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Please recommend basic tools for Accord EX '04 v4 Automatic

Yesterday my shift got stuck. A Phillips set saved me. I was able to remove the shift handle, depress and get out of park. Now I want to buy a basic tool set.
Can anyone recommend the basics I should have and keep in my trunk? Any brand of tools recommended over others? Recommend any particular place to buy? (Local Sears has a sale)

Craftsman tools work as good as anything else on the market.

And since you’re working on a Honda, you want all the wrenches/sockets to be metric.


You need a very accurate tire pressure gauge and a 12v air pump that either connects to the battery or plugs into the power port (cigarette lighter) in the dash or console. Most of the time someone has trouble today, its with tires.

You only need tools that you know how to use. Unless you know a little about car maintenance, the tools won’t do you much good.

Its a good idea to have a spare quart of oil, even if your vehicle doesn’t use/loose any and a gallon of distilled water. You might need the water if the car doesn’t and that is why I would carry distilled water instead of coolant. You can use the water in the radiator or drink it as needed, but you cannot drink the coolant.

I also carry a “space blanket” and a cheap disposable poncho. They cost about a buck each but can be lifesavers.

And a roll of duct tape and some heavy wire.

Here’s a basic tool set that will do most of what you want for $99 at Sears. See if they have one at your local store and check it out. If you like it after looking it over and handling it, then consider buying it. I work on my own cars when the job isn’t too big, and I use the 1/4", 3/8" and 1/2" sockets as well as the box and open end wrenches. The set is a little short on box/open ind wrenches, but so are the others at Sears unless you get a higher priced set. Everything in that set is something I’ve used.

To keep in your trunk?
The set that Jt linked looks like a pretty decent basic set, but I can’t see dragging SAE tools around anymore. Everything you’re likely to need on the road will be metric.

Sets of 3/8" drive standard sockets, deep sockets, a 3/8" drive ratchet, extensions in the three basic lengths, regular and short “common” and Phillips screwdrivers, a pair of vice grips, a pair of needle nose, a lug wrench, a torque wrench, some zip ties, and perhaps some duck tape should be all you’ll need to get you out of most emergencies. You can mix & match brands, as long as the tools aren’t dollar store tools. Tools like Snap On are great, but IMHO the high cost can’t be justified for an emergency set. Craftsman is a great tool that can be found at a reasonable price.

Perhaps the most important things to carry are a AAA membership, a cell phone, and a credit card. Those are likely to be the ones you use the most.

Harbor Freight Tools
has good prices on decent tools. They get badmouthed a lot, but you’re not talking about opening a shop, just getting out of most emergencies, and they’re great for keeping in the trunk for emergencies without spending a whole lot.

Keep tools in your trunk? Seriously, just how many things can the average person fix on the road anyway. Good spare tire and jack, cell phone to call AAA or some other road service and possibly a battery jump box.

Besides, how many people know how to work on a Honda Accord V4 ? Sorry, I could not help myself.

Volvo made a good point. I keep a tool box in my trunk, but with the exception of the lug wrench and the torque wrench it only gets used for helping friends with projects, and very rarely in an emergency. In the old days before cell phones and when carburetors and distributors were the up-to-date ways of doing things, a toolbox in the trunk was a much more useful thing than it is today.

The tire change tools, a spare, the AAA membership, the cell phone, and the credit card are really the only absolute musts today. I remain bewildered by how many cars today come without a spare.

First off congratulations on obtaining the only V4 Accord in the world. Hold on to it, it might be a museum piece some day. But seriously, I would just keep some jumper cables, a jack, a spare, a lugnut wrench, maybe a quart or two of oil, a gallon of drinking water, a Philips head screw driver and a flathead screwdriver, at most.

There’s very little I’d try to do on the road, so I carry a very minimal collection of tools. I have a screwdriver with the ends that flip around to give you two different regular and Phillips sizes, a crescent wrench, pliers, and a Swiss Army knife (with a corkscrew for real emergencies!). I have a good dial-type tire gauge too, of course. Finally, I have a pair of disposable dishwashing gloves to keep my hands clean if I end up having to change a tire.

I do suggest checking if there are any tools you need to replace a headlight, as that’s one repair that you want to be able to do quickly on the road.

That tool set linked by Mr. Sanders is a whale of a deal. Since the price is dirt cheap for what you’re getting and seeing as how you do not need SAE sizes on a Honda, how about this suggestion.

Buy that set along with a small tote box and separate the SAE from the Metrics. Keep the Metrics in the small tote and haul that around in the trunk while keeping the SAE stuff around the house?

I’ve carried a small tote in my trunk for decades with an assortment of tools and a basic code reader to get me out of a jam; or others whom I’ve stopped to help.
I’ve also got a Crown Royal bag full of misc. small stuff for any emergencies that may pop up. Wire ends, few pieces of vacuum line, half a dozen assorted wheel weights, fuses and fusible links, spare circuit breaker, and so on.

I’ve also printed off a few copies of electrical schematics on the engine/trans controls to keep in the tote; just in case.

Sorry to be mean, but if the OP doesn’t even know that his Honda has an inline 4 (not V4) the only thing he should carry is a cell phone, credit card, and a AAA card.

Everyone has to start somewhere. Maybe the OPs education can start here.

In addition to a good tool box I used to carry a fuel pressure tester, voltage tester, big hammer, spare computer, spare belt, spare etc. but then traded cars. I always carry a tool box but can’t remember the last time I used any of the tools on a car. Its usually when I need something where I’m at. I did add one of those booster batteries but have never had to use it. I’d take the whole house along if I could though. I remember my VW came with a little set of tools that would fit in the glove box, so year, take what you know how to use and use the cell phone for the rest.

I’d just spend time reading the owners manual(s) cover to cover. Then get all tools mentioned there.

I’m a driveway diyer. Here’s the tools I keep in my Corolla’s trunk, if that’s of any help

  • 25 feet of nylon rope
  • A magnetic multi-bit screwdriver, with 6 bits of various configurations inside the handle
  • A 10 mm combination wrench to tighten the battery connections and battery hold down
  • A hefty 1/2 inch breaker bar and corresponding socket that fits the wheel lug nuts. That tool has come in very handy.
  • Small fire extinguisher

If I’m going out of town I’ll usually bring along a small metric socket set and a small tool box with some more hand tools, several sizes and versions of vise-grips in particular, and my infamous bent screwdriver, but for around town the 5 items above are all I carry.

Even today there are helpful people who will see someone stranded and stop to help out. So, to have only tools the driver knows how to use, which in many cases means nothing, means helpful people cannot help at all. Don’t overdo the tools, but have some basics in case someone who knows how to use them stops to help.

This is especially true for cute young women who wear short skirts. They get more offers of help. Just kidding, cadquilla.

If I stumble upon a cute young woman in a short skirt and can’t help her with the tools I have, I’ll probably call in a helicopter… :blush: