Content of the material
- Replace Your Wiper Blades
- Add Graphite to Door Locks
- Packing Your Car for Winter Trips
- 44. A three-pack of windshield de-icer ideal for places where it gets so cold it leaves ice on the windows. Just spray this on your windshield, mirror, or door handle and the ice will start to dissolve
- Breakfast Cereal
- 2. A roll of black all-weather duct tape to keep in your glove compartment because you never know when a piece of your car will fall apart
- Things to Keep in Your Car for Babies and Toddlers
- Granola Bars
- Happy Ride Backseat Dog Zipline
- Items For Babies Or Toddlers
- Winter Car Accidents
- 3. Heed warning signs
- Essential Car Accessories
- Garmin Head-Up Navigation Display
- 8. Ensure windows are clear and functional
- Many Car Owners Also Recommend Having the Following on Hand
- Final Thoughts
Replace Your Wiper Blades
It’s easy to tell when your blades need replacing. Simply press the washer button and see if your blades wipe clean. If they streak, they’re toast. The auto parts store will have lots of economy blades, but go with a name brand instead (ANCO, Trico or Bosch). They cost more than economy blades, but their higher-quality rubber wipes better, has better UV protection and lasts longer.
Follow the installation instructions on the package. Be sure you have a firm grip on the wiper arm once you remove the old blade. If it gets away from you, it can hit the windshield with enough force to crack it.
Add Graphite to Door Locks
Graphite powder keeps delicate lock mechanism working. We don’t think much about our door locks until the key breaks off in the cylinder. Keep these delicate mechanisms moving freely with a blast of dry graphite powder. You may need to push the dust protector flap back slightly with a small metal nail file to get at the lock. A quick pump of the tube will dispense enough graphite. Move the lock cylinder with your key several times to work the graphite into the mechanism. Do this to your trunk lock as well. Check out other amazing ways to loosen up locks on cars.
Packing Your Car for Winter Trips
Be prepared for an emergency.Store a kit of emergency items in your trunk.
A winter accident could leave you stuck on the side of the road. Packing your car with a few essentials will help keep you safe and ready for whatever conditions pop up on your trip.
- Keep the gas tank at least half full throughout the winter. This will reduce condensation, making your vehicle easier to start on cold mornings.
- If you have a cell phone, make sure it’s charged and bring it with you. A car charger for the phone is also a smart device to keep in the car.
- Always store a snow/ice scraper and a shovel in your vehicle. A first aid kit is another must-have item to keep on hand. It should include all the usual items plus winter extras like flashlights, a fresh supply of batteries, blankets, matches, extra clothes, bottled water, and non-perishable snacks. Peanuts and granola bars are good protein- and carbohydrate-rich foods.
- For rear-wheel drive vehicles, you might want to keep a small bag of sand in your trunk to create traction under the tires if you get stuck. The bulk of a vehicle’s weight is the engine, in the front of the car. If the car is driven by it’s rear wheels instead of its front wheels, the heavy front end and light back end makes the car prone to slide around an ice- or snow-covered road.
- Clear off your car each time you go out for maximum visibility. Don’t forget the hood, roof, and your head and taillights. Sure it takes a few extra moments, but it’s better than dealing with an accident due to poor outward visibility. Also, leftover ice chunks from the roof or hood of the vehicle may become hazardous to yourself and those on the road around you while driving.
On the next page, learn how to stay in control when the roads turn dangerous and what to do if you go off the road.
44. A three-pack of windshield de-icer ideal for places where it gets so cold it leaves ice on the windows. Just spray this on your windshield, mirror, or door handle and the ice will start to dissolve
This is for the kiddies. If you have small children, breakfast cereals, especially sweet breakfast cereals are one of the easiest ways of quieting them down, when they are hungry. Not only do they like the taste, but they like eating the cereal out of these cool little containers. Yeah, you can put it in baggies too; but for the price, these are worth it.
2. A roll of black all-weather duct tape to keep in your glove compartment because you never know when a piece of your car will fall apart
Things to Keep in Your Car for Babies and Toddlers
While most moms and dads carry a diaper bag with extra goodies, it's always good to have some fundamentals on hand in case this gets left behind somewhere
- Wipes and extra diapers – essentials you can't go without if your diaper bag gets lost or you simply run out
- Disposable diaper bags – for getting rid of fragrant surprises or simply to collect trash that needs to be disposed of
- Portable changing mat – for hygienic and safe baby changes when you're out and about
- An extra toy or two – in case you leave his/her favorite teddy behind by accident, and to entertain them during the car ride
- Safety seats – age-appropriate car seats that ensure your little one's safety at all times
I’m almost as big a fan of granola bars for emergency food as I am of jerky. It’s worth spending the money to buy the better brands, even though they are considerably more expensive. But the amount of nutrition you get from those better brands makes them worth the money.
