Taking a few minutes to assess the contents of your car to be sure that it is equipped with the most practical and necessary items, can save you time and frustration in the future, as well as help to assure your well-being, on your short and long distance journeys. Some drivers have been thankful for their advanced planning when they have been stranded in an isolated location, and others have been happy to avoid high towing costs by being able to deal with their car problem themselves. Most of these essential and suggested car items are in the event of unplanned scenarios.
Tire Inflater & Sealer
Some experts say that using these products on tires can make it more cumbersome to repair the tires, although if you don’t use them and have no other options (such as your phone being without service to call a tow truck) then this could be a good solution to a low tire issue. However drivers of vehicles that have “run flat tires’ don’t have to worry!
Most drivers will find that they use these for their own vehicles or to offer help to someone else more than once during their driving career. If you have a worn battery, your cables may see a lot of use. 🙂
Although it is required for drivers to have their driver’s license, registration, and insurance in their possession while driving, some drivers do not keep their car manual in the car. This can be important, not only when someone unfamiliar with your car is driving it, but also for clarification when one of the many computerized alerts are activated or when the driver needs to program something.
First Aid Kit
Consider a kit that offers more than for the basic cuts and scratches, but has more in the event you have to help with wounds before a person has medical attention.
Have a supply of extra batteries or better yet opt for the crank-handle/wind up model.
Water & Food
Beyond keeping your occupants hydrated, sometimes water can even be used to top off your radiator levels. Energy bars and instant food can ease hunger pangs in an unexpected delay on the road.
Flares or Reflective Triangle
How many times have you been cautioned to avoid a disabled vehicle along the highway because of these being in place? Countless people die each year from unobservant drivers that strike stranded motorists.
Ice (windshield) Scraper
If you live or travel area with winter weather, this is one of the essentials to carry. Drivers sometimes prepare for those icy/snowy road surfaces and the potential of getting stuck by keeping kitty litter, cardboard or carpet remnants, or salt to melt ice.
Multi-tool or Tool Kit
A tire jack & tire irons are an important part of a vehicle’s tool kit. Some experienced with tools recommend a 4-way wrench, as it speeds removal of bolts on a wheel when changing a tire.
Charged Cell Phones
A cell phone can save your life in many situations, particularly a smart phone which can have apps such as maps with turn by turn directions, GPS coordinates, and more. Use one to call a tow truck or local law enforcement if the situation warrants it.
*Additional ideas some drivers find useful to include in their list of car items:
Drivers whose car does not have a built-in tire pressure gauge feature may wish to have a manual tire pressure gauge with them. Duct tape may not only be useful around the house, but the tape has reportedly been to be used to reattach a variety of car parts while on the road. WD-40 is another multipurpose workshop item that can come in handy to loosen bolts and caps while doing such tasks as changing a tire or checking fluids. Although some cars and cell phones have navigation systems, it is recommended to have paper maps on board, too. Some people even like to be prepared with a hand held compass, even though their vehicle may have one on a display panel, as well as a battery powered radio (regular or weather radio), or one that has solar and/or a hand crank. Although emergency crews would have a fire extinguisher and a seat belt cutter and window breaker device, some drivers want to have those if needed on their own. Blankets can be useful to keep occupants warm as well as for multiple uses, even to enjoy as a landing place for a picnic. Extra oil and gas, a folding shovel, tow strap, matches, portable air compressor, a can of tire inflater (Unless you have “run flat tires”), windshield wiper fluid and paper towels can also come in handy.