15 Simple Things You Should Always Have in Your Car from 15 Simple Things You Should Always Have in Your Car
15 Simple Things You Should Always Have in Your Car
15 Simple Things You Should Always Have in Your Car
Drivers should always stay positive and hope for the best, but they should also always plan for the worst. Don’t ignore this simple cliché when it comes to being on the road, especially as the weather gets cold. Your cell phone is by no means enough. Don’t ever get caught unprepared. Make sure that you have the items on this list in your car. It can save you and your passengers’ lives.
Proper inflation is important for car safety. Tires will wear evenly, which means that they will last for longer, improving your car’s economy. The tires are also handled better and easier when the pressure is right. Traction is also more dependable, making the car a safer vehicle. The recommended pressure for the car is written on the driver’s doorjamb.
Have you ever been driving on a highway, when you have to slow down, you hit the brakes and nothing happens? You press all the way and the car is still going fast? This is a scary feeling. The brake fluid may be leaking. Pouring some in will get you to a car service so you can get the problem fixed. Also, brake fluid serves as a lubricant of all movable parts and prevents corrosion.
Check your engine oil and if the level is low, you should add a quart. Oil’s main purpose is to lubricate all the parts of the device. It’s also important for the prevention of parts’ wear; it keeps surfaces clean and the engine cool; and it hinders corrosion. No wonder you need the oil changed every 3,000 miles. People sometimes forget and the oil breaks down and wears out. When that happens, it doesn’t lubricate or absorb heat as well, causing unforeseen problems.
Cell phone charger
You should always have an extra charger in your car. Batteries die much faster when it’s cold. New cars usually have phone docking and charging capabilities, but being over-prepared can never hurt you. Consider buying a universal USB car charger to save money and space. The car, however, can quit on you and if its battery is dead you won’t be able to charge your phone.
Flat tire sealant
Most newer cars don’t include spare tires anymore to save money manufacturing the vehicle. You can’t drive around with a flat tire, can you? But you also don’t want to be changing it with hundreds of cars flying by you at a speed of 55+mph. This is where a sealant in a can comes in handy. Do some research and make sure the sealant is compatible with your specific tire type.
How many times have you forgotten to turn the car lights off when you park and got home? Very cold temperatures, typical in the winter in some states, can also kill the battery. Everybody needs a boost every now and then. Finding a car is easy but many people forget the jumper cables. You may also end up saving someone else’s day. That’s always a nice feeling.
Everything that has a computer or depends on electricity can give up on you. Keeping a road map in your car may so 1985 but it can save your life. You can’t access Google to see where you have to go if your phone is dead or has no service. You don’t want to take a chance in case you end up encountering a bear. You can also use the printed road maps as a heat source if you stuff them under your jacket or blanket.
First aid kit
Bandages, antiseptic cream, hot and cold packs, sterile gauze pads, adhesive tape, tweezers, non-latex gloves, breathing barrier – look for a kit that has all of these items. Add a hand sanitizer, bulb suction device for flushing wounds and a thermometer. Know how to properly use all of them (but hopefully you won’t have to).
Insurance and car information
You should be able to contact your insurance provider whenever you need help. It’s good to have their number and all of the information they will ask for over the phone in handy. A lot of people don’t keep their registration information in the glove compartment because of the identity theft risk but it often is required by law.
Siphon pump or fuel container
You have to have at least one of these two items. One of the most common reasons people get stranded is because they run out of gas. Don’t put yourself in that situation. Always make sure your tank is at least half full and that you have a small not entirely full fuel container. A siphon pump can come be useful if there is no gas station nearby and a fellow driver offers you a hit from his or her tank.
Water and food
A top priority must be to stay hydrated. Don’t buy gallons of water because they are too heavy and take up too much space. Instead, get a pack of small water bottles that you can put anywhere in the car. Make sure to carry a few extra refillable bottles just in case. Pick non-perishable food items that will keep you full for longer and won’t take too much space. The best snacks for these kinds of situations are high-calorie energy and protein bars.
You can never go wrong with having extra cash with you. Unless you got lost hiking in the wilderness, everything you don’t have in your emergency bag and you need, you can buy. Bring cash because many places don’t take cards, have a minimum, or don’t have an ATM.
Duct tape can do wonders. Use it to patch leaks until help gets to you. The radiator hose is probably cracked if your car starts overheating. Duct tape will fix that. It’s great to reattach parts of the car that have come loose as a result of hitting bumps and potholes. All of these solutions are temporary but will save you a lot of trouble on the road.
Your car breaking down in the middle of the road in the cold winter means no heater. Emergency blankets – you probably know them as “space blankets” – don’t cost much. The regular kind will do as well. Stack the car with a few – at least one per passenger. Bring wool blankets, which are even warmer, as an alternative. They are best for moist conditions.