Hope for the best and plan for the worst. The simple saying with complex details is so often thought of relative to your career or finances, and rightly so, though it shouldn’t be overlooked in regard to your car. Even if you keep some travel-size supplies aboard for emergency grooming purposes, don’t overlook things for the car itself. Your cell phone is a must, but alone it can’t bail you out of every sticky situation. On the other hand, it doesn’t make sense to stash a few hundred pounds of provisions for everyday driving or even road trips. Strike a sensible balance with our top 10 things to keep in your car.
10. Tire gauge
A minute of your time every week can save hours if ever stranded, and it’s as easy as keeping a tire gauge in your car. It’s fundamentally simple and obvious that a small patch of tire at each corner is your only connection to the road. What’s less realized is how critical proper inflation is to car safety and tire wear. Take a huge step toward preventing nastiness by using a tire gauge (digital is best and still reasonably priced) when tires are cold — before you drive. The ideal pressure will be indicated not on the tire itself but the driver’s doorjamb and in your owner’s manual.
Even if your car runs perfectly fine, doesn’t smoke like a Russian teen, and you don’t have to top off the oil every time you gas up, keep a quart or two of oil ready. You won’t be able to forgo checking the dipstick often, the way you normally should. Instead, this emergency supply can be added roadside and allow you to limp your car to a safer place should the unforeseen happen. It‘s even more critical if yours is one of the many new cars requiring a specific kind of oil.