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12 Things That Should Be In Your Car All The Time
"It is better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.”
Wise words, especially when one is on the road.
Like any machine, cars break down over time due to age, lack of maintenance or both. For some, this may be unavoidable, given their busy schedule — unintentionally delaying preventive maintenance service that could spot these problems. However, if well equipped, one could always minimize the damage done, or better yet, fix it. Being prepared for such occurrences allows us to save both time and money.
Most cars nowadays come with an early warning device and a toolkit, but sometimes, repairs can't always be fixed with just these. So to be prepared for these unforseen, we list down 12 things you should have in your car to handle any problem that may come your way.
1. Basic First Aid Kit
Before buying a brand new set of wheels or audio system, a first aid kit should be one of a driver's first purchases. While most European cars already have them, the majority of the cars sold in our showrooms do not.
A basic first aid kit should have the following: bandages, alcohol, antiseptic cream, scissors, and a variety of over-the-counter medicines like antihistamines and cough drops.
2. Jumper Cables
A dead battery means you and your car will not be going anywhere. This can sometimes be forgotten due to our busy schedules.
If you don't always have time to check you vehicle's electrical system, it's best to have a pair of jumper cables in your trunk. Being able to connect a flat battery to another car (series jump start) will minimize the hassle of getting stuck when you're in a mall parking lot. In cases where a series jump start is not available, always hava a battery shop's number with you so they can deliver it to you.
3. Duct Tape and zipties
Duct tape and zipties are perhaps the most versatile pieces of kit you can ever have in any tool box. The adhesives is pretty robust and will come useful to emergency repairs. Zipties, on the other hand, are great for tightening loose parts.
Bumper fell off? Ziptie it to the fenders. Lose fenders can pose a threat on the road as these may come off and hit pedestrians, motorcyclists and other vehicles. Broken radiator hose? You really should replace the hose, but you can use the tape to get you to the nearest service center.
4. A Big Bottle of Tap Water
An empty radiator can quickly result in a very short trip. It can also result in a totaled engine which could mean a hefty repair bill. Keep a bottle of water handy to top up a radiator that has sprung a leak to keep it cool enough to get you to a nearby shop or service center.
5. Spare Fuses or Bulbs
A spare tire will not be the only thing you'll need in your car. Spare fuses and bulbs are also a necessity. The fuse serves as protection for your car's electronics like the headlights, radio and power windows. Visibility is very important both for you and the people around you.. Having spare bulbs for the headlights and tail lights will also be handy, especially if the incident happens at night. Also, driving with a busted tail light can net you a traffic violation.
The weather will always be unpredictable. Always have an umbrella in your car to avoid getting wet in a downpour.
7. Hydraulic Floor Jack
Sure cars have scissor jacks as standard, but using them is time-consuming and slow. A better alternative is the hydraulic jack which uses fluids that speed up the lifting process. Do note, however, to always place the floor jack or bottle jack at the jacking points, as seen in the owner's manual.
8. Old Flat Cardboard
It may seem odd that you need a piece of cardboard in your car, but in case you need to check out the undercarriage of your pride and joy, you'll be needing this. This will be a godsend in an event you have to check or work on your car on a damp or dusty road.
Whether you're working on your car or need to inform other motorists that you're on the side of the road, a flasghlight will really come in handy. Aside from allowing you to see better, it can also be a makeshift early warning device.
A set of tools usually comes as standard equipment on cars. In an event that your car has none, a multi-tool can be very useful for a number of repairs. The venerable Swiss Army Knife or Leatherman tool can come in handy in case one needs to do a DIY repair.
11. Tire Gauge
It pays to always know how much pressure is in your tires. Having overinflated tires can result in the rubber bursting while under inflated tires can lower their lifespan and affect your car's fuel economy.
12. Cleaning Cloth
Whether you need to clean your hands or need to remove dirt or fluids from a component, it's always to handy to have a kind of cloth to wipe away dirt or grease.