Today’s blog may seem a little off topic from my normal discussions, but I hope it will make sense to you… I’ll even explain why I’m posting it. I think a lot of times, especially as women, we aren’t fully prepared for an emergency when it comes to our vehicles. How many of us know how to change a tire? How to jump off a car? How to even check the fluids in our vehicles? Do you have a car emergency kit for when things go wrong?
I grew up practically in a shop. My uncle and my brother worked on cars all day, and I learned from them. My mom grew up in that same shop watching her daddy and her brothers work on cars all day. My brother started a wrecker service when he returned from the army, and I used to LOVE going on wrecker calls with him when I was a teenager, and it was never a surprise that most of our non-emergency (and non-tow) calls were from women who just honestly had no clue what was going on with their vehicles… A few tips and a car emergency kit would have saved them SOOOOOO much money in wrecker fees.
In my family, it would probably be of no surprise to you that I grew up with a lot of clunker cars… They may not have all been Fords, but they were fixed or repaired daily. Somehow though, my mom, sisters, and myself have all seemed to move up in the world and finally have somewhat decent cars, and we’ve gotten a little lax in the always be prepared department because of it. So, what happened to cause today’s discussion? A little something that made me feel very stupid. I went shopping with my mom, and apparently the headlights or something in the vehicle we were in had been left on… And the battery went dead. Dead dead. Thankfully, we did have jumper cables with us, and we definitely knew how to use them (from many years of prior experience) but I was shocked to think about what we didn’t have, and even more shocked to find a lady who was willing to help us, but had no clue how to even pop the hood of her car…
So, that brings us to today’s topic of discussion… Car emergency kits. I find that no kit is a one size fits all, but you may just be able to find one that you like in the link I just provided you with. However, if you’re like me and you prefer to build your own made of quality products (and in an awesomely cute bag that you are proud to pull out even if your car is a POS), I’m going to provide you with the perfect list to pick and choose from.
- Roadside flares– These are not absolutely necessary, but I like them a LOT better than the reflective triangles that you see all the time.
- A first-aid kit– Because it will ALWAYS come in handy!
- Work gloves or latex gloves– I prefer to have both, because you never know what the situation will be…
- Two quarts of oil- This, of course, is specific to your car. And you need to know how to check it to make sure of whether or not it is low… And you need to know where to add it from, because you do not add it from the same place the dipstick comes out of of.
- Jumper cables
- One gallon of antifreeze– I prefer getting the pre-diluted kind, which is honestly what you should have in your emergency kit as well.
- Brake fluid
- Extra fuses– Why? Because if a fuse goes out… You could be stuck with a car that won’t go, headlights that are out, or any sort of problem. You don’t HAVE to have this kit, but it’s important to have an assortment, and important to know where your fuses in your car are.
- A blanket
- A flashlight with fresh batteries- Just in case it’s dark out.
- A Phillips head screwdriver
- A flat head screwdriver
- Vise grips
- An adjustable wrench
- A pair of pliers
- A tire inflator– This is always helpful, and will prevent a call for a towing service
- Fix-a-flat, but for someone who’s willing to put in the time to learn how to use it, a tire plug kit will give you more bang for your buck.
- A tire pressure gauge– Keeping a check on your tire pressure may just prevent you from being stuck on the side of the road…
- Some rags and a funnel– Should be self-explanatory…
- A roll of duct tape– The redneck solution to EVERYTHING!!!
- A roll of paper towels– Although I like the shop towels I linked to sooooo much better.
- A spray bottle with washer fluid
- An ice scraper– If you live up north… Let’s face it, if you’re in the south, you will never need this.
- A pocketknife, or a leatherman
- Bottled water
- Granola or energy bars
I hope you all will let me know if I have left anything out, and what is in your car emergency kit… And, more than anything, I hope that you find this blog to be useful.
See you soon,