What Essentials Do I Need to Keep in My Car? | YourMechanic Advice

What Essentials Do I Need to Keep in My 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.


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Bryant

11 years of experience
407 reviews
Bryant
11 years of experience
Ford Fusion - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Indianapolis, Indiana
Bryant has done great work on my car before, the latest work is no exception. He's very flexible, and goes the extra mile to get you back on the road.
Scion iA - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Carmel, Indiana
This is my first time using this service. I am very happy with it. Bryant was very knowledgeable and did quality work. I will use this service more regularly.

Augustine

11 years of experience
57 reviews
Augustine
11 years of experience
Volkswagen Passat - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Albuquerque, New Mexico
He’s amazing! Did a wonderful job on my brakes and was extremely knowledgeable, and a real fun guy to be around as well!

Jimmi

25 years of experience
68 reviews
Jimmi
25 years of experience
Mazda CX-9 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Orlando, Florida
Jimmi was wonderful. He was on time, knowledgeable, and completed work in a timely manner. He went above and beyond with helpful tips and recommendations. We will be using him for all our family vehicles.

Robert

3 years of experience
4 reviews
Robert
3 years of experience
Toyota RAV4 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Tacoma, Washington
Came right on time! Had all the necessary tools to finish the job. After the test drive, he gave me an update on my car. Topped off my fluids and disinfect the inside. Well recommend!!

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