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10 Gifts for Car Owners

Updated on January 27, 2014

10 Items Every Driver Should Have in Their Car

Every time we get into our cars we expect them to start and get us from point A to point B without any problems. Yet daily we see drivers stranded on the side of the road. They may have a flat, run out of gas or any number of other reasons for being there. They are stuck until someone stops to help.

But, what if help is not available in a timely manner and they are there for a long time. Then what? I have created this list of 10 items every driver should have in their car any time they are on the road. Whether the trip is cross town or cross country, I believe these items will help keep you safe until help arrives.

Why You May Need These Items

I hope you do not but, what if you do?

I personally have needed and used or seen a stranded motorist needing one or more of the items on this list. Hopefully you will never need anything on this list but, what if you do and you do not have it?

Remember, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" and Ben Franklin said that 250 years ago. Did he know something we do not?

10. The Tire Pressure Gauge - Proper Tire Inflation Increases Safety and Saves Gas

Keeping your tires properly inflated will put more rubber on the road thus giving you more control of your vehicle. We all know that tires will wear out. With proper inflation the wear will be more even across the tire giving it a longer life. It has also been shown proper tire inflation will save gas. At today's prices even an extra half mile per gallon adds up. Check your owner's manual for the proper tire inflation for your vehicle and check your tire pressure at least once a month.

Gorilla Automotive TG1 Pencil Style Tire Pressure Gauge
Gorilla Automotive TG1 Pencil Style Tire Pressure Gauge

There are fancier tire pressure gauges but for something to keep in your glove box, the Pencil Style Tire Pressure Gauge cannot be beat. It is easy to use, easy to read and can take a beating. I have used this type of gauge to check my tire pressure since before I could drive.

 

Tire Pressure Gauge

Do You Have a Tire Pressure Gauge In Your Car?

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Check out the Tire Pressure Gauges on Amazon - Want a Selection? Check out Amazon's.

9. The Windshield Ice Scraper - The quicker your windshield is clean the quicker you get going.

Ok, if you are from the South you may not need an ice scraper to clean your windshield in the wintertime. But, I once got caught in a snow and ice storm while visiting Myrtle Beach, SC. Boy was I glad to have my scraper with me that day.

Hopkins Subzero 16621 Ice Crusher Ice Scraper (Colors May Vary)
Hopkins Subzero 16621 Ice Crusher Ice Scraper (Colors May Vary)

This little tool is great. Even if the ice gets a little thick the back end is pretty good for gouging out the thicker ice. The handle is comfortable and reduces hand strain. Real good for cars and smaller vehicles.

 

The Windshield Ice Scraper

Do you know where your ice scraper is?

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The Flash Light/Head Lamp

For number 8 I have two suggestions. First the Flash Light, necessary no matter what. Comes in handy at night or when you are looking in that dark part of your car for something. Problem is you must hold it in your hand leaving only one hand to work with.

Second is the Head Lamp. Ok, some may laugh but, it is hands free and if you are trying to change a tire or something where you need both hands, let them laugh.

8. The Flash Light

The ever useful flash light. Useful for seeing where you are going, what you are doing or who is out there. The must have tool when the lights go out.

Maglite LED 2-Cell D Flashlight, Black
Maglite LED 2-Cell D Flashlight, Black

I have used a MagLite 2D Cell flash light for years. Its durability, powerful light and long lasting bulbs have provided me with the light I needed when I needed it. An excellent tool when it is dark. It also comes in a variety of colors - Red, Blue, Black and Silver. I like the Blue.

 

Which is Better? - Flash Light vs Head Lamp

Which would you prefer on a dark night the Flash Light or the Head Lamp

Flash Light

Flash Light

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    • WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      I would take the flashlight.

    • Sharyn Read 5 years ago from ... either in the kitchen or at my laptop...

      Now I can see I should have both!

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      LOL, head lamp now that's funny.

    • KimGiancaterino 5 years ago

      We have a set of flashlights with various settings that also serve as flares -- red flashing or solid lights.

