The “Oh Shit Kit”

Let’s face it, your beater is going to break down.  Your beloved daily driver, the car that’s taken you on so many adventures, is going to leave you stranded somewhere.  When your beater kicks the bucket are you prepared?

Many new cars come with roadside assistance services and road hazard kits tucked neatly in the trunk.  Not your beater.  It is a bare bones, rugged and noble steed.  Somewhere inside your beater is a set of tools specifically tailored to its most common problems.  Somewhere in your beater you probably carry an “Oh Shit Kit.”

Some classic OSK’s from Amelia. These were original and were fetching $300-$500!!

The “Oh Shit Kit” or OSK is unique to to each beater.  Its a collection of tools amassed for one singular purpose; to get you off the shoulder and back on the road, or at least onto the flatbed.

I had an old Datsun back in high school that had melted through it wiring harness and kept blowing through fusible links (old school fuses).  Instead of forking over my hard earned caddyshack money for a new harness, I spent $20 on a roll on 10 gauge fusible link wire and a cheap soldering kit.  I became a master of roadside (and car wash) electrical repairs.

I also kept an old broomstick in the hatch area. The hydraulic hatch dampers had long since expired, and a broomstick was cheaper and did the job much better than some cheap-o new dampers. Open the hatch. Hear the rust crunching under my fingers and find a hole to shove the broomstick in and prop the hatch up. done. Who needs hatch dampers anyways?

I currently am not using an “Oh Shit Kit”, but here’s what I kept in both the Datsun and the Sentra.

Show us your “Oh Shit Kits” in the comments section!


8mm-19mm wrenches

Stubby Phillips and Flathead screwdrivers

Lug nut socket

My Z
Sorry for the quality. This was my crap-can Datsun.

Breaker Bar


Bottle jack

Butane soldering torch

100ft roll of fusible link wire

Used windshield wiper blade

Extra light bulbs


PB Blaster



8mm-19mm wrenches

Stubby Phillips and Flathead screwdriver

Lug nut socket

It took more than an OSK to get me out of this mess.

Breaker Bar

Pocket knife


Scissor jack





5 thoughts on “The “Oh Shit Kit”

  1. My Volvo came from the factory with one. In addition to the tire iron, which has a very useful pry bar built in, it came with a 10/11 mm wrench, a 12/13 mm wrench, a double ended flat/Phillips screwdriver, and a double ended 2 size Torx screwdriver. You can disassemble about 2/3 of the entire car with just those tools. To that I added a stubby 1/4″/3/8″ drive double sided ratchet drive, with a 10 mm 1/4″ socket on it, a pair of Channel Locks, a pair of wire cutters, a set of Allen wrenches, and a full set of Torx wrenches.I also have zip ties, electrical tape, a few feet of wire, and wire nuts, since my wiring isn’t the greatest. I also save every spare bolt, nut and washer that gets replaced when new ones are provided. I actually put the power steering pump back on in a church parking lot several weeks ago when all the bolts fell out and got lost using just what I had in the car.


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