Last month my car got a flat tire on the highway when I was coming home from work. I was able to safely move to the shoulder and confirm I had a flat, and then I opened up my trunk to get the tools I needed to change the tire. I had a spare tire ready to go but there was no jack to be found in my trunk. My father has a habit of borrowing the jack from my car to use in his own personal projects and it turns out that it was never returned. What could have been a fifteen minute tire change turned into an hour waiting for AAA to arrive just to change a stupid tire. That’s why I was so heartened when I came across this article at Lifehacker that lists several essential things that you need to keep in your car for when things go wrong. Some of what you need is as follows:
Tire Changing Tools – I learned this one the hard way.
Tire Sealant and Inflation Tools – I never considered this but it can be a lifesaver if you have multiple flats.
Your Owners Manual – This should always be in your glove compartment anyway.
Duct Tape and WD-40 – You would be amazed at how much you can fix with these two.
Jumper Cables – Dead batteries can happen to the best of us.
First Aid Kit – For treating minor injuries in the event of an accident.
Flashlight – Because car problems can happen at night too.
Paper Maps – Because your ability to navigate shouldn’t be dependent on the life of a battery.
Ice Brush/Scraper – If you live north of the Mason-Dixon line you need one of these.
Blanket or Sleeping Bag – Extremely bad weather could mean you have to spend a night in your car. This will help keep you comfortable without burning up gas.
Lifehacker has a far more comprehensive list but the ones I listed above are the ones that I feel are most important. And that night I was stuck with a flat tire ended with me setting some very firm ground rules with my father. Namely none of the above things are to ever leave my car unless you happen to be driving it and you’re in a situation where they need to be used.
It happens to the best of us.
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