Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

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
Icon-warranty_badge-02

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.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

P0222 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input
P0222 code definition Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input What the P0222 code means The manufacturer specifies a range of acceptable voltage to be produced from the throttle position...
How to Buy Fuel Treatments
Adding a fuel additive to your gas tank when you fill up is one way to clean vital engine parts of deposits, improve the performance of your engine,...
How to Get a Louisiana Driver's Permit
s licensing program. The first step in this program is to obtain...


Related questions

Q: Car not starting, even after jumpstart

Hello. When a car won't start, power to the starter motor must be checked, and voltage drops performed. The starter motor is mounted under the intake manifold, so alternative test points must be used to test the starter motor. The...

Q: How do I use the hydraulic power steering?

Your vehicle comes with hydraulic power steering that requires no action on your part to activate. To use, simply turn your engine on and drive as you would normally. While your vehicle’s hydraulic power steering is a handy tool that...

Q: How do I find the emergency key?

If your car is equipped with the Remote Keyless Entry (RKE) key fob, then you also have an emergency key. The RKE system allows you to unlock your vehicle without inserting a key, but it is electronically powered, which means...