Things You Should Always Keep in Your Car

By April 4, 2014 Blog, Education & Tips

We’re all about safety, prevention, and preparedness here at Coast Motor Werk, so when asked what our list of must-haves for the car or trunk would be, it was tough to narrow it down to just a few.

Here’s our exhaustive list of things you should always keep in your car. Fortunately, none of them take up much room and most of them you likely already have at home, so it won’t require spending a lot of money. And if it can save your life or at least keep you safer, it’s well worth the time it takes to put it together.

As always, keep our number in your phone (and a business card in your car) and if you run into any problems, you can give us a call and we’ll help you out!

Items for Repair

Even if you’re not a master mechanic, it’s a good idea to have these items in your car in case you need them. Anyone can perform a few minor repairs, such as changing a tire or jumpstarting a dead battery.

  • Spare tire – Make sure it’s there, and inflated. Last thing you need when you get a flat tire is a spare that doesn’t work!
  • Jack and other tools needed to change a tire
  • Tire inflater and sealer – There are kits available for purchase, if your tire has a leak, you can seal and inflate it for long enough to get you to the tire shop
  • Jumper cables
  • Car manual – This should already be in your glove compartment, but double check. Also not a bad idea to look through it and familiarize yourself with what’s in it.
  • Car repair info – This should also be in your glove compartment: your mechanic’s phone number; number for AAA or roadside assistance, if applicable; and car insurance info
  • Duct tape – You never know when it will come in handy. Broken window? Duct tape a garbage bag over it. Broken muffler? Duct tape it on! Loud children? JUST KIDDING!! DON’T use duct tape on your kids!!
  • Tire pressure gauge – This is an important preventative step. Keep it in your center console and once a month, check your tire pressure while the tires are cold (before you have driven). Keeping it at good levels can prevent tire blowouts, conserve fuel, and preserve your tire tread. The ideal pressure should be listen in the driver’s doorjamb and in your manual.
  • Oil – Keeping a couple quarts handy is never a bad idea

Items for Safety

Always make sure you are proactive. Taking a road trip, driving in inclement weather conditions, driving at night or in areas you’re unfamiliar with, or if your car is unreliable – take extra precautions. You can’t be too careful!

  • First aid kit & manual – Kit should include gauze and bandages, antibacterial ointment, tweezers, and pain reliever such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen
  • Flashlight
  • Extra batteries and/or portable battery charger
  • Stainless steel Multi-tool – Containing knife, scissors, screwdriver, pliers, bottle & can opener, wire stripper, etc. Check out Leatherman, Swiss, and Victorinox.
  • Matches
  • Food – Healthy items with a long shelf life such as protein/energy bars or MREs (just add water)
  • Water bottles
  • Trash bags – Can be used for a myriad of purposes. Cover wet ground when changing a tire, use as a poncho, put trash or wet/dirty items in it, etc.
  • Work gloves – For handling wet/slippery, hot, or sharp items
  • Seat belt cutter/Window breaker – Keep this in your glove compartment
  • Flares/Reflective triangles – People HAVE been hit and killed by cars while changing tires
  • Maps – Not just a GPS on your phone, but also the paper kind. If your phone dies and you’re not familiar with the area, you’ll be glad you have them. (iPhone Apps like AroundMe and Yelp can help you locate a gas station, tire shop, or auto mechanic if you need one right away.)
  • Small fire extinguisher – Designed for automobile use
  • Extra cell phone, fully charged – Even if there’s no subscription, it can still be used to dial 911

Items for Winter Conditions

For those of you who drive up to Big Bear, Lake Arrowhead, Mammoth or wherever to ski and enjoy the winter weather, take these things along with you in case of emergency:

  • Ice scraper and shovel
  • Mylar space blanket – keeps you super warm
  • Hat, scarf, and gloves
  • Extra set of clothes – if you need to change a tire or be out in the rain, you don’t want to be stuck in wet clothes
  • Cardboard, carpet remnant, and/or towels – Great for putting under the tires to gain traction if you’re stuck in snow. Wedge the carpet (or other item) under the tire, then drive in the direction of the carpet.
  • Road salt

Miscellaneous Items

For safety, and also just everyday issues that come up:

  • Paper towels/hand towels
  • Pencil & paper
  • Umbrella/poncho
  • Toilet paper (and a coffee can? For, you know…emergencies)
  • Extra change, emergency money
  • Shopping bags
  • Blankets (not just handy for emergencies, but also ball games and impromptu park visits)
  • Change of clothes
  • Extra cell phone/cell phone charger – keep in glove compartment

Have Coast Motor Werk service your BMW and Mini regularly to keep it running safely and efficiently for many years to come! Any questions? Give us a call!