(iSeeCars) – be ready. There is a reason why Scouts have adopted this simple slogan, which can apply to all areas of life. And one area where you need to be prepared is in your car, because no matter how reliable your car is, it will inevitably break down and be far from the comforts of home when you do. To help drivers prepare for all unforeseen scenarios, we’ve developed a handy guide to things to keep in your car. These basic elements can make all the difference when making sure your breakdown is benign versus catastrophic. Some of these items will help you travel more comfortably during daily driving as well.
We hope your car won’t leave you stuck on the side of the road, but we recommend these 24 things to keep in your car just in case.
1. Latest registration
We’ll start with the obvious here. You will need to register your vehicle if your vehicle has not broken down. There’s always the chance that you’ll go over the speed limit or inadvertently take a turn at a red light when you weren’t supposed to, and you’ll come across a police officer watching. Most importantly, is the chance of getting off the accident. Your registration will be a necessity in this case as well. In either case, you will need to prove your registration. If you don’t have this guide, you can get a quote or a fine. If your registration is not valid, you can be withdrawn due to the expiration of the registration. This will result in a penalty that is harsher than simply not having evidence of the current recording, and the penalty will depend on how long the recording has expired. In extreme cases, your car can be impounded. Always be aware when your registration is set to expire, and be sure to renew it before that happens.
2. Insurance card
Auto insurance is mandatory in 49 out of 50 states. The exception is New Hampshire, where it is not required as long as you can show financial responsibility. To prove that you comply with your state’s law, you must always have proof of your insurance with you. Not only is this the law, but it is also a necessity in case you get into an accident. Proof of insurance varies depending on your insurance company and can be in the form of an ID card or on a document. It should contain your policy number, effective dates, vehicle description and VIN number, and the policy holder’s name. Online versions of these documents are also available, so you can save them to your phone for easy retrieval rather than keeping the physical copy in the glove compartment. However, we recommend having a physical copy on hand along with the electronic copy.
3. Owner’s Manual
Another item that should be a mainstay in your glove box is your vehicle’s owner’s manual. This will include useful information such as what the tire pressure should be and what some of the warning lights mean. You never know when you’ll need it, so you should always have access to it. Modern cars often include a strict version of the owner’s manual, but just like the registry, we recommend a hard copy as a backup, and you can often order it from the manufacturer or a site like Helminc.com.
4. Tire spare parts/tire jack
Who knows what evil lies in the hearts of the roads, waiting to get a nice big chunk out of one of your tires, or get something really sharp in one of the tires. Unless your vehicle has run-flat tires, these events can quickly put an end to your travel plans. So, unless you want to drive a tow truck to come and take your car to the nearest service station, you’ll need to make sure your spare tire is always properly inflated (something you can ask any store to do when your car is in service), and a winch Tires are in proper working condition. You should also have the correct tools to change the tire, including a wrench. AAA members can call in to have their tire replaced with replacement parts, although you will likely have to wait a long time.
5. Tire pressure gauge
Maintaining a tire theme is a tire safety measure. While modern vehicles have warning indicators to let you know if your pressure is low, it is important to have a tire pressure gauge to ensure your tire is filled to the correct PSI.
6. Tire pump and sealant
While keeping the look of the tires, you can also go ahead and get a portable tire inflator so you never have to rely on air from a gas station. If you have a minor puncture, filling the tire with air and closing it will allow you to drive safely to your destination.
7. Transit cables / emergency road kit
Did you know that some car batteries only last for two years? While the battery life ranges from three to four years, a dead battery can come without warning, especially during the winter months. While jumper cables are essential, a full emergency route kit is a strong recommendation. Most emergency kits, which can be purchased on Amazon or at any bulk retailer, will come with a small set of tools, such as wrenches, screwdrivers, and pliers, as well as road flares, fluorescent triangles, hose tape, and those cables. Jumper cables will be very handy if you are in the habit of leaving your headlights or dome lights on. Either thing can drain your battery life in less than a few hours depending on the age and power of your car battery.
This may seem like a silly thing in your car if you live in a warm place like Florida, Texas, or Southern California; But blankets are good for more than just keeping you warm. Let’s say you’ve crashed on a road covered in dirt, gravel, mud, dirt or some sticky substance that you wouldn’t dare to guess. Putting a blanket on to go down on the floor and see what’s wrong, or simply to change a tire, can save your clothes and knees and put you back in a lot of trouble. Of course, there’s always a reason to be warm too, if you live in an area where it’s cold.
9. Washer fluid
We always suggest keeping a gallon of washer fluid in the trunk. You’ll probably never need it, until that time when a half-inch of a three-inch piece of mud and muck slams into your windshield and you hit the windshield wipe button only to hear that familiar buzz… and you get nothing. Pulling washer fluid out of the box and holding it in is much easier than tossing any drink you have in the cup holder onto the windshield and trying to clean it with your shirt.
