No one likes to imagine they’re going to experience a breakdown. It’s an unpleasant thought, but unfortunately breakdowns do happen and it’s best to be prepared. There are a number of tools that you can carry with you in your car to make your breakdown a short one, or at least not so unpleasant until more help can arrive.
We recommend keeping the following 10 essential items in your car so that you’re always prepared to handle a breakdown:
1. First Aid Kit
Whether you have a small fender bender causing your breakdown or get a cut while checking your car outside, having a first aid kit is a useful item to have in your car, breakdown or no breakdown. Keep this basic tool with you and you’ll be glad when it comes in handy.
2. Warning Triangles
One warning triangle will do the job, but ideally have a few to place at 50 ft apart or so so that oncoming traffic is prepared to give you the space you need. These reflective triangles are especially important at night so that other vehicles can take precautions when passing you.
In addition to triangles, a bright, reflective vest is helpful for making sure you’re visible. Imagine it’s raining and foggy and you’re just walking around your car to check the hood. It’s only a few moments, but it’s best you’re seen.
4. Fuel Container
No one imagines they’ll actually run out of gas, but imagine if you get lost on a backroad and can’t find a gas station in time. Having a fuel container can help you avoid excessive costs calling service if you are able to find a gas station nearby. Or, perhaps a helpful stranger will be able to point you in the right direction or bring you some gas. Having a fuel container in your car is handy for these situations.
If your car breaks down in cold weather and you have to wait a while for help, a good blanket can be a lifesaver. Keep one in the trunk of your car just in case you need it.
You need two kinds of water here: drinking water and water that you can put in your radiator. If you get stuck and need to wait for help, you may get thirsty. Another common breakdown problem is overheating and water is often the first thing to go. If you have water to add to your radiator, you may be able to make it to a service station or shop a few miles away.
Breakdowns can happen at any time of the day or night. Be prepared for a night breakdown with a good quality flashlight and extra batteries. A wind up battery will also do the trick.
8. Jumper Cables
Battery problems are another common cause of breakdown. If a friendly driver is able to help you, you’ll still need jumper cables to get the car going again. Keep high quality cables with thick rubber insulation on hand for a safe jump.
9. Spare Tire and Jack
Flat tires will keep you stuck. Make sure you keep a well-maintained spare in your car just in case you run over a nail or have a puncture. You’ll also need a few tools for changing the tire that you’ll also need to keep on hand.
Most modern cars come with a set of unique tools that are made specifically for your car. Keep them in your car! Along with the manual, these tools may help you solve minor problems that can get your car up and running again.
Experiencing a breakdown in San Diego County? Call NK Towing’s 24 hour roadside service at 760-722-9262 for quick, professional service that will get you going again.