ESSENTIAL CAR ITEMS

Essential Car Items

Whether it is essential safety items, or just handy multi-use items, having your vehicle always stocked and ready to go will take the stress out of a lot of situations you may find yourself in. From having a flat tyre, to simply dealing with spills or unforeseen weather; read on for our list of essential car items we recommend every car owner should keep stored in their vehicle.

ESSENTIALS

  • Spare Tyre, Jack & Lug Wrench 
It goes without saying that every car should have a spare tyre & preferably a jack and lug wrench. If you only have a spare tyre, you will need to call your mechanic or a friend with the other two items to help you out. Even having two out of the three will be pointless, as you need all three to sucessfully change a tyre. Remember to regularly check your spare tyre pressure, so you aren’t left with a flat spare when you need it! The spare is not designed to be used as you would a regular tyre. Contact Burleigh’s Mobile Mechanic to correctly repair or replace your flat tyre. If you are unsure how to change a tyre, read our step by step guide HERE, or ring Burleigh’s Mobile Mechanic and we will come to your rescue!
  • Car manual
Always keep your car owner’s guide/ manual in your glove box. All the information you need to know regarding your car can be found within. Whether it be the recommended PSI for your tyres, what fuel to use, what that warning light on the dash means, to how to reset your stereo.
  • Jumper Cables & Emergency Battery Booster
Jumper cables are always a good idea to carry, but without a battery booster, you will be relying to a passing good Samaritan to give you a jumpstart if you find yourself with a flat battery. Many battery jump-starter kits now come with a USB, so you are easily able to charge all of your devices, including your mobile phone. Remember, if you are not confident using these items, or do not have them on hand, you can always call Burleigh’s Mobile Mechanic for road-side assistance.

SAFETY

  • First aid kit
A basic first aid kit is a must in any vehicle. You may not ever need to use a lot of items in your kit (fingers crossed) but it is better to be safe than sorry. Don’t leave home without one! Basic items to include are band aids, bandages, antibacterial cream, sterile saline solution, insect bite spray, medication such as Panadol, & any back-ups you may require such as a spare puffer.  But remember to store medication only as directed. Conversely, you can purchase a pre-made kit from places like St John’s Ambulance or Bunnings.
  • Torch
A torch has many uses. Of course many of us use our torch function on our mobile, however you don’t want to be relying on this & draining your mobile’s battery if you end up stranded at night. A torch can be used to find that small item you’ve dropped down the side of the seat, to changing a tyre at night. Remember, if it requires batteries, it’s a good idea to keep some spare ones in the glovebox. Make sure your torch is heavy duty, as the small, cheap ones can be pretty useless when it comes time to actually needing it. A magnetic torch is a great idea as it can be stuck onto certain parts of your car if you need both hands free, for example if you’re trying to change a tyre. A good quality torch can also be used as a self-defence tool or helping to break a car window in an emergency.
  • Emergency Escape Tool
This handy little tool fits easily in any glove compartment or lift-up flap. Many people do not carry one, and hopefully you won’t ever need to use it, but it could very well save a life. It is only small, but the two-in-one feature can cut a seatbelt or shatter a window in an emergency.

USEFUL ITEMS

  • Phone Charger
Whether you keep a portable phone charger handy, have a USB port in your vehicle or an adapter that plugs into your cigarette lighter slot, this is one item that you will be grateful for if you break down and need to call a mechanic, or just need to charge your phone to tell your friend you are running late.
  • Picnic Blanket/ Towel
Not just for picnics or spontaneous beach visits, if you have one of these items in your boot, they have a multitude of uses. Use it to line the boot to prevent messes (like a wet or muddy pet) cleaning up messy people (usually the smallest ones!) for warmth, to wrap items in to prevent breakage, throwing over children’s seatbelt buckles in very hot weather to avoid burns, in first aid emergencies, and for laying on the ground in the event you need to get underneath your car & the ground is unsuitable.
  • Baby/ Wet Wipes
As any parent will tell you, once you discover baby wipes there’s no turning back! From wiping sticky hands and faces, mopping up drink spills, wiping dirt, dust or moisture from the windshield, to even checking the oil and wiping down hands after changing a tyre, they have 101 uses.
  • Water and non-perishable foods
For long road trips or those unexpected times you may be stuck in traffic for an extended period of time (think an accident on the M1 in Summer), keep yourself and your passengers fed and hydrated. Think energy or muesli bars, dried fruit, and crackers. Store emergency water (for drinking) in metal drinkbottles or a thermos & never plastic bottles unless they are BPA-free (although metal is still the safest option). Warm weather can cause the plastic in the bottle to break down, releasing harmful chemicals that then leech into the water. Having spare water in your car is also great for thirsty animals, washing off muddy shoes, or if you become stuck with an overheated radiator.
  • Plastic bags
Another perfect multi-use item. Great to use as a rubbish bag, vomit bag in case of a car-sick passenger, or throwing wet swimmers or muddy shoes into.
  • Car Windshield Sunshade
Not only useful for protecting your hands from burns off the steering wheel after parking your car in the sun on a hot day, but it can also be used in a pinch on the outside of the windshield to prevent hail damage in a storm.
  • Spare Key
We have all done it at some point- usually at the most inconvenient of times! Locking your keys in the car is an expensive mistake to make, as anyone who has had to call a mobile locksmith will tell you! Invest in a magnetic spare key case and hide somewhere on the underside of your car. Trust us, you will thank us later!
  • ICE Information
In the event of an emergency, first responders sometimes look for ICE (In Case of Emergency) information. It is also a good idea to store this information on your phone and in your wallet, however, this may not always be easy to find in the event of a crash. Store in the glovebox & include information such as emergency contact persons and any critical medical information.
  • Miscellaneous Extras
Hand sanitiser (very important in these COVID-19 times), spare change, change of clothes (especially with young children), or even just a spare jumper for those unexpectedly cooler days and evenings, umbrella, re-usable shopping bags for the grocery run, a pen and notepad to write down any notes you may need to leave, licence plates you need to record, or driver information in the event of a minor accident. And lastly, a roll of toilet paper- because you just never know…
  • A Boot Organiser
Perhaps one of the most handy items you can purchase for your vehicle is a decent sized boot organiser to store all of the aforementioned essential car items. With different compartments and a velcro bottom to keep it all in place, these keep all of your junk organised & in place, instead of rolling around in your boot every time you take that tight corner. Pick one up fairly cheaply form automotive stores, online, or paces like Bunnings.

Burleigh’s Mobile Mechanic

If you get need any advice about your vehicle or are in need of some assistance, give one of our friendly and experienced technicians a call on 0412 161 776. Remember to follow us on Facebook for more information, tips and monthly specials & giveaways.