Granola bars are great, in that they are an ideal pick-me-up sort of snack, packing a lot of carbohydrates into a small amount of food. Watch out for the ones with chocolate or yoghurt, as those ingredients can melt, making a mess for you to deal with.
Happy Ride Backseat Dog Zipline$17.95 Amazon »
The Happy Ride Backseat Dog Zipline endeavors to restrain your puppers during car rides without completely constraining them…
Items For Babies Or Toddlers
If you have children its a good idea to have a separate bag with all the essential items for them which you always keep in your car. This means you don’t need to worry about packing things each time you head out of the house.
- Baby wipes
Winter Car Accidents
Conditions like snowstorm whiteouts, which hamper visibility, and "black ice," a near-invisible layer of ice caused by snow melting and freezing again, often make winter driving unpredictable and dangerous. If you find yourself in a skid, steer carefully and avoid overreacting to keep control of the car. In cars with antilock brakes systems (ABS), the brakes are automatically pumped for you in a skid situation. You should feel the brake pedal pulsating. If you’re driving a car without ABS, apply easy pressure in a pumping motion to the brakes. In the event of an accident, remain calm, follow these safety tips, and call for help.
- Try to get to the right side of the road as far away from traffic as possible.
- Stay in your car with your seatbelt on. Put the hazard lights on so others on the road can see you.
- If a flare is available, use that to call attention to your vehicle. Tying a bright piece of cloth to the antenna works as well.
- If you get stuck in snow, straighten the wheels and accelerate slowly. Avoid spinning the tires and digging yourself in deeper. Rock the vehicle back and forth, using its weight and momentum to get unstuck.
- If you can’t get going, run the engine only a few minutes at a time to stay warm. Periodically crack a window to get fresh air. Keep the exhaust pipe clear of snow so harmful carbon monoxide fumes don’t drift back through the car’s interior.
Agencies like AAA and FEMA recommend staying off the roads if the weather is too hazardous in your area. Not knowing how to maneuver your vehicle through a winter storm jeopardizes you, your passengers, and other drivers sharing the road with you. Getting your car ready for winter and anticipating and avoiding dangerous circumstances will help keep you safely on the road and in control.
3. Heed warning signs
If your car’s dashboard lights illuminate, give your trusted mechanic a ring. (You can also check your handy owner’s manual too – ”learning the basics about your car and the repairs you need will help establish a rapport and show your mechanic you know what you’re talking about.). Delaying a repair could trigger irreparable damage to the car and result in a painfully more expensive fix. And make sure you know the fair price to pay for any upcoming repairs or maintenance by checking the repair price before you take your car in to the shop.
Essential Car Accessories
These essential car accessories include items relating to entertainment, navigation and car organisation.
- Dash cam
- in-car charger
- AUX cable to connect devices
- Bluetooth receiver
- Mobile phone holder
- Satellite navigation device
- Car trunk organizer
- Car windshield sunshade
Garmin Head-Up Navigation Display$129.99 Garmin »
Keep my eyes on the road? Whaaat? I haven’t done that since, like, 1996. For a while I would clip my nails and text while driving to pass the time, but after all of those creepy PSAs came out I could hardly even type…
8. Ensure windows are clear and functional
Make sure that all windows, mirrors and lights are clean and not broken. Replace any broken lights or mirrors as soon as possible. Have small windshield cracks by a windshield repair center to determine whether the windshield can be repaired or needs to be replaced. Check regularly for cracks and damage
Many Car Owners Also Recommend Having the Following on Hand
The center console armrest is another great place to store your odds and ends, especially those that you like to keep within reach at all times. Some of the top things to keep in your car can be stored here, including:
- Your mobile phone charger – there is also often a USB port positioned within the cubby so that you can keep your device safe while it charges.
- Bottled water – not all door pockets can fit a bottle of water, and the armrest cubby might actually keep it cooler
- Tissues – because there is nothing worse than having a runny nose during a long trip
- Roll of quarters – you might not be able to sweet-talk your way past the toll booth attendant, so remember to keep cash on hand
This comprehensive guide to essential items to keep in your car will go a long way to helping you in times of crisis, or just to make your day-to-day commute easier. For even more tips, be sure to read our guide on what to keep in your garage.
There are a few things you must have at your fingertips if you want to extend the lifespan of your car. First, the owner’s manual is like your vehicle’s bible and it will tell you everything you need to know about it. Secondly, know your car’s limitations and don’t abuse it. Lastly, don’t ignore the subtle signs to do a checkup and replace any worn out parts before it’s too late.
For what it’s worth, if you follow all the maintenance tips included in this comprehensive guide, you can be sure your car will almost last forever.
If you got any questions that you would like us to answer, please write your thoughts in the comment section.
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James Dolan is an automotive expert and a freelance writer. Anything new in the automotive industry? James Dolan will tell you about it. When he’s not working, you can find him playing hockey, traveling or hanging out with his German Shepherd Dog.