How To Prepare For Car Emergencies

how to prepare for car emergencies

Americans spend a great amount of time in their cars. They use them to commute to work, run chores, visit family and friends, and so much more. Although we love our cars they cause us to worry. Just like all other mechanical devices, cars break down. And sometimes they do so at the worse time like when you’re driving or when you’re rushing to get to work on time. So what can you do to prepare for this? Here’s three ways on how to to prepare for car emergencies.

How To Prepare For Car Emergencies: Keep Tools & Supplies In Your Car

The first way on how to prepare for car emergencies to to invest in a toolbox to keep tools & supplies in your car. You can keep this in your trunk, as that’s what I do. This way you have the ability to solve some to many car emergencies.

In my car I have a cheap toolbox I got from Walmart years ago which contains the following (which is not an exhaustive list and please the pictures below for more):

  • Wrench
  • Pliers
  • A screwdriver set
  • Scissors
  • Knife
  • Duct tape
  • Tire inflator

Why these tools & supplies? From my past experiences and some research I knew it was important to have items like tape to wrap burst pipes or a wrench to loosen or tighten nuts or bolts. Not only did I use my tire inflator to inflate a flat tire, but I allowed others to use it too.

How can you start your toolbox without spending too much? You can buy them second-hand off of places like Craigslist, Ebay, or Nextdoor, or you can get them from stores like Walmart, Target. You can even get this from a home improvement store like Home Depot or Lowe’s. Get a plastic toolbox that’s deep enough to hold the tools & supplies you want to keep inside it. And you don’t even need a toolbox if you have a plastic container with a lid in your home that you’re not using.

My final suggestion when it comes to this method is to not buy your tools & supplies from a dollar store. Those items there aren’t made well and break easily. In an emergency use durable tape or a wrench so you can get back onto the road or take your car to an auto shop.

Lastly, this is not the only items you should keep. There are things like jumper cables and tire fixer gel you can include in your kit. Find out what you need and keep it in your car.

How To Prepare For Car Emergencies: Invest In Kitty Litter Or A Bag Of Sand

Stuck in deep grass, mud or snow sucks. How to prepare for car emergencies like is to keep a bag or container of kitty litter or sand in your car.

Either item, when placed under your tires, will provide the grip you need to get your car out of mud or snow. You’re stuck because the car’s tires do not have the friction to propel the car forward or backward. So the tires just spin.

Unlike the tools & supplies I highly suggest you go the cheap route here. I found bags of kitty litter in my local dollar stores and keep one in my car. And it works great to unstuck your vehicle because I’ve used it in the past. You can probably find bags of sand in dollar stores too but those bags will not be large. You will get a better deal from big-box stores.

How To Prepare For Car Emergencies: Keep Cash In Your Car

The final way on how to prepare for car emergencies is to keep some cash in your car as most of us use debit or credit cards for our daily expenses. Some even use their phones. Thus, many of us do not carry any cash, including myself.

Why is this important? What if you’re traveling and you need to buy gas but the gas station’s credit card network is down? Or what if you lose your debit or credit card, or you can’s use your phone to pay for something? You need cash to buy the gas or buy some food.

I keep a $20 bill in a vitamin supplement bottle in my glove box. And I had to use that when a nail lodged itself in one of my tires, causing a fast leak. I took my car to a nearby auto repair shop and they plugged the hole in my tire for $20 (and the mechanic showed me the small nail that caused the problem). Yes, the auto shop took debit/credit but what if they didn’t? What if that system was down?

Which is why you need to keep some cash in your car. Don’t keep that much cash in your cash because it’s easily stolen. However, keep twenty to forty bucks in your car somewhere just in case.

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Naomi Lane
1 month ago

You are obviously way more handy than I am. That’s what roadside assistance or an AAA membership is for. Roadside preparedness for me is more about keeping a first aid kit in my trunk, as well as blanket, bottled water, snacks and a flashlight. This keeps me safe whenever I’m leaving my local area.