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CNN Article - Should I Pack My Own Auto Emergency Kit?

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CNN Article - Should I Pack My Own Auto Emergency Kit?

By: Davo Stoyko - May 1 2013

What should you do before a long car trip. First off, the best emergency tool you can pack is a fully-charged cell phone - and cell phone charger. Second, make sure you have a fully packed auto emergency kit. This kit should include at a minimum jumper cables, fix-a-flat or tire sealer, flashlight and batteries, some tools, a tow rope, a first aid kit, and either flares or a reflective triangle.

emergency car kit

Finding the right car emergency kit can also be a challenge. Each traveler may require different supplies. For instance some cars use metric tools while most american cars use SAE. If you do choose to buy a pre pack kit like those found in Pepboys and Sears, buy a kit that has extra space to add more supplies. We recommend that you add some leather gloves, duct tape, a extra fix-a-flat, a rain poncho and a very bright lantern. You can find an assortment of auto emergency kits supplies here.

Some of the best pre packed auto emergency kits can be found at Batterysavers.com in there "Auto Emergency Kit" section. They carry many good pre backed kits as well as kits you can add to - or customize. But no matter which kit you choose, the most important travel tip is to always confirm you have plenty of oil, brake fluid and wiper fluid.

Below are some of the best auto emergency kits we found plus a emergency kit checklist.

Auto Emergency Kit Check List

1.Tire Maintenance: Be sure to conduct a thorough inspection of all tires - and your spare -before you travel. Make sure you check for proper inflation, 32-38 is about right but your owner's manual will tell you the right pressure for your car. Check the depth of your tire tread and condition. Inspect the tire side walls for any cracks, cuts or bulges.Keep a tire pressure gauge in your auto emergency kit....

2. Houses and Belts Maintenance: Open that hood and take a look around for anything that looks out of place. Turn the engine off and make a quick visual inspection of all of your battery, water hoses and belts. Look very closely at the belts for any stray threads, wear or roughness. Look again at the water hoses and clamps for water or rust. Give each hose a squeeze. If any hoses feel too soft, they may need to be replaced. Seek professional help with a mechanic for further details. If possible, add a spare belt to your auto emergency kit.Ultimate Car Auto Emergency Kit

3. Fluids Maintenance: It is always a smart idea to changes the oil before that big trip. And don't forget to change out the oil filter. Confirm you have plenty of antifreeze, oil, brake fluid, power steering fluid and transmission fluid. And, don't forget to inspect your windshield wiper fluid and rain blades --if in question, change them out. Battery to be safe than sorry.

4. Brake Maintenance: Ok, you've already checked your brake fluid, now it's time to check your brakes and brake pads. First off, use your ears to detect any scraping or squealing sounds when you apply the brakes.Those are bad sounds to hear from your brakes. Next use your nose to detect any burning smell. Lastly, use your eyes to inspect those brakes for visual rust, pad pitting or brake damage. Have your brakes inspected by a professional if you are not sure about the pads condition.

5. AC - Heating Maintenance: In most places winters get cold and summers get hot. There is nothing that can stop a good road trip faster than not heat or no A/C. One of the best little prevention tips can help keep things cool so you don't get hot. Best suggestion, since this is a little complicated, ask a mechanic to check both your heating system and air conditioning system. you will need to do this at least once a year.Cell Phone Charger

6. Emergency Cell Phone Communication Preparation:The absolute best emergency tools you can take with you is a fully charged cell phone and a cell phone charging cord. If you don't have a current sell phone, buy one of those "pre-paid" metro phones. Also, one item I suggested to pack in the auto emergency kit is a 12 Volt Battery Power Supply like the one found here. Emergency Cell Phone Charger. It takes 8 D cell batteries and provide 12 volt of power thru the cigarette adapter.

7. First Aid Kit Emergency preparation: emergency first aid kitEven though you may have a cell phone, you may be required to administer some first aid procedures at a moments notice. Most important, make sure that you have a large and well stocked first aid kit. A first aid kit does ship with most auto emergency kit but it is always a good idea to upgrade to a larger first aid kit. make sure is contains plenty of large and small bandages,tape, gauze, pain reliever, allergy medication and sterile antiseptic. There are plenty of good smaller first aid kits starting and $19.95, but we suggest upgrading to a larger kit. Upgraded supplies can include gloves, splints and scissors. We found a great auto first aid kit found here. Auto first Aid Kit. This auto kit has a long expiration date and is water proof. More Emergency Auto First Aid Kits can be found here.

8. Emergency Tools preparation: Don't ever travel without adding your basic tools to your auto emergency kit. Make sure you select tools that are compatible with your vehicle. Some basic tools are screwdrivers, large pliers, a large or small hammer, a rubber mallet, a crescent or adjustable wrench, a pair of wire cutters, a good pair of needle nose pliers, and a wire brush. Also it's good to take along leather gloves and some old rags. Lastly, make sure you have the proper tools to remove the lug nuts on your tires.

9. Maps, GPS and Driving Navigation: GPS: Spontaneity can be great, but don't loose track of where you what to be and when you need to arrive. Old school maps are great but these days it's easier to just flick on that GPS or use the Maps application on your phone. Most application you can plug in your destination and the GPS or phone app will map you directions and time of arrival. To make your travels be more pleasant, use the traffic feature that maps out high traffic areas and even accidents.

Ultimate Car Auto Emergency Kit

10.In Games and Entertainment: Last but not least, have some good long lasting entertainment for the kids. In my day, it was "the license plate" game and "I Saw". Today its' portable games, MP3 music players and DVD movie players. If your kids are entertained and happy the parents and calm and happy.

An Example Of A Good Emergency Auto Kit Contents Is Listed Below:

  • Car Emergency Contents
  • A strong tow rope
  • Long jumper cables
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Fix-a-flat (pack 2)
  • Oil and gas funnel/cone
  • Flashlight batteries
  • 1 or 2 rain ponchos
  • SOS flags
  • A plastic water bottle
  • Wet wipes
  • Strong and long zip ties
  • A good first aid kit
  • Extra batteries
  • Leather gloves
  • Foil or wool emergency blanket

One more thing, I think it's a good idea to have extra food and water packed. Food bars re good to put in the auto kit and a gallon of water is always good for the truck. Use the water to drink in an emergency or use it to top off the radiator. You can find an assortment of auto emergency kits supplies here.

Remember the keys to good safe successful travel. Pack and auto emergency kit, prepare your travel trip and plan the entertain the kids. Between keeping the kids busy and changing a flat tire, I have to be honest - I's rather change the tire.

Also See: Car emergency kit -- what should be in it.

Also See: Keep a hurricane preparation checklist

Current Article: Should I Pack My Own Auto Emergency Kit?

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(May 6, 2013) paxxy said:
Add to this if you want just in case of a trapped car situation or a fire..auto fire extinguisher and an emergency auto hammer/seat belt ripper...

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