There is a wide range of various types of car owners, especially when it comes down to what you keep in your vehicle. Some prefer to keep their car immaculate and are very particular as to what they keep inside their car. Others treat their vehicle as though they live in it, where anything they could possibly need on any given day is spread out between the front passenger seat to the trunk. To make sure you are prepared for an emergency or car issue, what do you actually need to keep in your vehicle?

‘Key’ Information:

First and foremost you should always have your driver’s license, your insurance and registration information. This is a must and can be kept in your glove compartment. This will not only prevent you from getting an additional ticket from the police when getting pulled over for a violation, but also in the case of a car accident when exchanging information with the other parties involved. It is also a good idea to keep a copy of your car manual, in case of an issue or emergency situation.

What’s In Your Trunk

Better Safe Than Sorry:

There are several situations that will happen by surprise, but being prepared can help significantly. Storing a first aid kit in your trunk is one of the best things you can do. Although you may not be trained to handle an emergency situation, having something in case of an injury can help save time before paramedics arrive. Additionally, having a small fire extinguisher, about 5lbs, can be life saving if your vehicle or someone else’s catches fire. In order to protect yourself and others around you it is important to have hazard triangle, road flares and a flashlight in your trunk as well. Especially at night, this can help control the traffic around you and prevent additional crashes. With the popularity of smartphones, many might not think of about being in an emergency situation without  access to a cellphone. It could be a good idea to have an old phone charged and turned off in your glove box. You can never predict when an emergency situation or car issue will happen, but not having access to a charged cell phone could be detrimental. Phones without a contract or service will still be able to call 911.

When Your Car Malfunctions:

It is common to have a car malfunction or come across someone in need of assistance with a car issue. Jumper cables might be the number one thing to keep in your trunk after the safety items. Often, we hear people ask others for jumper cables, which begs the question of why everyone doesn’t have jumper cables in their car. Also, keeping a spare tire in your trunk will be extremely helpful if you have a flat. A can of fix-a-flat or a tire repair kit is also useful to patch any leaks in your tires. Driving with a leaking tire is very dangerous. That’s why keeping a tire air gauge in your vehicle is so essential, especially on long trips. Other items that might be a huge asset are WD-40, duct tape and a multi-tool.  WD-40 will help get bolts and screws lose in case you need to fix a part on your vehicle. Duct tape can act as a quick fix until you can get to the closest repair shop. A multi-tool will allow for various situations and repairs. It can also save on space rather than keep a tool kit or any number of tools you might need.

Through Sun, Rain or Snow:

Approaching the times of year when weather is harsh, it is important to prepare your car before the first big storm. Firstly, having an ice scraper is the most important for the winter months. Having clear visibility out of all of your windows and mirrors is the most important thing for your safety and of the safety of those around you. Other items that could prevent your car from getting stuck or provide assistance in bad weather situations includes: a carpet or cardboard remnant, road salt, a shovel, a blanket, and a hat, scarf and gloves. Obviously the blanket and winter accessories will give your warm in the case of your breaking down or getting stuck for an extended period of time. Also the carpet/cardboard remnant, road salt and shovel will help break up the snow and ice around your car as well as provide traction to get out of a ditch, deep snow or slipper ice patches.

Written by Marc Laferierre, owner of Dents Unlimited. Dents Unlimited is a full service auto repair shop in Columbia, MO.