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A Good Driver is Always Prepared

There are certain things you should keep in your car at all times to ensure that you are prepared for any situation, particularly if driving long distances on a regular basis. These will help to ensure that if you do run into difficulty it doesn’t take you too long to get going again.

Owner’s Manual; Just about everything you buy these days comes with a manual, and you probably just thought that as you have never used any of the manuals for anything you bought you won’t need the one for your car either, but this probably isn’t the case. Cars are complicated things and sometimes even your mechanic will ask if they can see the manual. Keep it in the glove-box for easy access, at least this way you’ll always know where it is and you’ll have something to read if you’re stuck by the side of the road waiting for recovery for any period of time.

Duct Tape; Go ahead and ask any DIY fanatic or mechanic what they think of carrying a roll of duct tape around with you, I guarantee that they will approve the notion, if not suggest carrying multiple rolls. The fact of the matter is that where there is a will, and an efficient amount of duct tape, there is a way. I’ve seen bonnets held down, bumpers held on, punctures patched, bashed doors held closed, smashed windows covered, wing-mirrors reattached and much more; all with duct tape. It certainly isn’t a long term solution by any means (although I know people who still have their rear bumper held together with duct tape after three years), but it is an effective and cheap quick fix while you’re waiting to get proper repair work done.

Extra Fluids; Keep some coolant, oil and windshield-washer fluid in your car at all times, it is very rare that you run out while sitting at home where you have kept it – you run out on the road while using it and that isn’t helpful in the slightest. Either monitor the levels constantly, top it up half the time and forget every time you actually need it or keep it in your car and never run out again.

Jump Leads; When the battery is dead and you need a jump start it’s already quite awkward trying to encourage someone to pull over and give you a jump. What is even more awkward is if you pull them over, have them agree to give you the jump start and then neither of you have the jump leads needed to do it.

Extra Clothes; The UK weather is one of the things we can rely upon to be unpredictable, regardless of whether it’s a sudden temperature drop or sudden downfall you don’t want to be caught in your summer clothes at the roadside trying to put oil in the car while it hails. Keep a blanket, some warm clothes, a change of dry clothes and a rain coat in your car at all times. You’ll be grateful of them if you get stuck in the snow or caught in a storm.

Spare Tyre; A puncture or flat tyre is one of the most common breakdown problems for us, so keeping a spare along with a jack and tyre iron that make it usable is essential. Aside from having a tyre in the back you should also make sure it isn’t just the tyre you put there after you replaced it last time. After replacing a tyre get a new spare and dispose of the flat within two or three weeks (basically do it as soon as possible) to ensure you aren’t stranded by the side of a car trying to explain to your partner why you can’t just put the spare on.

Other; There might be other things you consider important in your emergency kit-list. Personally I like to keep some food in the car, thinks like energy bars and hard boiled sweets that don’t go bad too quickly because I’m bound to get hungry while waiting to be rescued. Others carry torches and maps, but there are now instantly accessible alternatives to these on most smartphones that mean it is less of a problem if you get stuck in the dark and don’t have a torch.

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Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 by Katy Quinn About Us

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