Things to carry in your car!!!

Some times you don’t find out what you need until you need it. I made a list of items and explanations of the items that you should keep in your car or truck. If you are preparing this emergency kit for someone else, you need to explain to them what is in the kit and were the kit is located. You also should set cell phone reminders to inspect the items in the kit. Items such as food or requiring charged batteries need to be inspected more frequently. You don’t want to overspend on these items, at the same time when it comes to equipment like this you generally get what you pay for.

Item Group One: Cell Phone, Cellphone Battery Charger and Battery Powered Charger

Having your cell phone is important. You can use this to call emergency services, tow trucks, or a friend. Make sure your battery is charged so you can use it. I also recommend having a car charger so you can charge it while your car is idling and a battery powered charger. Battery Powered Chargers usually take AA batteries. In case your phone dies and your car can’t start, you will still be able to charge your battery.

Item Group Two: Insurance, Registration, License, AAA Membership (auto group or towing service membership), and car warranty (if it provided tow service).

If you get pulled over or in a wreck, in most states it is a legal requirement to have your insurance, license and registration on you or in a digital form. Paid for emergency tow services or warrantied tow services will save you a lot of money than calling a towing company yourself. I personally use AAA Premier. They can tow my car up to 200 miles. I believe I paid less than $100 a year for it. Within the first use of it, I get that money back in savings. They also can jump start your car or unlock your car if you locked yourself out. Some new cars have warranties that they will tow you to the dealer for free to get your car repaired. A lot of times if you have to get your car towed and you don’t have the money or the insurance to cover it, your car will sit in an impound lot or the towing companies’ lot until you can pay the fee. Some places will tack on daily charges and if you can’t pay, they might be able to keep your car.

Item Group Three: Battery Jumper Cables and or Charged Portable Battery Charger / Jumper

Jumping Cables can be used to get your car started if the battery dies. You can also use it to jump start another personals car. I recommend getting long battery jumper cables in case you are parked in an area another can cannot pull in front of you.

A portable battery charger or jumper can jump start your car without the need for a second car. The downfall is that it has to be charged and has to be powerful enough to jump start your car. Some of them can be charged through the power outlet port in the car. This item has to be inspected to make sure it is charged. My friend had a dying battery he would have to use this every time he started his car. He would drive long enough to make sure the charger would recharge.

Item Group Four: Car Jack, Inflated Spare Tire (or make sure you have a tire inflator), Jack Stand (optional but recommended), tire iron (that fits your car), tire inflator, tire gauge, tire hole repair kit.

In many cars most of these items already exist. In case you need to change your tire, you will need a car jack and a tire iron. I also recommend using a jack stand in case the jack slips. The tire inflator can be used to fill a car tire you repaired with a tire hole repair kit or tire patch kit. Only use a tire repair kit if it is an emergency and you don’t have a spare. Many companies will not put a patch on your tire if you used a tire repair kit with a plug. The tire gauge is used to see the tire pressure. If you need to refill your tires at any time, it is always a good idea to use a gauge to make sure you don’t overfill or underfill the tire.

Item Group Five: First Aid Kit / Food

This can be used in case someone if physically hurt. I also recommend making sure it has an emergency blanket and a tourniquet. Have a couple bottles of water and emergency preserved food. Some of my friends even put a life straw in their car.

Item Group Six: Electrical / Tools

You should also keep spare fuses and a couple relays your car uses. If one of these goes bad in your car, you could have components such as the lights not work. In some cases, your car will not start at all.

A mechanics tool set that contains sockets, wrenches, screw drivers, pliers and Allen keys can help out a lot. Something as simple as removing a car battery can require multiple size wrenches and its best to have more tools than needed than not having any.

An LED flashlight with charged batteries. Any task mechanical can be an instant nightmare if you can’t see

Item Group Seven (barbaric): Have a metal hand shear, duct tape and zip ties.  If you ran over a curb and damaged your mud flaps or bumper, you may need to cut part of it off. The shears will be able to cut rubber mud flaps and the duct tape and zip ties can help hold your car together until you can get it somewhere safe. I crashed into a mound of snow before and had to use shears to cut rubber off one of my mud flaps because it kept dragging on the ground.

You should also have a small foldable shovel. This can help dig your car out of the sand if it gets stuck.

Item Group: Miscellaneous items

I recommend having a tow rope in case you need to be pulled out of an area such as mud or a ditch.  There are cheap LED safety triangles you can use to show cars that your vehicle is stalled and it will help others spot you. Flares are great too but go out after a few minutes. If you live in the middle of nowhere you can also bring a flare gun with you. If you have a diesel vehicle, I recommend having a bottle of AMSOIL emergency deicer. Diesel fuel can gel up in very cold weather and prevent you from starting you diesel car.

You can also have a window breaker and seat belt cutter on your keychain and in the center console. This can be used to free yourself and the passengers if you are trapped inside the car or your seatbelt is jammed.

Some waterproof matches, an empty large metal coffee can and emergency candles can be used to make a makeshift heater and flashlight. If you live in cold weather you should also have blankets to keep warm until help arrives.