Summer is a great time to build an emergency car kit. The contents are different today than a dozen years ago due to changes in vehicles, drivers’ attitudes and safety laws. The following information will help you build a modern kit to help you get through the undesirable breakdown.
Rags: One or two clean lint free rags are important to keep in the glove compartment. The rags can be used for numerous things including wiping windows, oil dipsticks, and transmission dipsticks. One can be used inside the car and the other for under the hood.
Spare Parts: An extra set of wiper blades are prudent. As for extra belts and lights, which were common in kits two-dozen years ago, today its better to carry phone numbers to your automotive network like Hi-Tech Automotive’s nation wide Technet partners or any automotive club.
Spare Tire: Make sure there’s a spare tire in the car. Check the spare often to make sure it is not overly worn and if it’s a full size spare make sure it has plenty of air. Hi-Tech automatically checks the spare with every oil change.
Lug Wrench: A lug wrench and a jack specific to the car is necessary safety equipment for changing tires. However, changing a tire on the side of a highway is more dangerous today than in the past. This might be the ideal time to call for help.
Jumper Cables: Knowing which connector on jumper cables needs to be connected first, and the opposite being removed first, is a critical safety issue. Since some batteries are more volatile and susceptible to exploding, spraying acid everywhere, it’s better to call in a professional. AAA, motor clubs or Technet can usually arrive on site within 30-minutes.
Snow and Ice Equipment: During the winter the following should be carried in the trunk: a bag of sand, small shovel, ice scraper, blanket, protein bars and a can of deicing fluid.
Flashlights and Reflectors: A flashlight can be stored in the glove compartment for easy access and can be used for looking under the hood or as an emergency light. A flashlight with a red blinker can also be used for diverting traffic. Reflectors set every ten feet will also help give traffic a better opportunity to avoid hitting a stranded car. Roadside flashing LED emergency lights are also a worthwhile addition to the kit.
First-Aid Kit: A refillable first-aid kit filled with a variety of bandages, tweezers, surgical tape, antibiotic ointment, burn ointment, and a good antiseptic.
Hand Cleaner: Hand cleaners are basically grease solvents. They range from heavy-duty that removes the skin along with the grease, to soothing, good-smelling creams that leave your skin feeling reborn, to pre-cleaners that you put on your hands before you start working so grease slides off easily afterward.
Gloves: Dishwashing gloves are readily available and will protect your hands from grease. However, gasoline and other solvents may melt them. For greater protection, industrial rubber gloves from a swimming pool supply company will not be affected by gasoline, solvent, or battery acid. If mobility is more important, a good leather glove will also protect the hands. Whichever type of glove you choose, it’s wise to keep them in a plastic bag after each use until it can be cleaned.
Spare Tools: A spray can of penetrating oil and a couple screwdrivers and some standard size combination wrenches will protect you from any simple situation that might arise. Anything requiring more sophisticated tools is better left for a certified mechanic.
Hat: This is to protect your hair from grease and getting tangled in any moving part.
Cellular phone: This device no longer belongs in an emergency kit, as most people carry them on their person. Setting up a speed dial for Hi-Tech Automotive’s nation wide Technet partners or any motor club before a trip is a good idea.
Miscellaneous Stuff: A roll of duct tape, a roll of electrician’s tape, a sharp knife, and scissors also might come in handy.