No one wants to find themselves in an emergency, especially when it’s on the road. But with just a little forethought and preparation, you can become much more confident on the road and in your ability to adapt to less-than-ideal circumstances.
Emergency Supplies for Cars
Of course, being prepared means thinking ahead and having the most useful tools on hand that can help in a variety of incidents. Once you’ve gathered your initial vehicle emergency kit, it’s important to ensure that it’s relevant for your lifestyle and any lifestyle changes (pets, dogs, trips), as time goes on and when the seasons change. As a result, the National Safety Council recommends that you check your vehicle emergency kit every 6 months.
What Should You Include?
When assembling your vehicle emergency kit for the first time, it can be hard to know where to start. After years in the automotive industry and speaking with our customers, here’s what we recommend you keep stocked in your car at all times.
For Roadside Vehicle Repairs
Tool kit, including a multipurpose tool, tire iron, wrenches and tire gauge
- Spare tire that is already inflated as per your vehicle specs
- Jumper cables
- Duct tape
- Fire extinguisher
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Pylons or reflective triangles, reflective tape
Weather Specific Items
- Snow brush
- Windshield washer fluid
- Cat litter for traction
- Water for cooling parts
For Passenger Safety
- Reflective vest
- Blankets and warm clothing
- Rain poncho
- Drinking water
- High-energy non-perishable foods, such as granola bars, nuts, dried fruits and hard candy
- Phone charger that is compatible with your vehicle
- Compass and relevant maps
First Aid Kit
- Gauze, tape and bandages
- Antibiotic ointment, ibuprofen or aspirin
- Non-latex gloves, rubbing alcohol or sanitizer, and disinfectant
- Scissors and tweezers
- Instant cold compress
It may seem like a lot at first, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. You never know when your car or another person’s vehicle might need it.
Preparing Your Vehicle
Last but certainly not least, keep your vehicle tuned up with regular maintenance and repairs to avoid vehicle-related emergencies as much as possible. While this is always important, it is especially pertinent to have your vehicle in excellent working order before an environmental or community emergency occurs that may cause you to rely on your vehicle more, such as evacuating before/during a natural disaster.
We always recommend that you keep an eye on the function of your vehicle and maintain regular service schedules, but when it comes to preparing for an emergency, here are the top services that you should have your mechanic check up on and update accordingly:
- Antifreeze levels
- Battery and ignition system
- Brake system and fluid
- Exhaust system
- Fuel and air filters
- Heater and defroster
- Lights and flashing hazard lights
- Engine oil and filter
- Windshield wiper equipment and washer fluid level
- Tires, axles and wheel alignment
Other Vehicle Preparations
Besides regular maintenance, there are some very useful habits that you can instill now and ensure you’re up to date on prior to an emergency, expected or not.
- Keep your gas tank at least half full at all times
- Be conscious of environmental instability from flooding, earthquakes, etc.
- Have appropriate tires for the conditions
- Avoid driving through deep water – even six inches of water can affect the traction of your vehicle. Deeper water can float your vehicle or even flood it
- Keep your doors locked when driving
- Know the best routes to evacuate
- Outline the roles and responsibilities of each member in your family or group
Once you’ve started to implement these habits into your daily driving routines, you’ll be much more ready for a variety of scenarios should you need to rely on your vehicle in an emergency.
Good Working Order
Reliability and preparedness is the name of the game when it comes to emergencies. Give yourself the gift of peace of mind and, in the worst scenarios, the gift of reliability with regularly scheduled maintenance and vehicle emergency preparedness. After you’ve created a plan, assembled your emergency kit and instilled valuable habits, it’s time to make sure your vehicle is ready for anything.
AutoScope’s team of qualified technicians are experienced with preparing vehicles for reliability and longevity on the road. We specialize in German and European cars, including Audi, Porsche, BMW and Mercedes, and serve a number of areas around Dallas, Plano, Frisco, Flower Mound, and Irving. Come in and get your vehicle prepped for anything! Contact us online here to schedule your appointment.