If you’ve ever found yourself stuck on the side of the road you know that the situation can feel very urgent. Very unsafe. Very helpless.
The good news? It doesn’t have to be that way. When the shit hits the fan as you are driving (and it will happen to everyone eventually) a basic set of tools can mean the difference between success and failure.
What exactly are these tools? That is the question we will be exploring today. Read on for a list of five tools everyone will need in their car when the shit hits the fan.
1: Jack/Lug Wrench/Inflated Replacement Tire
One of the most common roadside emergencies is the pesky flat tire. One minute you are driving smoothly. The next your mutilated tire is kicking up sparks, and forcing your Camaro Convertible car to swerve all across the road.
When the flat tire happens, it’s actually fairly simple to rectify the situation. But to do that, you need the right stuff.
Just about every car owner will be well served by keeping a jack, a lug wrench, and an inflated spare tire on hand. Granted, you will need to take the car to the shop eventually. However, a few tools will let you get there in your own ride, rather than in a tow truck.
2: Jumper Cables
If you’ve ever gone out to your car from the grocery store to all of a sudden find out that the battery died as you bought milk, you know what we are talking about here.
No matter you are, everyone should have a set of jumper cables. And of course, they should also know how to use them. They are cheap, small enough to easily fit in any car, and they can quickly turn a bad situation around.
3: A Warm Blanket
Sometimes when the you know what has hit the fan, and it has nothing at all to do with how your car is running. The best tire iron in the world won’t do you much good if you are caught in a three-hour traffic jam.
During the winter, these incidents frequently plague commuters on their way to or from work. A sudden snow ices up the highway, and all of sudden your fifteen-minute drive home from work takes three hours instead.
When these situations arise, you want to make sure that you will be relatively comfortable. Think about keeping a warm blanket somewhere in your car for these types of situations.
Best case scenario, the blanket will keep you comfortable as you wait out the jam. Worst case scenario, it will help you sleep if you find yourself in one of those infamous nine-hour traffic stops.
Last but not least, you will want to keep a flashlight in your car at all times. Why? The reason is pretty simple. Sometimes cars breakdown at night. Fixing a problem in the pitch dark is ineffective and dangerous.
The good news is that most people have flashlights on their phone these days. Still, for best results, it may be worth it to keep a real flashlight as back up.
No one likes it when the shit hits the fan in their car. It can be costly, scary, and dangerous. But, with the right equipment on hand, you can be your own hero.
Don’t wait. Get some good gear and come correct the next time something in your car goes wrong. You’ll be glad you did when you find yourself successfully pulling back onto the highway after taking care of that pesky flat tire.
Note: I was very picky when writing this list, and had to prioritize some tools over others, even though I found them very useful. 4 tools are not a lot, and had the list been longer I would’ve considered adding pneumatic impact wrenches (for tough lug nuts), a shovel and much more.