    • WerewolfCustoms1 5 years ago

      Flash light, because you can use it more freely. The head lamp is stuck on your head, and sometimes, the head is too big to fit into small holes that need illumination ;)

    Head Lamp

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      • Wedding Mom 5 years ago

        I prefer head lamp because your hands are free to hold or to fix things.

      • anonymous 5 years ago

        A head lamp so that I could have my hands free.

      • dellgirl 5 years ago

        Very interesting, I had never thought of a head lamp before. Then my hands could be free to do "whatever"...thanks

      • squid-pinkchic18 5 years ago

        My husband has both - 'just in case'

      7. Jumper Cables

      There is no worse feeling than jumping in your car to go some where and it will not start because the battery is dead. Unless it is that you find some one who is willing to give you a jump but, neither of you has jumper cables.

      Jumper Cables

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      6. Emergency Beacon Flares

      If you were not serious before now it is time to get serious. Car trouble does not always happen at home or in a parking lot where you are relatively safe. Most often trouble happens while you are on the road. If you are pulled to the side of the road, you will need to let other drivers know you are there. Especially at night when visibility is greatly reduced. You can accomplish this with Flares or Warning Triangles.

      First Alert Red LED Emergency Roadside Beacon Flare - Set of 3 Flares with Storage Bag
      First Alert Red LED Emergency Roadside Beacon Flare - Set of 3 Flares with Storage Bag

      I have always been wary of traditional road flares. The possibility of getting burned, flares burning out before help arrives and such. With these Beacon Flares I do not have those problems. They run on 3-AA batteries for each light. The instructions say they will last about 20+ hours on a set depending on whether you use flashing or steady light. Also, they can be attached to the vehicle saving your car battery. No worries about starting a fire, getting burned or running out of flares.

       

      Roadside Safety

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      5. The First Aid Kit

      You never know when you will need first aid. A good first aid kit is a must no matter what.

      AAA 77 Piece Warrior Road Assistance Kit
      AAA 77 Piece Warrior Road Assistance Kit

      When I was working with AAA I found they have a lot of great stuff. I found this first aid kit which is really more than a first aid kit. It has jumper cables, an air pump, reflective triangles and more. I keep this in the trunk of my car.

       

      Emergency First Aid

      Do you keep a first aid kit in your car?

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      First Aid Kits on Amazon - You never know when you will need a first aid kit

      4. A Travel Blanket

      They use to call them survival blankets or space blankets. But, just in case you get caught on the road and need one it is good to have along.

      Emergency Mylar Blankets - 84" X 52"
      Emergency Mylar Blankets - 84" X 52"

      I like this type of travel blanket because it is light, does keep the heat in and if needed it will shelter me from the rain or other weather. If taken care of it does last quite a while.

       

      My Travel Blanket

      Do you have a travel blanket?

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      Amazon has Travel Blankets - Why not warm up with one of these?

      3. A Folding Shovel - Cannot dig out without a shovel

      Getting stuck in a rut and spinning your tires is no fun. Or as where I live I get stuck in the ice and snow. Having a shovel handy is the best solution for either of these situations.

      Folding Camping Survival Shovel with Pick
      Folding Camping Survival Shovel with Pick

      This is similar to the shovel I had when I joined the Marine Corps. It is very durable and the pick option on it is great for breaking up the ice under my tires so as to get traction. I get to use it at least once a winter making it a most valuable tool for me.

       

      Got Shovel?

      Ever gotten stuck in a rut or snow and needed a shovel to get out?

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      Of Course Amazon has Shovels

      2. Emergency Food and Water - The essentials of life.

      It does not matter were you live, you could get caught in a severe weather situation. From the snow storms in the north, to hurricanes in the south or even a severe rainstorm in the southwest, it can happen. You could be stuck in your vehicle for a short time or many hours. So why not be prepared?

      Meal Ready to Eat (MRE)
      Meal Ready to Eat (MRE)

      Just before I got out of the Marine Corps MRE's were just making their entrance. A major improvement over C-Rats. Now I get them were ever I can and keep a case ready in the car, just in case.

       

      Emergency Food and Water

      So you have a stash of food and water in the car?

