Basic car first aid items to help you get out of trouble.
Many people cause themselves unnecessary expense when something goes wrong with their car simply because they haven't anything handy to see them through until the problem can be fixed properly. Instead, they are forced to call a tow truck or even a mechanic to the scene facing a larger bill than normal down the track.
This is not to say every problem that strands you by the side of the road can be fixed by something you have in your boot. Unfortunately, things aren't that simple. This is a list of items you are well advised to carry in the car at all times. Also, some of these remedies are designed as a temporary thing only. Always get your car checked thoroughly.
Sounds too simple? You'd be surprised how people neglect their spare tyre, particularly on older cars. Then comes the day you need the spare and it's either flat as the tyre you want to replace or not even there.
Remember, whenever you have a flat tyre, and you replace it with the spare, get the flat repaired or, if the damage is too bad, buy a new tyre. There's nothing worse than finding you need it and it's virtually useless to you. Also, when you check your tyre pressures check the spare's pressure as well. That will save you having to drive on a partially flat tyre for any distance.
TYRE REPAIR KIT
If you are unlucky you may have more than one flat tyre (it happens) or you get another flat before you've had time to fix the spare. There are several tyre repair kits on the market — some better than others. The simplest and cleanest is the one that comes in a pump can. It inflates the tyre enough so you can get somewhere to fix it properly. There are also patches and the like. But, whatever you prefer, always have one on hand.
Electrical tape will do. This is to be used if there's a leak or crack in one of the hoses or connection in the engine bay. This is definitely a temporary job. The tape can also be used if things fall of both inside and outside the car (purely cosmetic, of course).
This is used in the radiator if there is a small hole or crack. However, it won't be useful at all if the hole is the size of a one cent piece or more. That's a much bigger problem. But remember… leakproofing is a temporary solution. Have any cracks or holes properly repaired at the first opportunity.
Your coolant should already have this in it but if you've neglected to do so, and you find yourself in very cold or very hot conditions, then these two may come in handy.
Always a good idea. Carry a plastic litre container full of water at all times, especially if your car isn't brand spanking new. It can be used for the radiator and also as window washer fluid.
SPARE FUSES, BULBS
Though you can get by for a short time without the right fuse or bulb it's advisable to carry spares. If you don't use the right fuse for a prolonged period you could blow a few more. Also, it's illegal to drive your car with a broken headlight, taillight and so on.
Again, not absolutely necessary but handy.