Cheseldine Auto Repair

Southern MD Auto Repair Tips: Stock up on vehicle breakdown supplies

Southern MD Auto Repair Tips: Stock up on vehicle breakdown supplies

Car fuses, auto electrical componentsUnforeseen situations can crop up at any time. Anyone who has had a roadside breakdown in their car understands this. A flat tire or an engine malfunction is something no driver wants to experience, but those with a well-stocked vehicle emergency kit and breakdown strategy can get through most situations rather easily.

A 2017 survey from AAA found that 40 percent of drivers in the United States are not ready to handle a typical roadside emergency breakdown. The organization estimates it helps some seven million motorists get back on the road each summer. A well-equipped roadside emergency kit may help drivers get their vehicles back on the road on their own.

  • First aid kit: The first aid kit will celebrate its 133rd birthday in 2021. The Johnson & Johnson company began commercializing first aid kits in 1888. Having a first aid kit in the car to treat minor injuries can be helpful in the event of an accident or even after injuring oneself during a breakdown.
  • Fire extinguisher: Cars are full of various mechanical parts and are susceptible to catching on fire. The National Fire Protection Association says vehicle fire extinguishers need to be rated for Class B and C fires.
  • Jumper cables: A weak or dead battery is often the culprit in breakdowns. Jumper cables enable drivers to get a charge from another motorist, and may help get a person back on the road quickly. If possible, get a set of cables that also comes with safety gloves and heavy duty clamps, offers Defensive Driving Online, a defensive driving course.
  • Mobile phone/charger: A mobile phone is essential for calling for assistance, but the phone is only useful if it’s charged.
  • Blanket: Keep a blanket in the trunk or another storage area. Should the vehicle die in cold weather, that blanket can help keep passengers warm until assistance arrives.
  • Basic tools: Tools like a screwdriver, ratchet set and wrench may enable drivers to complete minor repairs. Tools also should include tire-changing gear, such as a jack and lug nut remover.
  • Traction aid: Non-clumping kitty litter or sand can provide the traction needed to get off of a slippery area of roadway.
  • Flashlight: A flashlight can help keep you visible and able to see your surroundings in dark conditions.
  • Flares: Should a breakdown occur in the dark, flares can alert other drivers.
  • Snacks and water: Water and food that stores well, such as emergency rations, granola bars or trail mix, can quell hunger pangs and provide an energy boost while waiting for help.
  • Rope/bungee cords/tarp: These items can be used in various situations to secure a vehicle.

While drivers can gather these items separately, many companies offer all-in-one vehicle emergency kits. A safety kit is essential for all drivers.