Vehicle emergencies can happen at any time, and you never want to be caught stranded without an important emergency tool or item. Even if you have a roadside assistance membership, it’s important to have an emergency kit in your car because it will take time for help to arrive, and cell phone reception (and battery life!) isn’t guaranteed.
You don’t need to buy a premade kit because making your own doesn’t take much effort, and you can customize it for your unique vehicle and needs. Below are some of the most important things to include in your homemade roadside emergency kit, and a clear plastic bin or a duffel bag works well for storing the items.
- First aid kit - A first aid kit is one of the most important things to include in your roadside emergency kit, and you should buy a premade kit that every basic item.
- Cell phone - Buy a cheap cell phone just for your kit; you don’t need service on it because you can call 911 without a plan, and make sure that it is fully charged. Also include in a car charger and an extra battery.
- Blanket - Carry a blanket with you in case you break down in cold weather or rain.
- Tire sealant/inflator - This comes in an aerosol can and is used to seal small holes in your tire and inflate it temporarily until you can get to a repair shop.
- Jumper cables - Be sure to have jumper cables in your kit, and a portable battery charger is even better because it eliminates the need for a second car.
- Water and high-energy snacks - Carry a few bottles of water and non-perishable high energy snacks like granola bars or trail mix in case you get stranded in your vehicle for several hours./li>
- Flashlight and extra batteries - You’ll probably find that your flashlight is one of the most commonly used items in your roadside emergency kit, and there are dozens of situations where you might need one.
- Roadside flares and warning triangles - Roadside flares can be particularly important to have if your car breaks down in a poorly lit area or in bad weather. You should also include at least three reflective warning triangles to warn oncoming traffic and place them 40 to 50 feet apart.
- Fire extinguisher - You never want to be anywhere near your car if it is on fire, but a small extinguisher can be used if there is a smaller fire that just started (such as a cigarette fire or a dropped match).
- Cold weather extras - If you live in a cold climate you should consider including snow chains, an extra blanket, a small foldable shovel and an ice scraper.
The only way to be better prepared for an emergency - other than your perfect roadside assistance kit - is to prevent common causes of breakdowns. How? Make sure you take your car in for regular maintenance. Looking for the best mechanic in San Diego? Convoy Auto Repair has got you covered. But don’t take our word for it - see what our customers say about us!