Even when you’re taking care of your vehicle properly, you never know when you might experience a breakdown or have an accident. With winter nearly upon us, that could mean being stuck dealing with issues in the dark, or during a storm. In addition, you never know when you may have to leave your home unexpectedly due to a power outage or other issues outside of your control. That’s why it’s important to be prepared for an emergency while on the road, which can be as simple as making sure that you have an emergency kit packed and ready to go. Here’s a list of items you should have in your vehicle in case of an emergency:
Items You’ll Want to Keep in Your Vehicle
It goes without saying that trying to assess a mechanical issue or change a tire is much more difficult in the dark. That’s why you should always have a flashlight on hand. Be sure to keep the batteries separate so they’ll have a full charge when you need them.
- Spare Tire or Tire Repair Kit
All vehicles come equipped with either a spare tire or a tire repair kit. If you have a spare, make sure to check the pressure on it every 6 months – there’s nothing worse than finding your spare flat when you need it. If your vehicle came equipped with a tire repair kit, bear in mind that you’ll have to buy a new can of sealant for the kit after it has been used.
- First Aid Items
You never know when you might get a minor injury, and that’s why having first aid items is always a good idea. Make sure to have antiseptic, bandages in various sizes, gauze, adhesive tape, an elastic bandage, and an over-the-counter pain reliever.
- Basic Tool Kit
Some minor repairs can be done on the road if you have the correct tools with you. We recommend having a lug wrench, car jack, screwdriver, hammer, and duct tape on hand.
- Jumper Cables
Perhaps one of the most important things you can have in your emergency kit is a set of jumper cables. While batteries sometimes give you warning that they are about to die, often you’ll suddenly find that your vehicle won’t start. A set of jumper cables can help get your vehicle started and running so that you can get somewhere to have the battery replaced.
- Hazard Triangle
One of the most dangerous things about changing a tire is the risk of other drivers not seeing or paying attention to you. Placing a hazard triangle a short distance behind your vehicle will give people a cue to look out for you and your vehicle, allowing you to change your tire without fear of another vehicle getting too close to you.
- Blanket & Bottled Water
The only thing worse than getting your vehicle stuck somewhere and having to wait for a tow, is having to do it while you’re cold or thirsty. Having a blanket on hand will ensure you won’t get cold in your vehicle if you can’t run the heat, and the bottled water will keep you hydrated while you wait.
If you’ve ever had the misfortune of losing your wallet, you can imagine how much more stressful it would be if you needed gas or to buy some food. That’s why we recommend having a small amount of cash hidden somewhere safe in your vehicle.
Once you’ve put your emergency kit together, put it all in a zippered bag or a plastic box with a tight-fitting lid, and place it in your trunk. It’s a good idea to check your kit every six months to look for any expired items and replace them. It’s also a good idea to have family and emergency phone numbers written down in case your cell phone dies, including your auto insurance provider and a towing company, in your phone.
Jiffy Lube® recommends following manufacturer recommendations, where applicable, for maintenance schedules and service intervals.
Not all services are offered at each Jiffy Lube® location. Please check with your local Jiffy Lube® service center for specific services offered.