5 Essential Items to Keep In Your Car

Road tripping is one of the best and most affordable ways to see the country. While it’s true you can fly pretty much anywhere, airline tickets can be astronomically expensive and they keep cramming you into smaller and smaller seats. Plus, while soaring at nearly 40,000 feet above the ground, you miss seeing everything along the way which is half the fun! Road tripping in your own car alleviates many of those problems, while allowing you to bring every member of your family, furry ones included. Of course there are things to worry about with road tripping, such as breakdowns and dead batteries; so here I have compiled a list of what I feel are the five most important things to keep in your car to avoid letting one of these situations completely ruin your good time.

A complete first aid kit with a basic first aid guide

First aid kit

Cut on your hand or a blister on your foot? Pounding headache that won’t go away? Burned yourself on something? Having a first aid kit in your car at all times helps with little situations like these, providing you with antiseptic wipes, bandages and sterile pads to treat any wounds, as well as a whole lot more that might just come in handy.

A small, comprehensive tool kit

Tool kit

Most vehicle manufacturers provide a small, rudimentary tool kit in the back of your vehicle. It’s usually just enough to change the tire, and maybe it includes a screwdriver. Go to a local auto parts or hardware store, and buy a basic automotive tool kit. They are relatively inexpensive, and can really help out in a pinch. Even if you don’t know how to use everything in it, somebody stopping to help you might.

Jumper cables or a compact battery jumper pack

Jumper pack

One of the worst things that can happen on a road trip is a dead battery. It can make you lose precious time waiting for somebody to to help you start the car. When someone does offer to help you, it’s better for you to have jumper cables than to find out that they don’t have any either. A compact battery jump starter is even better, because then you don’t need to wait for help from anyone, and you will be on your way again in no time.

A bright flashlight with good batteries

Flashlight

A flashlight is one of the most important things to be in any car, road trip or not. Beyond just using them to see in the dark, flashlights allow you to be seen if it’s dark out and you’re by the roadside, or to signal for help from passing cars.

A clean, empty fuel can

Fuel can

I know it sounds funny to suggest keeping an empty fuel can handy, but an empty can has no risk of leaking fuel inside your car or filling it with noxious fumes. If it’s been used before, make sure it’s cleaned out thoroughly to avoid stinking up the inside of your car. In the event you run out of fuel, you may be able to hitch a ride or walk to the nearest fuel station, where they would otherwise make you buy a gas can for a premium price.

Although it would be quite difficult to keep everything in your car that you might need in case of a breakdown, carrying these particular things will leave you far better prepared should something happen. All these are listed in addition to a few other items that should be with you all the time, specifically drinking water, some amount of cash, a major credit card for emergencies, and a cell phone with a fully charged battery. Emergency calls to 911 go through on any available network, so even an older deactivated phone works well for this. If you want even more peace of mind, you can have the pros with YourMechanic come to your home or office and perform a full vehicle inspection to ensure your car doesn’t have any issues to be concerned about.


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Pardeep

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Ford Fusion - 75 Point Safety Inspection - San Jose, California
I have ordered a 75-point inspection of the car since my dealership claimed it had an oil leak and the timing cover replacement was due (this kind of repair costs in the ballpark of a thousand dollars). I mentioned the need for a second opinion on that since the car had been bought relatively recently from that dealer (certified pre-owned) and not very actively used. Pradeep performed the safety inspection in a very timely manner and addressed my main question by honestly concluding that there was no leak but just some dust collected over time. This has saved me much time and money. Finally, I was also very glad to learn a tip on how to find a matching paint for a body scratch from him.
Ford Escape - 75 Point Safety Inspection - San Jose, California
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19 years of experience
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Honorio
19 years of experience
Hyundai Accent - 75 Point Safety Inspection - Sunnyvale, California
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Nissan Versa - 75 Point Safety Inspection - Lakewood, Washington
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12 years of experience
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Where is the car jack located?

The car jack is located with your spare tire, in the trunk. To access the jack, open the trunk, and remove the luggage floor cover.

Where are the spare tire and jack?

The spare tire and jack are located in the trunk. To access them, open the trunk, remove the cargo cover (if extended), and lift up the luggage floor board.

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