Piston Slap: Prudent Tool Packing or Junk in the Trunk?

K.P. writes:

Hi Sajeev,

It’s the time of year to start tossing out little-used items so we can get more to replace them. One place I’m looking at is the car. I recall my stash of trunk tools back in the dinosaur years while driving the kind of cars I could afford then:

  1. Duct tape for interior tears, dropped ceiling linings, fixing plastic over windows that dropped off tracks, etc
  2. Pack of “L’eggs” panty hose as temporary water pump belt
  3. Wire clothes hanger as spare exhaust pipe clamp or antenna
  4. Can of WD-40
  5. Long Craftsman slot screwdriver to pop off distributor cap, prying tires, etc
  6. Lug wrench and two-foot pipe as lever (also as protection device)
  7. Couple of flashlights with huge 6V batteries
  8. Visegrips as combination wrench, hammer, and spare window crank for when your little brother yanks the handles off
  9. Bottle radiator leak stop
  10. Tire repair kit with rubber plugs
  11. Blankets and food in winter (since without cell phones it could be a while until rescue)

It’s been years since I’ve thrown a belt or had a flat tire, which makes me think it’s time to update what I keep on hand in the car on cross-country trips. What’s prudent nowadays?

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  • Michael In your research you may have found that after 2024 this model will no longer be part of MINI lineup. I wish you would have driven JCW version. Over an additional 100hp. With launch control it will go 0 to 60 in about 4.6 seconds. Outstanding car.
  • RHD A hybrid small pickup is a no-brainer. Let's go, already! Price it reasonably and every one will fly off of the lot.
  • RHD This is a $3,500 car (assuming you can get a good junkyard transmission and install it yourself) that, once back in usable condition, will be worth about $1,000. Hopefully the guy that spray-painted the wheels black didn't attempt to rebuild the engine himself. That would make it a $5,500 car that's worth $1,000.
  • CEastwood They should , but they won't being fearful of losing those sales of near 30 grand base Tacomas . People thought Hyundai could do this then they did it at laughably expensive prices . And try to get a base Maverick at advertised prices . Go ahead I dare you .
  • Jpurcha Nice. I had bought one from my dad's friend for my first car. University/model airplane hauler.