Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. What Essentials Do I Need to Keep in My Car?

What Essentials Do I Need to Keep in My Car?

essentials for car

Many of us think of “car essentials” as those items we always keep stocked in our center consoles and door pockets, like chapstick, napkins, and phone chargers. But there are a few other items you shouldn’t leave home without, and these will be far more useful if you find yourself by the side of the road.

Here are our top 5 essentials for every car. A few granola bars wouldn’t hurt, either!

  1. First aid kit: Beyond basic adhesive bandages, a good first aid kit also includes individual packets of antibiotic ointment, antiseptic wipes, a roller bandage, aspirin, tweezers, and a pair of non-latex gloves. Store everything in a waterproof or zip-top bag.

  2. Hand-crank LED flashlight: If you run into an issue with your car at night, you’ll be happy to have this with you. Having a hand-crank flashlight eliminates the need to rely on batteries with limited power. To get attention from oncoming traffic, a LED flasher is best for signaling distress.

  3. Tire-changing kit: Your spare or donut tire won't do you much good if you aren't equipped with the tools to get the flat tire off and the new tire on. Make a small kit including a jack, jack stand, and lug nut wrench, and invest time in learning how to use these tools properly before you're faced with a bum tire.

  4. Jumper cables: Don’t rely on others to have jumper cables -- it’s always safest to have your own set. Select a 10-gauge cable that’s at least 8 feet long and has a rating of at least 250 amps.

  5. Blanket: If your car stops running, sometimes the simplest item is what separates a hassle from a full-blown epic out on the road. Wool works well, or opt for mylar, a lightweight plastic that retains 90% of body heat.

Bonus item: A pair of strong work gloves. These will come in handy if you need to jumpstart your car, install tire chains, or perform just about any emergency roadside fix.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.


More related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
How to Get a Louisiana Driver's Permit
s licensing program. The first step in this program is to obtain...
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in Idaho
The state of Idaho offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch in the...

Related questions

Q: Serpentine belt snapped, replaced it and jumped the car it semi worked but then didnt. I changed my alternator but wont start

If you have what seems like a dead battery and when you try and jump start the vehicle and it still will not crank good enough to start the motor then you will need to have a voltage drop test...

Q: What does the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) Check warning light mean?

If your car has a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), there is a warning light in the dash designed to come on if a malfunction is detected. However, the light should come on briefly during the cranking process. It shouldn’t stay...

Q: Q: Where is the spare tire?

The spare tire sits under the bed of the truck, at the very rear. It is easy to remove the spare tire with your hands. Just use the jack handle to winch the tire down and unhook it from the...