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Automotive Emergencies: Part 3

    We all know how important it is to have a basic knowledge of first aid in an emergency, but how many of you know first aid for an automotive emergency? This is part three of a three part series that will help you be prepared should you suffer a automotive break down.
» Part 1: Misc. Emergencies
» Part 2: Blizzards
» Part 3: In General...
» Part 4: Care For Your Car
» Part 5: Emergency Equip.

Emergency Equipment

A car trunk can only hold so much but this is a list of things that you should carry in the event of an emergency. Some of these things you can stick in the glove compartment for easier access and not get lost under something else.

  1. Flashlight. Check the batteries at every oil change.
  2. Spare tire. Check the tire pressure at every oil change or when any other tire work is done.
  3. Jack. A good idea is to practice using it so if you do have a flat, you will know how to use it safely.
  4. Four-way lug wrench. Makes taking tight lug nuts off a lot easier than that small lug wrench they put in there. I paint the end that is the correct size for my nuts.
  5. Wheel chocks. (May come with the car)
  6. Do you know where your wheel lock is? Mine is taped inside my glove box.
  7. Rubber hammer
  8. Penetrating oil.
  9. Water pump belt.
  10. Tire pressure gauge.
  11. Inexpensive wrench-and-socket set.
  12. Utility knife.
  13. Both Standard and Phillips screwdrivers.
  14. Good set of jumper cables.
  15. Pliers.
  16. Fuses.
  17. Hose clamps.
  18. One quart of motor oil.
  19. Two or three dollar's worth of nickels, dimes, and quarters.
  20. Six road flares or a set of reflective warning triangles.
  21. A one-gallon plastic jug of water.
  22. Aerosol flat tire fixer. If you use this, be sure to tell the person repairing the tire that it you have used it. Aerosol flat-tire fixers use butane as a propellant and tire changers have been killed when the butane ignited while breaking the tire down. I, personally, have been knocked across the shop when a tire I was repairing exploded.
  23. Small fire extinguisher.
  24. Rags or paper towels.
  25. 50 to 200 pounds of sand, in snowy or cold weather.
  26. Blankets, food and water or juices, again, in snowy or cold weather.

Most of these tools will fit into a small tackle or toolbox, or you can buy a set of tools that comes in a plastic kit. Avoid buying a cheap set. They can be worse than not having any tools at all.

With the advent of cell phones and Onstar, getting help in an emergency situation has become a lot easier. But many of us don't have cell phones, like me, and even less have Onstar. An alternative is a pay per use cell phone that you can buy minutes on like a calling card and keep in your glove compartment.

And as I have said before, the best way to handle an emergency situation is to do all you can to prevent it. And if you have ever been stuck on the side of the road with your wife, three screaming kids and a Mother-in-law in the back seat, you will know just how important it is.

» Part 1       » Part 2       » Part 3       » Part 4
Part 5
Additional Information provided courtesy of and Warranty Direct
© 2000-2007 Vincent T. Ciulla

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