Everyone has run into car trouble at one time or another. Often, there’s someone around to help, or maybe you keep a set of jumper cables and some emergency car tools in the trunk. But what do you do when the problem isn’t something common? People often think they have everything they need in case of an emergency, but there’s no way of looking into the future. Here’s a list of things you may not have considered for your emergency care pack.
Stick and Move
It seems obvious in hindsight, but a lot of people overlook holding things together or breaking them free until there’s a problem. Keeping things like a roll of duct tape and spray lube in your trunk can come in handy. Not only can duct tape hold on a body part after an accident, but it can also help seal a leaky coolant hose, keep water out of a broken headlight and more. A can of WD-40® can come in handy when you need to lubricate a stubborn bolt, but did you know that it softens rubber on cracked hoses and can even be used to keep grease and grime off your hands by spraying it on before you start working?
Trunks have plenty of space for storage, but do you really want to lug around an entire tool set with you? There are many multi-tool options that can provide the right tools for the job in one easy-to-carry handle. By simply keeping a multi-function tool, multi-wrench and a compact emergency hammer, you should have every tool you need for most roadside repair. It’s also a good idea to keep a set of mechanics gloves. Not only can they protect you during repairs, but they also can keep your hands warm if you’re stranded during the winter.
In racing, drivers come into the pits for tires and fuel. While you may not be trying to set a new lap record, it’s a good idea to think of your tires and gas. A simple can of Fix-A-Flat and an small empty gas can are always great things to keep in your trunk.
Let’s face it: Cars never break down on crystal clear days. They wait until it’s pouring or freezing outside. A camping poncho, blanket and a folding shovel can do more than just keep you warm. If you find yourself stuck, you can dig out with the shovel and use the blanket to provide your car with additional traction. If a snowplow kicks up a rock that smashes your window, you’ll be happy you had that plastic poncho and duct tape to cover the window up.
There are lots of tools that have straightforward uses, but we often don’t consider what else they can be used for or what else we might need when we run into car trouble. With a little creativity, ingenuity and the right gear, you can help keep those roadside visits to a minimum.
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Image courtesy of Flickr.
Erich Reichert has been an editor and on-air personality in the radio control car hobby for 12 years. A certified car nut since birth, he has written for internationally published titles such as RC Car Action, RC Driver and Xtreme RC Cars, as well as Stuff Magazine, Road and Track and Super Street. He's covered everything from product reviews and tech articles to high-profile lifestyle pieces and celebrity interviews. Erich found his passion for writing after a successful career as an art director, working with brands such as Pepsico, NASCAR, MTV, Nintendo, WWE, Cannondale Bicycles and HBO. He's also a father, an avid hockey fan and an FIA race license holder who enjoys hiking, playing drums and movies.