No one plans on having their car break down, but if it does, you want to be prepared. We’ve all seen the movies when someone’s battery dies, or they run out of gas in the middle of nowhere, and they have to walk to the nearest town. Personally, I’d rather stay with the car and wait for help, but there are some things you can do to help yourself if situations like these arise. Keeping a well-stocked emergency kit in your vehicle at all times is one of the best things any driver can do.
The items that go into the kit can vary depending on the climate you live in. And while some situations may require professional help from a tow truck, having an emergency kit on hand can prove beneficial even for non-emergency scenarios. Twice a year, take some time to go through your vehicle and inspect your kit to see if anything needs to be restocked or replaced! Doing this will not only ensure you always have what you need, but you’ll also know where everything is, so you aren’t rummaging around in a bin looking for one item; this can help out a lot during a time crunch.
Below are some of the most common and useful items to keep stored in your vehicle. While some of these things might seem like common sense to keep in your car, there might be others that you hadn’t considered and could’ve proved useful in past situations.
A flat tire is one of the most common problems that car owners face. Depending on the time, location, and situation, a flat tire can be a major inconvenience; changing a tire in the rain or snow can really dampen your mood. However, if you have all of the necessary equipment, changing a flat tire can be relatively simple, and you can be back on the road in no time. You should always keep a spare tire, jack, lug wrench, tire pressure gauge, reflective triangles, wheel chocks, and tire sealant in your car. For many cars, a few of these items are already included in your vehicle when you purchase it.
Winter Car Supplies
Your winter car supplies will vary depending on where you live and the time of year. It can be helpful to rotate your supplies seasonally to save more space in your vehicle. When the weather starts to get colder and the possibility of ice and snow increases, it is a good idea to put your winter supplies back in. Here in the Pacific Northwest, we don’t tend to experience heavy snowfall, but it does happen on occasion, and it’s best to be prepared for it. Your winter car supplies should include an extra coat, some form of traction helpers like cat litter, sand, or carpet scraps in case you get stuck on ice, an ice scraper, comfortable shoes, and a lighter. If you are traveling somewhere through the mountains or to states with higher snowfall like North Dakota, Michigan, or Colorado, it can be a good idea to bring a small snow shovel and some form of visible material like a red bandana in the case that you drift into a snowbank.
First Aid Kit
A first aid kit is essential for any vehicle. These supplies can be used for anything from simple boo-boos to more severe injuries and even helping other drivers that might have been in an accident. In addition to a first aid kit, you should also have a flashlight, a multi-tool or small tool kit, non-perishable foods like granola bars or MRE’s, water bottles, printed maps, and a reflective blanket. While it might seem unnecessary to pack all of these materials into your vehicle, you never know when they could come in handy.
Vehicle Repair Supplies
Many of us rely heavily on our vehicles to get to and from various destinations, including work, road trips, and general errands. And while it’s important to stay up to date on vehicle maintenance, sometimes things just happen, and you might need some help.
Basic supplies you should keep in your vehicle include jumper cables, duct tape, a gas can, work gloves, a fire extinguisher, and vehicle fluids like extra oil, windshield wiper fluid, and coolant.
Glove Box Supplies
Several smaller items are great to keep in your glove box or center console that are helpful to have on hand regardless if you’re in an emergency situation or not. You should always have a phone charger, paper towels, a notebook and pen, a roll of quarters, plastic bags, and fabric tote bags. You never know when these items might come in handy, but when you need them, you’ll be glad they’re there.
Common Road Trip Problems:
Road trips are a fun and exciting time for family and friends to explore and enjoy some time out of the house. However, road trips are also the most likely time that people run into car troubles. During these trips, our vehicles travel lengthy distances for an extended period of time, which can not only put a strain on the vehicle mechanics but also on the people inside the car as well. Having a well-stocked emergency kit can help alleviate some of the problems that can occur during a road trip!
- No Reception
- Mechanical Issues
- Car Sick Passenger
- Unpredictable Weather
- Minor Injuries
- Run Out Of Gas
While we hope the majority of the items in an emergency kit are never needed, it is always better to have them just in case. And in the situation where you don’t have the right materials and need a tow truck or roadside assistance, we are always here to help! Speeds Towing has been in the towing business since 1958, and for more than 64 years, we have strived to provide Portland and the surrounding area with exceptional towing services. With a fleet of light and medium-duty tow trucks as well as a team of trained technicians, we are able to provide emergency towing, roadside assistance, and car transport to those who need it!