Roadside Emergency Kits - Imagine that you’re on a road trip, far away from Huntington Beach, driving down a dark country road late at night. Suddenly, one of your tires blows out, and your car is impossible to control. You pull to the side of the road and stop, but you don’t even have a spare tire or any tools to fix the flat.
If you have a roadside assistance program and cell phone reception, you can call for help, but if not, you have to either wait for somebody else to pull over and help you or spend the night alone in the middle of nowhere.
This type of situation could be avoided if you had prepared a roadside emergency kit. Then, you could set up flares to alert other drivers while you either change your tire to a spare or fix the hole with a can of sealant and inflate your tire for long enough to get you to safety. Even if these options fail, you will at least have food, water, and a blanket to keep you comfortable and well nourished until you can find help.
A basic roadside emergency kit should include the following items:
- Jumper cables, or a portable battery charger. Usually, these batteries will also recharge electronics such as computers and cell phones. Prices for these batteries range from $60-$120. If you keep a portable battery, make sure you keep it charged.
- Flares or triangle reflectors. LED flares are also an option worth considering.
- A quart or more of motor oil
- A gallon of coolant
- First-aid kit
- Blanket or space blanket
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- A basic tool kit
- A can of tire inflator and sealant such as Fix-a-Flat
- Tire pressure gauge
- Paper towels
- Spray bottle with washer fluid
- Ice scraper (if you will be driving in snow or below freezing conditions)
- Pen and paper
- Granola or energy bars
- Bottled water
When you assemble an emergency kit, you should make it specific to prepare for your vehicle, your driving patterns, and the weather where you’ll be traveling.
If you commute or travel long distances, being well prepared with a roadside emergency kit can make the difference between getting back on the road in minutes or being stranded for hours. Yet most of us don’t even carry the basic items that will help us get back on the road quickly and safely.
Once you have a good kit assembled, organize it so that it is quickly accessible and does not get mixed up.
There are also pre assembled roadside emergency kits that you can buy that should include most of these items, but make sure to tailor it to your needs.
Before you actually have to use your kit, make sure that you are familiar with how to use the items included. You should also use good judgment; if help is readily available, it may make more sense to call and wait for help than try to fix the problem yourself.
With a little bit of planning and organization, you can put together a kit that could save you valuable time and get you out of a bad situation as quickly as possible.
Here at ExperTec Automotive of Huntington Beach, we strongly advocate staying well prepared for the worst. If you find yourself in a roadside emergency and want to check if your vehicle is still roadworthy afterwards, feel free to give us a call today at (714) 848-9222. Our team of ASE certified mechanics is here to help in any sticky situation!