Frustrating, nerve-racking, frightening – breaking down on the side of the road is not a fun experience. Being prepared for it can make it a lot easier. Here is a list of things we keep in our car in case we do end up on the side of the road.
Roadside Car Repair Kit
Roadside flares and warning triangles
Safety is your first concern. If you break down on the side of a highway, you want to be seen by the other motorist so they don’t accidentally hit you. Depending on the time of day and the road conditions, you will need different types.
At night, a roadside flare is ideal; you can get basic 15 minute emergency road side flares that are one-use or you could invest in an LED roadside emergency flare. During the day, warning triangles will work just as well.
Spare Tire and jack
Some cars come with a spare tire and jack. Check to see if your car does and if so, become familiar with how to get to it and how to change a tire. And check to see if it’s a spare or full tire – if it’s a spare tire, it’ll be smaller than a full and you’ll need to be more cautious on the road until you can change it out for a full tire.
Small Tool Kit
If something does go wrong with your car, you want to be able to do some quick fixes if you can. Keep a small tool kit in your car for these quick fixes. You can usually get a basic tool kit for $30-$70.
Antifreeze and Water and Two Quarts of Oil
Once your radiator is busted, there isn’t much you can do but if you catch it early – like if you’re driving and see the heat rising – you can fix it. Keep some anti freeze and some water in your car (keep them separate, don’t mix them quite yet… the water could also be used for drinking water if need be). Also keep some engine oil on hand. If your car isn’t acting right, pull over and check the oil. If it’s low, you can add some on the spot. Also, it makes it easier to keep track of which oil is for which vehicle if you have multiple vehicles.
Paper Towels / Rags
Needed for when you’re doing repairs or if you just spill your coffee.
Duct tape and WD-40
Is there really any need to explain this one? If something is moving and it shouldn’t, use duct tape. If something isn’t moving and it should, use WD-40.
These are just a couple of things you should keep in your car for emergencies. Check out our blog roll for “Be Prepared for Winter Weather” – a post about what you should be carrying in case you are stuck out in the cold.