Basic Tools and Gear You Should Have In Your Car
Roadside emergencies are very unpleasant experiences. One moment you’re driving along happily, and the next minute you’re facing a problem that forces you to pull over to the side of the road. As scary and unpredictable such a situation may be, it’s good to know that a little bit of preparation can go a very long way in such situations.
Some people may respond by calling for help, either friends, family, or a professional service dedicated to getting road users mobile again during such situations. Others may opt to take on the challenge of resolving the issue themselves using only their determination and know-how.
Regardless of where you fall on that spectrum, it is still a good reason to keep some basic tools in your car at all times in anticipation of common car problems. This is also true even if you know that you will not be the one to perform repairs if your car breaks down on the side of the road. Why? Because having these basic tools in the car can make it easier for whoever decides to help you.
Typically, a good place to keep these tools in your car is the trunk. However, smaller items can fit neatly in the glove compartment box or under the seats. Before you decide to buy any new tools for your car, however, be sure to do a thorough check and see which tools were given to you with your car when you bought it. Different carmakers tend to include a toolkit of some kind, and some may already have everything you already need.
In any case, here are some of the basic tools that all cars should have in case of emergencies:
Car Jack and Lug Wrench
The most important pair of car tools: the car jack and lug wrench. These items is exceptionally important because it does something that nobody can do on their own, it lifts up your car so you can change your tyre! In the event that you get a flat tyre and need to change it out with a spare, the very first thing you need to do is to jack the car up so that you can then use the lug wrench to loosen (and later tighten) the lug nuts on each tyre.
While most car manufacturers include basic and minimal versions of these tools in most cars, you can always get your hands on stronger and more durable aftermarket versions if you’d like.
Another one of the most important tools to have in your car is a set of jumper cables. Cars can sometimes fail to start on account of a flat battery, which leaves you with two options: either to get someone to bring a brand new battery to the car (which might be too difficult) or you could use jumper cables with another car to jump-start yours! When your car’s running, then you can take your car to wherever it needs to be to get a new battery fitted in.
Sometimes these cables come standard in all new cars, but if not they are affordable and easily obtained. Just make sure that you get the cables appropriate for your car and that they are made by reputable and safe manufacturers!
Flashlight and Reflectors
When you’re forced to stop your car on the side of a road or highway, one of the things that makes that situation much riskier is darkness and a lack of visibility. This is especially true at night when other motorists might not be able to see you clearly when they need to avoid you, or if your rescuer (friend, family, or tow truck perhaps) needs to find you so they can come to your aid.
Two pieces of gear to help you with this are flashlights and reflectors, both of which are easy to get and easy to store in the car. Flashlights not only help you see what you’re doing as you work on your car, it also helps when trying to signal to traffic so that they may give a little bit more space as they’re passing you. This is also aided with reflectors, which reflect other cars’ headlights back at them to let them know that there’s an obstruction on the side of the road that they should avoid.
Last but not least, it’s always good to invest a little bit of money in other emergency supplies such as a small fire extinguisher and a first aid kit. These two items are referred to in this article as ‘emergency supplies’ because during emergencies, sometimes it’s not feasible for you to wait for rescuers to come and calm the situation. A first aid kit allows you or whoever has stopped to help you administer first aid to anyone who is injured. In the event of a fire, the fire extinguisher will allow you to try and minimize the damage and stop the fire from getting even bigger.
Of course, seeing as how these are items to be used in the event of an emergency, be sure that you are trained or knowledgeable in actually using those items when you get them.