Everyone has either had a car breakdown or emergency, or will experience it at some point in their lives. It can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere. So it’s extremely important to ensure you’re prepared.
Car breakdown image from Shutterstock
The best way to prevent a breakdown from happening is to service your vehicle regularly and get familiar with what your car needs to keep it running smoothly. Here are eight things you need in your car in case of a sudden breakdown or emergency.
A car breakdown or emergency can happen anywhere, anytime. In case you become stranded in heat or too far away from civilisation, it’s always safest to keep a BPA free bottle of water in a cool spot in your car.
If your car’s cooling system is not working properly, or if you haven’t filled your coolant reservoir in a long time, it can lead to your car overheating and causing damage to your engine. Always keep a bottle of coolant in your car in case you need to refill it.
Things can get pretty heated under the bonnet. When you refill coolant, check the oil level or for any work you need to do when your car has been running for a while always use a thick cloth. Keep your hands safe!
Spare tyre and fitting equipment
The last thing you want is to pay hundreds of dollars to get your tyre changed. The best way to prepare is to learn how to change a tyre and have all the necessary equipment stored in your car so you can do it on the spot. If you have anti-theft locking wheel nuts, make sure you have the special tool to remove them.
Ever forgotten or been too lazy to refill the tank? When you run out of fuel in peak-hour traffic or in the middle of nowhere, you’ll wish you didn’t. Keep some spare fuel in your car (always in an approved container) in case you run out.
If you leave the lights or radio on or sometimes for no apparent reason at all, you might be stuck with a flat battery. Having jumper leads in the car is a smart way to ensure you’re back on the road as soon as possible. You can also help someone else in need.
Torches are extremely helpful if you get caught out at night. Whether you need to change a tyre, jump start your car or walk to the nearest petrol station, you’ll be so glad you had one handy. Check the batteries occasionally to ensure it will work when you need it.
If your phone battery runs out or you lose the signal, a map will be your best friend. Always have a map (preferably the latest edition) handy in your car, in case you need to find the local petrol station or town.
Chris Noone is the CEO of DriveMyCar, Australia’s first and largest peer-to-peer car rental service.