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Emergencies can happen anytime, anywhere – including on the road. Learn what essential items you need for your car emergency kit so you can be prepared!
No matter how careful you are on the road, emergencies can happen anytime when you are driving. I learned this first hand a few years ago.
On my way to visit my mom, one of my tires blew out on the road in the middle of the night.
Not having any flashlights, so we ended up using our cell phones and Nintendo DS Lite so we could see what we were doing. Finally, we got the spare on, but it was a little flat, so we took it to the nearest gas station to fill it up with air.
Not wanting a repeat of that experience, I now make sure that I have a basic kit in my trunk in addition to other essentials like a properly filled spare.
How an Emergency Kit Helps
Like me, you could get into an accident, your car could breakdown, or you could get stranded in the middle of nowhere. Having a kit ready and on hand can make a stressful situation more bearable and be a real money saver.
While we can't prepare for everything, taking some time to get things ready can be a boost when something bad happens.
Car Emergency Kit Essentials List
If you haven't already, take some time this week to get your car kit ready. Not sure where to start? Here are three key items to have in your trunk!
Spare Tire and Jack
A flat tire can happen at any time, and it's one of the most common issues drivers face on the road. That's why it's crucial to have a spare tire and a jack in your car emergency kit.
The spare tire should be in good condition, and the jack should be compatible with your car. It's also essential to know how to change a tire before you get stuck with a flat tire.
First Aid Kit
In the event of an accident, a first aid kit can be a lifesaver. It's essential to have a well-stocked first aid kit in your car emergency kit that includes items such as bandages, gauze, antiseptic wipes, and pain relievers.
A dead battery can be a frustrating issue, especially if you are in a hurry. Jumper cables can help you get your car started quickly.
It's essential to know how to use the jumper cables correctly to prevent any damage to your car's electrical system. You can also consider investing in a portable battery charger, which can be useful if you are in a remote location without any other vehicles around.
Comprehensive Car Kit List
If you really want to be prepared, Edmunds has a comprehensive list you can use to make sure you have what you need to most car related emergencies.
The full list includes:
- Milk crate or box to contain your kit
- Flashlight and Batteries
- Jumper Cables
- Rags/Old T-shirts/Paper Towels
- 2-4 15 min. Road Flares
- 1 or 2 Qts of Oil
- Screwdrivers, pliers, wrench
- Duct tape
- Ice scraper
- Car Jack
- First aid kit
You can grab most of these items in a couple of shopping trips.
To make it easier to prepare for road problems, there are some pre-made emergency car kits to get you started.
Don't feel bad if you don't have everything – just get started and build up little by little.
Don't forget to also be consistent in checking your car’s oil level, tire pressure and wear, washer and brake fluids, and your spare tire. It'll save you a headache or worse.
Your Take on Car Emergency Kits
According to The National Safety Council, you should check your kit every six months to make sure it's in working condition.
No one wants to experience a car emergency, but it's essential to be prepared for any situation.
I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas. How prepared are you with an emergency kit? What tips do you have on getting one set up?