Vehicle accidents, injuries, and flat tires can all be unexpected while driving on the roads, which is why you should be prepared for any situation. While there are many ways to ensure you are always in the safest situation, having a professional auto repair shop inspect your vehicle routinely can make sure your vehicle is running smoothly. Casey’s Automotive in Sterling, VA is dedicated to keeping drivers safe in the Northern VA area by providing high-quality automotive repairs and inspections. Here are 15 essentials items you should consider keeping in your vehicle all year long:
1. Vehicle Manual
You never know when an unexpected light will come on or your radio will start acting up. Your vehicle’s manual is an important tool that should be kept in your vehicle at all times. Having the manual ready and at your disposal will allow you to distinguish any difficulties your vehicle may be experiencing. There is a lot of information regarding the specifics of your vehicle in that manual, which is why we are always telling our customers to familiarize themselves with it. The more you know, the better you will be prepared.
In this day of modern technology, paper maps may seem like a thing of the past, but they are more useful than you think. Getting lost in the middle of nowhere can be a terrifying experience, and if your cell phone dies or there is no cellular service, you could find yourself in a sticky situation. If you are unsure of the areas that you will be driving through, especially in that drive is over a long distance, make sure you have a map of your route before you leave.
3. First-Aid Kit
First-Aid kits can come in handy at any moment, for yourself or others. With minimal effort, you can purchase one online or at your local pharmacy. And, if you already have a decent amount of first aid supplies in your home, you can make a kit of your own to store in your vehicle.
4. Spare Tire with Jack and Lug Wrench
If one of your tires goes flat, a jack and lug wrench will enable you to safely replace the flat tire with a donut or full-sized spare so that you can make it to an automotive shop for a final repair. In some cases, an auto repair shop may advise you to purchase a new tire as your flat tire may be unsafe to drive on.
5. Jumper Cables
Dying batteries are about as common as flat tires, so you always want to be prepared. Make sure to store jumper cables somewhere in your vehicle in case you or another driver needs a jump start.
6. Blanket and Towel
Having a blanket and towel in your vehicle is more convenient than you may think. You can use a blanket for comfort during a long road trip and a towel to clean up messes. You can also use them to sit on at the park or a sports game.
If your vehicle breaks down, needs to be jumped, or is making weird noises at night, you may need a flashlight with you to get a good view of any issues the engine is experiencing.
Multi-tools (like a multi-tool pocket knife) can be used in a variety of situations. You may need scissors, a screwdriver, or just a sharp edge, which you should have in your vehicle at all times for your convenience.
9. Ice Scraper
Sometimes the defroster in your vehicle isn’t enough on a freezing morning. An ice scraper will be a lot faster, so you can get to your destination on time.
10. Writing Utensils and Paper
You never know when you’ll need to write something down. Whether you are involved in an accident and need to jot down insurance information or you get lost and have to write out directions, paper and writing utensils will come in handy.
11. Cell Phone Charger
These days, our cell phones have become an extension of our physical bodies and finding yourself caught without your phone in working condition could be a real cause for concern. Between using the GPS or simply having forgotten to charge it before you leave, a drained battery can sneak up on you. This can always be easily prevented by having a phone-specific charger in your vehicle. Most stores sell them, and they can be found online. Be sure to hop online or stop and pick one up, just in case.
12. Tire Pressure Gauge
Driving with low tire pressure is dangerous to yourself and those driving around you. Now, while vehicles built in and after 2008 have a dashboard light to alert you when tire pressure is low, it important to carry a tire pressure gauge to enable you to check the pressure of each tire. This will allow you to determine the one that needs to be filled up, patched, or changed. Plus, it important to know how much you have filled your tire to avoid under or overfilling it.
13. Duct Tape
Duct tape can provide quick and temporary fixes in various situations. For example, if someone were to knock off one of your side view mirrors, you can duct tape it back on until you make time to get it fixed at an auto repair shop.
Hydration is key, but water can also be used for other things such as cleaning a spill or treating a cut. Keep a few water bottles in your vehicle just in case this happens.
15. Repair Information
In the event of an accident or emergency, having vehicle repair contact information such as insurance or roadside assistance stored in your vehicle will allow you to exchange information with the proper authorities or providers in a calm manner.
Casey’s Automotive: Trustworthy Auto Repair Services in Sterling, VA
Here at Casey’s Automotive, our team has the professional training and experience to make sure your vehicle is in good hands and as good as new. No matter what you need, we will be able to provide vehicle inspections and maintenance services customized to your needs. Trust our Sterling auto garage with all of your automotive needs. Contact us today at (703) 444-6900 to make an appointment with us!