We have all heard that you should have a car emergency kit, but there are many other things that can come in really handy in your car that are not quite emergencies.
As many of us almost live day to day in our vehicles, then a few of these items are going to make total sense. I myself have had to use the duct tape a few times until a proper fix could happen.
Here are 5 tips that have helped me through a few times out on the road. It is not always for emergencies either, as sometimes you may simply come across a great find while out antiquing and it “almost fits” in your car. Or maybe, your rear view mirror suddenly falls off the windshield (had that happen to me on a brand new car!).
So, maybe take a moment right now, and find a box and gather a few of these things. You may have them around the house or you can get them affordable at your local hardware store or online.
Tip 1 - Duct Tape
I don’t know how many times this saved me. I used to drive very old cars and many times something would fall off, or I would need to temporarily fix things. When I purchased a new car I didn’t put the tape back in the kit, thinking “this car is new what could go wrong?” But the rear view mirror actually fell off my windshield.
Rather than drive without a mirror (dangerous!!) I got some duct tape and stuck it back on until I got to the dealer for them to fix it. So, that duct tape supply is back in my car emergency kit.
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Tip 2 - Bungee Cords
These are super handy and you should have a few of these. They are simply stretchy cord with hooks on either end. I had someone back into my car by accident and they owned up to it and we exchanged insurance, but now my trunk would not close.
I had a supply of bungee cords to keep it closed until I could get to my body shop to get it fixed. The fender bender was very minor but it was enough to mess with my truck latch I guess.
If you are out and about and see the find of a lifetime at the antique store or hardware store or at that garage sale and it “almost fits” in your car, you can simply use the bungee cord to keep it safe in the trunk. These come in really handy and I have used them a good few times.
Tip 3 - Tire Emergency Filler
Also known as “Fix a Flat”. Now this is really important. If you get a flat tire and are not comfortable with the idea of changing a tire, and the hole or puncture is not massive, then this will work. You simply put this in your tire. It will seal the leak temporarily until you can get to a repair station.
This way you don’t ruin the tire. You don’t need to jack the car up or do anything like that, you simply follow the instructions on the can and then once you have filled it, you should make tracks to a repair station. I personally would keep a couple of cans of this around.
How to Change a Tire
Tip 4 - Spare Tire Accessories and Flashlight
Tip 4 – Tire Accessories and Flashlight – If you do get a nasty flat or even a blow out that the fix a flat is not going to be able to fix, then you need to change your tire. But there is no point in doing this if you don’t have the accessories to go with your spare tire such as jack and tire iron.
So, many people take these out of the car for whatever reason, maybe that last flat, or they thought they were noisy in the trunk but you should seriously make sure you even know where your spare is and the associated accessories needed to do a roadside change.
If you have to call a roadside service, you still need your accessories for them to do the job, so familiarize yourself with where the spare is and the tire iron and jack. On newer cars they are secured in with the tire under the carpet in the trunk. On many pickup trucks they are under the truck, so know where they are now before an incident arises and you are emptying your car on the side of the road in bad weather looking for these things. They should be kept together.
If you had to have a spare fixed at some point, then put everything back where it was. I remember my hubby trying to find the jack in our son’s car on a rainy night and it had been tucked away in a side pocket of the trunk instead of with the tire. In the dark this can be hard to find.
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Tip 5 - Emergency Escape Seat Belt Cutter and Window Breaker Tool
You don’t want to be totally paranoid, but this is a tool you should have in your car and keep in your glove box. In a car accident sometimes seat belts get jammed, or the electric window won’t work and you need to get yourself or your loved ones out of the car.
This seat belt cutter tool will quickly slice through a seat belt and the hammer head on it will break a window quickly. These are an affordable piece of insurance to have in a car. They can cut through the belts of your kids’ car seats as well as your own. If you feel you are in serious danger and need to get out of the car before emergency crews arrive. This is a handy tool to have.
But always keep it in either the glove box, or other place near you that has a secure lid so that in the case of an accident the tool doesn’t go flying. So, putting it under the seat is not the best place, it is recommended to be kept in the glove box.
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What to keep in your car? Hope the above tips inspire you to create a kit right now so you have it ready. There are many other things you can add, such as blankets, snacks and candles, which you can purchase in emergency kits, but I have actually had to use the above things.. so these are the most important in my opinion as things happen in your car that are not always emergencies, but more of a pain in the you know what. So you could call it your “pain in the you know what” kit.