Wow, for some reason I didn't get any notifications about responses to this thread, so I apologize for not responding sooner. I loved the comments and yes, it has me rethinking things a bit. Let me try to answer or respond to some of the comments:
1. No, she's not a mechanic. She has helped me do brake jobs, and she helped rebuild the motor in her Montero, but it required a LOT of direction and supervision, and she's not comfortable on her own. She can change a tire, jump a dead battery, and could swap out her car battery, but not do an alternator. I use these examples, because she recently bought a battery, but needs an alternator! (do kids ever listen?). She didn't have the tools to do the battery, so she had to pay someone. As another example, last fall she was rear ended, and the repair shop could not source some of the parts (like the taillights), so I shipped them to her and she managed to install them using the universal screwdriver thing that was in the glovebox.
2. She has AAA Plus, and is armed and extremely capable marksman.
3. @billebob, you might be in a different economic bracket. I bought her 20 year old car for $1,000 in non-running condition, rebuilt a junkyard engine in my garage using YouTube and a bevy of freshly purchased Harbor Freight tools, and then set her free 1,500 miles away after driving said car all the way there and leaving it with her. I have three cars at home, including my wife's, with 186,000 miles, 155,000 miles, and 145,000 miles, respectively. The newest one is 2008 model year. If anyone in this family is getting a new car, its ME damnit!
it will make her look for a boy who has some life skills.
Yeah, that is not her psyche at all. She's a fairly independent Division 1 athlete studying Engineering. She doesn't have the time for boys and "certainly would not need a boy to do something she can do on her own." end quote. LOL. If you ever watched Tim Allen's "Last Man Standing", my daughter is a 6'-4" version of the youngest daughter Eve.
5. That Channellock kit looked pretty nice, even included ratcheting combo wrenches! Too bad its discontinued and out of stock.
6. I LOVE long wrenches. I got a set when I rebuilt the Montero engine, and I use them a surprising amount compared to other wrenches. Those pesky little 10mm nuts on the back of the cooling fan? no problem with those long reach wrenches!
7. So, I think the smart move is to build up a purpose built kit. Two kits actually. A basic set for in the car, and another basic kit for in the home/apartment. We spent a few hours touring Harbor Freight on Sunday, and got to discussing things like hammers, drills, cutters, jewelers screwdrivers, etc....
Special note: Avoid Harbor Freight ratcheting combo wrenches. Their kits are missing sizes like 8mm, 11mm, and 16mm, also their prices have gone WAAAY up. Most socket sets were between $89 and $150. Those were just small 32 piece sets. There is no value there for many of those hand tools anymore. I still like their ratchets, and their impact socket stuff, but you can definitely get cheaper basic sets elsewhere.