We fill our cars with all kinds of useless rubbish. CDs, litter, old receipts, for example. If you’ve got children, your car is probably full of toys and dummies too. Have you ever stopped to think what items should actually be in your car? Discard the useless stuff and make sure your car is stocked with useful essentials. This exhaustive checklist will provide you with everything you need.
When you’re on the road, you never know what will happen. There’s always the risk of breakdown. Engine failure and battery failure are common breakdown causes. They often come from nowhere and aren’t always preventable. When the worst happens, you need to be prepared. That is as simple as having the correct tools and equipment with you at all times.
Many of the items on this list will help you fix a breakdown. Others will help you deal with a crash or a breakdown that can’t be fixed at the side of the road. Some are just everyday vehicle items that will help you keep good maintenance of your car. Carrying them is just good sense. They will extend your car’s lifespan and reduce the likelihood of a major breakdown. Without further ado, here are the 9 things that should be in your car at all times.
Emergency Safety Kit
A breakdown or collision can happen to anyone. No matter how careful you are, or how well you look after your car, everyone is at risk. You can never predict the actions of other drivers. At the same time, you can never fully prevent a mechanical problem. All the maintenance in the world won’t save an engine when it finally gives out. When the worst happens, you need to be prepared. That means keeping an emergency safety kit, stocked full of useful items.
First and foremost, this should include a first aid kit. If you have been involved in a collision, it is important to tend to any surface wounds quickly. Even in normal driving conditions, illness can hit anyone. It’s always best to have medicine on hand. This is especially true if you have a specific illness that can strike.
The emergency kit should also have a flashlight for any late night emergencies. You will be able to look under the hood and check people for any injuries. You should also keep water bottles, energy bars, a blanket and some cash in here too. You never know how long you might have to wait it out.
Too many people leave their license, registration and car manual tucked away at home. If something happens out on the road, they are no good in your cupboards! If you are stopped by a policeman they will always want to see a license and registration document. If you are involved in a crash, it’s best to have your insurance information with you. That way you can deal with the situation quickly. Finally, you should always carry your car manual with you. When you buy a car at www.harratts.co.uk, keep the manual in the car from the beginning. It contains vital information that will be useful in emergencies.
Spare tyre and a jack
A tyre can burst without any warning on the road. Continued wear can slowly degrade them to the point of exhaustion. On the other other hand, a small pothole or curb can cause devastating damage. Even small cuts and marks can develop and cause a burst tyre. When this happens, you need a quick fix. A spare tyre is the best solution. Always keep a jack and the right tools in the boot as well or the spare tyre is useless! Practice replacing a tyre every now and then so you know what to do in an emergency.
A failed battery is the cause of 50% of all roadside breakdowns. You can eliminate this possibility by checking the charge regularly. However, batteries will always die and invariably they will wait for the worst possible moment! When this happens, have some jump leads on hand to help jump start the car. This should at least give you enough juice to get to the nearest garage.
As well as the spare and the jack, there are other things you should keep with you for tyre care. A tyre pressure gauge is the most important here. Keep it in your car and use it every time you fuel up. Get into the habit of checking the tyre pressure regularly. The correct tyre pressure is vital for the economic running of your car. Cars are also safer at their optimum tyre pressure.
A proper map
Anything that relies on electricity is a liability when it comes to breakdowns and long journeys. GPS and mobile phone maps are great out on the road, but if they run out of charge, you’ve got a problem. Keep a physical map in your car and you’ll always be able to get yourself out of trouble.
A bit of carpet
This is a strange one but it will help you out of a sticky situation, especially in the winter. If you find yourself stuck in mud, or snow, a small piece of carpet is your best friend. Simply stick it under the wheels for that extra bit of traction. It might just help you escape from the mud. If you live in a rural area, this is vital.
Ice scraper and de-icer
With winter approaching, this is one of the most important tools in your car. Windscreens can ice up at any time and you need to be prepared. Any loss of vision when driving can be devastating. Even in winter, you need to maintain a complete 360 degree view around your car. Don’t get caught out by the weather.
Bag of tools
Finally, keep a small bag of screwdrivers, a hammer, wrench and spare bolts in it. These items come in useful in all sorts of places. It’s also worth keeping plenty of duct tape, spare oil WD-40 in the tool bag. These are all items that have a hundred different uses and you can bet they’ll come in handy.
It’s always better to be over-prepared when it comes to your car. Make sure you have each of these items with you at all times. Now you’re ready to tackle anything that your car can throw at you.