Are You Prepared For A Roadside Emergency?

Are You Prepared For A Roadside Emergency?

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  1. According to a 2007 study conducted by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT), there were 254.4 million registered passenger vehicles in the United States. According to a study conducted by the National Automotive Dealers Association (NADA) in 2001, more than 60 percent of those passenger vehicles were over seven years old. Of all the registered passenger vehicles on the roads in the US, 38.3 percent were over ten years old, 22.3 percent were between seven and ten years old, 25.8 percent were between three and six years old, and only 13.5 percent were less than two years old. Many of those aging cars will suffer a roadside emergency that their drivers are ill equipped to handle them.

    I know that is why people join Triple A and carry cell phones, but what happens if you break down in an area where there is no cell reception, traffic is hardly existent, and no houses to be found for miles around? There are still places like that in America. You are likely to encounter one of them eventually, especially if you like to explore the scenic back country when on vacation. What do you do then? Do you have what you would need to make an emergency repair? Would you know how to make that repair?

    What Is In Your Trunk?
    Many of the spare parts that you need to have in your roadside emergency kit are specific to your vehicle while other are general and applicable to any vehicle. Before you continue reading this article, you should go out and take inventory of what is in your car’s trunk. Print out a copy this article to use as a checklist of what you already have in your trunk? You can also use the hard copy as a shopping list for those items you do not already have in your trunk.

    Upgrade The Standard Equipment
    The equipment that the manufacturer provided is minimal, and you should consider upgrading them. The lug wrench might be OK for a person of average strength to handle, but many smaller people and most women will find it difficult breaking lug nuts loose with them. Here, are a few things you should have to handle roadside flats.

    • 12-volt impact wrench
    • 12-volt tire inflator
    • Tubeless tire repair kit
    • Valve stem inserts
    • Spare lug nuts
    • Road flares and safety reflectors

    With a little careful shopping, you can equip your care with all these items for approximately $150. In many areas, that about what one roadside service call or tow would cost you.

    Basic Mechanics Hand Tools
    You need to have a decent set of basic mechanic’s hand tools in your trunk. Screwdrivers, Torx screwdrivers, combination wrenches, Allen wrenches, ¼-inch and 3/8-inch sockets sets, locking pliers, needle nose pliers, wire cutters, wire strippers, razor knife, funnel, and a flashlight would make a decent starter kit. To those basic hand tools, you need to add a set of battery jumper cables and a "Hot Box" jump-start Kit. The jumper cables are OK if there is another car. The HotBox does not require another vehicle to get you started as long as you remember to keep it charged.

    Your Emergency Parts Kit

    • Complete set of spare fuses for your car
    • Complete set of spare light bulbs
    • Extra V-belts or serpentine belts
    • Complete set of radiator hoses
    • Heater hoses
    • Cooling system thermostats
    • Windshield wiper blades
    • Sparkplugs

    Your Emergency Supplies

    • Duct tape
    • Electrical tape
    • WD-40
    • Iron mechanic’s wire
    • Tow strap
    • Engine oil
    • ATF fluid
    • Brake fluid
    • Power steering fluid
    • Windshield washer fluid
    • 50-50 Antifreeze mixture
    • First aid kit
    • Emergency food and water
    • Emergency blanket
    • Spare batteries for flashlight

    There are many more things that I could add to these lists, but these things will prepare you to handle most roadside emergencies. The best way to handle a roadside emergency is to prevent it from happening. Keep your car serviced and maintained properly. Check it over thoroughly before setting out on a trip and you can avoid most emergencies.

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