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      1. A Fire Extinguisher

      If you have never seen a real car fire, it is not a pleasant sight or smell. Hopefully your car never catches fire but, why not have a fire extinguisher just to be safe. It might also save some damage to your car if there is a fire.

      Kidde FA110 Multi Purpose Fire Extinguisher 1A10BC, 1 Pack
      Kidde FA110 Multi Purpose Fire Extinguisher 1A10BC, 1 Pack

      I have never had a car catch fire but, an extinguisher like this came with my van and after seeing a car burn while waiting for the fire department, it just made sense to have one in the car as well. But do not limit it to your car, this is also an important item to have in your home. Better to be safe.

       

      Car fires on YouTube

      Fire prevention

      Do you have an extinguisher in your vehicle?

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      A Final Thought

      Staying safe while on the road is staying aware of your surroundings. Keeping your vehicle in good working condition by checking the tires, changing the oil and having it checked out by a qualified mechanic regularly allows you one less worry while traveling.

      Preparing ahead of time for possible unexpected situations just makes good sense. I hope you never have need of most of the items I have laid out here but, if you do or another driver in your family does won't you feel better by having prepared ahead of time? I know I would. Happy driving and be safe out there.

      By the way this article was posted on AOL December 22, 2011 Missing Arizona State Student Survived.

      Your Comments are Most Welcome - Please leave your comments about this lens. It helps me improve this and future lenses.

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        • Wedding Mom profile image

          Wedding Mom 5 years ago

          This lens just gave an idea on what I need to put inside my car.

        • profile image

          anonymous 5 years ago

          What everyone should have in their cars is right here and than some. I believe in being prepared for car troubles, and having a few handy things along is a good idea.

        • Sylvestermouse profile image

          Cynthia Sylvestermouse 5 years ago from United States

          These are certainly all necessary and great suggestions! I will never forget when our daughter got her first car. Her dad just about filled up the trunk with things she "needed." I laughed at the time, but it turns out she has used most of the stuff at one time or another.

        • WriterJanis2 profile image

          WriterJanis2 5 years ago

          Excellent advice. Blessed!

        • profile image

          dellgirl 5 years ago

          Great lens, it was a very interesting read. Made me think about changing some things.

        • profile image

          JoshK47 5 years ago

          Quite an excellent guide to what you should keep in your car - I have pretty much all of the things that apply to living in Florida. Blessed by a SquidAngel!

        • profile image

          christianzzz 5 years ago

          thx for that info for my car

        • WindyWintersHubs profile image

          WindyWintersHubs 5 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

          Great gift ideas and important safety equipment for traveling. I must check my vehicle and see what I'm missing. Thanks for this list of car gifts.

        • FunMoneyBusiness profile image

          Sharyn Read 5 years ago from ... either in the kitchen or at my laptop...

          What a well done and fun lens to visit - inpsiring and educational!

          I used an emergency foil blanket at an accient scene to keep someone who had been thrown out of a car warm, until ambulance arrived... I was so glad to have it, I guess she was too!

        • squid-pinkchic18 profile image

          squid-pinkchic18 5 years ago

          Great tips!

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          anonymous 5 years ago

          enjoyed your lens on important stuff to keep in your car.

        • BuddyBink profile image
          Author

          BuddyBink 5 years ago

          @KimGiancaterino: My point exactly about the fire extinguisher, it may not always (hopefully never) be your car but you may be able to help someone else in a time of need. Thank you for your comment.

        • KimGiancaterino profile image

          KimGiancaterino 5 years ago

          This is an excellent list. We keep most of these items in our RV and truck. I'm not as thorough with my convertible, but should be. I had a car fire once and was saved by passing motorists who pulled out fire extinguishers. I do keep one of those in the trunk at all times now.

        • WerewolfCustoms1 profile image

          WerewolfCustoms1 5 years ago

          This is a great lens! I love the way you placed the polls and the duel module. Really inviting. Advice here is, as well, great! Some of the items here are mandatory in some countries. A few extra things I carry in my car are: Set of spare bulbs and circuit breakers, basic tools, towing cable... Well, I'm giving you thumbs up and a blessing - you deserve it!