Some of the emergency kits we talked about earlier come with a flashlight; However, most of them don’t. Not only will the flashlight be useful if a breakdown occurs at night and you need to see it under the hood or around your car, but it’s also very useful for keeping oncoming traffic away from your car if you don’t have road flares or signs. A flashlight can be very useful if a passenger needs to find something in the car at night while driving. Driving with dome lighting is still illegal in most states. Just be sure to check the batteries in it often.
11. First aid kit
In times of crisis, a first aid kit can literally be a life saver. This should not need an explanation at all. If you’re bleeding, a spare tire won’t do you much good, but bandages will.
12. Cell phone charger
Having a dedicated phone charger that stays in your car is more convenient than bringing a charger with you on long trips or when you think you’ll be out for a while. Sometimes we neglect to charge our phone the night before or accidentally running an app in the background drains your battery. No matter the circumstances, you don’t want to be without your only lifeline in case you break down and need to seek help. You can also rely on your phone as a GPS, and you don’t want to be at the mercy of your phone battery to get you safely to your destination.
13. Duct tape
Masking tape is one of the most versatile items. Just as it can be useful for temporary (or even permanent) home repairs, it can be very useful in the event something happens to your car. Let’s say you’re wiping a side post, or if you’re the victim of a shock and escape with a disassembled mirror. Adhesive tape can keep it in place until it can be fixed properly. You can also use it to temporarily stop leaks in your roof or sunroof to reduce or prevent costly water damage.
14. Ice scraper
If you live somewhere that has harsh winter weather or even in a place where it doesn’t snow frequently, you should always have a snow scraper in your car. You can have one attached to a snow brush so you have everything you need to remove snow and scrape snow from your vehicle. Driving with lines of sight in danger can be dangerous to you and other drivers on the road. And in areas that experience heavy snow, it may also be helpful to keep a shovel in the trunk to remove snow around your vehicle.
15. Paper towels and napkins
Paper products may not save you from danger, but they certainly make any trip more comfortable in the event of a spill, unexpected runny nose, or extra messy demand while driving. If you are traveling with kids, these things are even more important. Baby wipes, even if you don’t have a baby, are also proven to be effective at cleaning up spills and dirt.
16. Cut the change
You should keep spare parts or emergency cash somewhere in your car. While most parking meters now allow you to pay with a credit card, there are still some that require changing. You may also encounter unexpected losses.
17. Fire extinguisher
This item you’ll never have to use, but it’s important nonetheless. Since vehicles can catch fire during an accident, a fire extinguisher can help put out the fire before help arrives. Modern fire extinguishers are available in extremely compact sizes without sacrificing effectiveness, so there is no excuse to forgo this item, even in small cars or sports cars.
18. Multi Tool
The multi-tool is a small toolkit that includes common tools in a compact package that fits in your glove box. Includes scissors, screwdriver, wrench, knife and can/bottle opener to cover the bases if you need a tool.
19. Water bottles
Water bottles can save your life if you are stranded and need water. In less extreme conditions, such as unexpected traffic, the water at your fingertips can make the ride more comfortable. Just make sure your water bottle can handle extreme temperatures.
20. Non-perishable snacks
It’s a good idea to have an easy-to-eat snack on hand in case you go on a hunger strike. Suggestions include energy bars, nuts, or crackers.
21. escape tool
An escape tool is another item that we hope you’ll never need, but it can provide peace of mind knowing it’s there. The escape device can cut the seat belt and can break the window glass from the inside. These can also be a life saver if you experience a car accident with someone trapped in their car.
Even if there’s no rain in the forecast, you’ll never know when you’ll fall into an unexpected shower.
23. Hand Sanitizer
Hand sanitizer is a top priority during the global pandemic, and it should remain a mainstay in your car even after the pandemic is over to help prevent the spread of infectious germs.
24. Kitty Litter
If you live in an area with icy conditions, putting cat litter in your trunk during the winter can be very beneficial. It can provide the traction needed to get out of an icy parking lot or driveway. However, you do not need a whole bag, as it can burden your car. A small container filled with cat litter should suffice in most cases.
25. Reusable grocery bags
Not only are plastic grocery bags banned in some states, but they are also harmful to the environment. Having a stockpile of reusable grocery bags in the trunk will come in handy for trips to the store and can even hold more items than a typical single-use grocery bag.
While there is something satisfying about an empty trunk and a minimally filled glove compartment, these empty spaces will leave you unprepared during an emergency or any inevitable inconvenience on the road. We hope you’ll never need to use these emergency items, but you can rest assured knowing you can access them.
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this article, 25 things to keep in your car, Originally appeared on iSeeCars.com.