15 Things to keep in your car, for any situationTuesday, November 18, 2014
Most people climb into their cars every morning, drive to work (or if you’re lucky) to a holiday destination without thinking twice about the “what ifs”. Make sure that you’re prepared for the unexpected. Keep the following 15 items in your car at all times and you’ll have less to worry about and a more likely chance of getting out of tricky situations:
- Spare tyre:
This one goes without saying. You never know when disaster might strike and reduce that rubber to rubble, especially with the state of South African roads and the size of our potholes. Make sure that your spare tyre is always in perfect condition, when you have your tyres checked at the petrol station; make sure that they also take a look at your spare.
- Jumper cables:
These cables come in handy when your battery unexpectedly dies, maybe you’ve been having a picnic and listening to the cricket on your car radio? Jumper cables also come in handy when you want to play good Samaritan and help a fellow road user in distress.
- Car manual:
When something goes wrong in the car; a light starts flashing or a warning signal comes up, our first reaction is to panic. But sometimes the problem might not be as serious as it seems, look it up in your manual, you might even be able to fix it yourself.
A flashlight is something you can never find when you truly need it, so make sure you don’t leave the house without a trusty torch in the cubby. If you have the misfortune of getting a flat tyre at night, a flashlight will make changing tyre that much easier, it can also be used to flag down other cars for assistance. Make sure you have spare batteries as well.
- Water bottles:
Not only is water important for hydration, be it while sitting in traffic or stranded on the side of the road, some old cars overheat and having some water with you will solve that problem.
It might seem old fashioned to carry paper maps around but you never know when technology might fail you. Your cellphone might go off or your GPS might lose satellite reception or experience a technical problem. It’s much safer to have a hard copy map with you in case you get lost somewhere unfamiliar.
- Emergency money:
Besides having some change for that car guard, it is important to have spare cash in your car (hidden out of sight of roving eyes) for when you are in desperate need of petrol or food and the platteland town that you’re passing through does not have card facilities. It is also handy if you need the help of strangers and feel like you need to repay them.
We’ve all made some unexpected purchases and if you buy something big and heavy that might damage your seats, it’s great to have an emergency blanket that you can place over your leather interior, protecting it from nicks and scratches. Blankets are, obviously, also good to have in case a passenger feels cold or unwell.
- Paper towels/tissues:
Accidents happen, especially when it comes to beverages (usually piping hot coffee) and a moving car. Be sure to have some paper towels or tissues at hand for when your morning drink falls out of your cup holder and all over the interior of your car.
- Pen and paper:
You never know when you might need to make notes. Whether it is to write down directions or to work out fuel consumption, a pen and paper are a must in all cars.
Nobody wants to be left out in the rain. Make sure you have an umbrella in your boot for the times that you can’t find a parking close to the shops and a sudden thunderstorm starts raining on your parade.
- USB Charger:
As long as your car is running, you have power. Keep your cellphone on charge while driving; it might save you in an emergency.
- Energy Bars:
You might find yourself stranded on the side of the road for hours on end. Besides having water in your car to make sure that you don’t become dehydrated, having energy bars or protein bars at hand will keep you alert and energised until the tow truck comes. The last thing you want to do is pass out in a dangerous area.
- Extra Oil:
Even if your car doesn’t smoke and you don’t have to often top up your oil, have a bit of spare oil in your boot for unforeseen emergencies.
- Tow rope:
It doesn’t matter how many friendly strangers stop and offer to tow you to the nearest garage when you run out of fuel or something else goes wrong, without a rope, it’s a no-go. Make sure you have one in your car so others can help you and you can help others.
Even though most of these items seem pretty obvious to have in your car, we’re not always thinking ahead. Pack these items in your car, get it over with, and you’ll have so much less to stress about.
To make sure you’re covered and there’s a helping hand should you ever need assistance.