Keep the right gear in your car to make the difference between getting to your destination safely and avoiding a costly situation or being stranded on the roadside.
Make sure your car has the right stuff!
While we can’t prepare for everything, we can be prepared for the most common problems.
Jack and lug nut wrench – No brainer right? If you have custom wheels and/or locking lug nuts make sure your lug nut wrench is the right size and you have the lug nut key in the vehicle.
Spare tire and a flat tire repair canister – You will need these if you get a flat. Some newer vehicles don’t even have a spare tire. A flat tire repair canister can save a tire change.
Tire pressure gauge – Keeping your tires properly inflated improves your mileage and reduces tire wear. Keep this gauge handy and check your pressure every 3 months.
Flashlight – Because breakdowns happen at night. A cell phone might work, but you may want to save your cell phone battery for emergency calls. A flashlight also makes it easier for other drivers to see you.
Jumper cables – Ever leave a light on in your car? Cold or hot weather can also cause your battery to fail. Get a set and leave them in your car.
First aid kit – Whether there is an accident or you just need a bandage for a sports injury, having a first aid kit in your car is a must!
Blanket – Either a small space blanket or something to keep you warm or prevent shock. Hopefully you never need it, but just in case….
Water – Put a couple of water bottles in your car. Dehydration will become a problem before you starve to death. You can also use this in your radiator or for washer fluid in a pinch. Link to auto hydration post
Basic tools – Ideally a set of wrenches, pliers, and a flathead and phillips screwdriver. A multipurpose tool can work in a pinch, but will limit what you can do. Include a set of work gloves and a shop rag as well. You will appreciate them if you have to work with something hot or oily.
Duct tape – You can fix almost anything with duct tape. Need we say more?
Motor oil – If your car uses or leaks oil, be sure to carry extra with you. Your engine will fail without oil and it is a costly repair. A $4 quart of oil is a pretty good deal!
Take a Hike:
Get these top 12 essentials and put them in your car asap.
If you have never changed a tire or jumped a car battery, try it this weekend. Don’t wait to figure it out when you are stuck on the roadside on a rainy, dark night.
When it gets below freezing outside it is a good idea to keep your gas tank above half full. It will reduce moisture build up in your tank and help you survive that killer snow storm that strikes without warning.
When hiking last month, we got up early and headed to the trailhead. When we drove in the lot there was a car with “Help” written in the frost on the window. We stopped over to see what we could do. The couple had spent the night in their car because they had a dead battery and didn’t have jumper cables. Could that have been you?
One of the essentials is motor oil, so see Keeping your car hydrated – 6 must have fluids.