and get new tires. We don't recommend driving long distances with a tire plug in place.

Rubber Cement

If your tire plugs aren't sealing in the tire, a little rubber cement will do the trick. Just put some on the tire plug and use the pliers to wedge the plug into place.

Portable Tire Inflator

If an emergency happens on the road, you won't have your air compressor handy so you need a portable way to inflate a tire.


Most cars have a jack in the trunk or under the vehicle, but the jack that comes with your car might not be very easy to operate. When I was a kid, my dad called the jack in his car the "suicide jack" because it was extremely unstable and a little scary to operate. Try out your jack and see how it works. If you need something a little sturdier, run to the nearest auto shop and get a better quality jack. It's better to be prepared like a boy scout than stranded with a jack that won't do the job.

Tire Iron

This one is an obvious tool to have in case of a flat tire. It removes lug nuts from the wheel so you can remove the tire and put on the spare. The tire iron is something that already comes equipped in your car, but make sure it stays in the trunk.

Rag and Hand Sanitizer

Tire problems always seem to happen when you're dressed up for work or a night out. Why can't it happen when you're wearing tennis shoes and gym clothes? If you don't want to carry an extra set of clothes in your car, make sure you've got a rag and some hand sanitizer. Then you can wipe the tire grime off your hands before you go pick up your hot date for the night.


For the same reason you want a rag and something to clean your hands with, you'll want to keep a set of work gloves in the trunk. Not only will they help keep your hands clean but they will also help you out in cold and wet weather as well.

What other items do you keep handy in the car for tire emergencies?

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