Winter Essentials To Keep In Your Car
Many people believe that a full tank of fuel and new winter tires are the only two things required to get through the season.
While this is true for the most part, there are a number of essential items you need to be fully prepared – especially since extreme conditions like ice and snow, combined with freezing temperatures can make maintenance or driving extremely difficult.
For instance, winters mean that you have to shovel snow out of your way, scrape windows to see clearly, keep a close eye on your tire’s tread to maintain good traction and much more.
Similarly, accidents can happen anywhere and anytime, but being prepared can go a long way in keeping you safe.
For this, you must have some basic items like a jack and tire iron, but these two are simply not enough. If you are stranded in freezing temperatures and a dead battery or with a car that’s trapped in the snow, you’ll need some of the following things.
If you have experience of getting stuck in a snowstorm or have ever dug your car out of snow, then you probably know the importance of keeping a shovel in your trunk.
Most of the times, people tend to buy shovels that are too small as they easily fit in their trunks. But while these are cheap, they may not serve your purpose as they are vulnerable to breakage. On the other hand, full-sized shovel take up a lot of space and are not practical to carry around.
As such, your best bet are folding shovels; these take little space in your trunk but are as durable and handy as a full-sized shovel.
Chances are you already use this tool to clear your windows and lights of snow; an ice and snow scraper is one of the most important tools that you can keep on hand during winters.
These are available in compact sizes with telescopic arms that increase your reach – some even come with an aluminum arm to prevent it from bending or breaking. So the next time you go out, don’t use your hands to clear-off snow, use a snow scraper instead.
Car batteries are more likely to fail during the winter; the fact is that cold batteries have much less cranking power and as motor oil thickens due to the cold, it becomes more difficult to turn the engine on.
This makes jumper cables a must-have item in your trunk – browse through the various varieties available in different gauge sizes and be sure to buy cables that meet your requirements.
As basic as it may sound, flashlights are a must-have item for year-round use, especially during the winter as the daylight hours are shorter.
Most of us believe that our smartphone’s flashlight is enough, but in reality it’s not as reliable; simply put, it’s advisable to use a flashlight as you can easily drop and break your smartphone.
There are multiple types of flashlights available at different prices; buy whatever fits your budget or need, but it’s important to look for a durable option that is waterproof so it can be used in any given condition.
Let’s admit it, many of us have run out of gas at some point in our lives. As big of a headache it is, stranded in the middle of nowhere in the middle of a snowstorm makes it even worse.
Keeping some reserve fuel in a gas can in your trunk can save you from suffering later. In fact, even 1-gallon can get you to a safe location or the nearest station.
No, we are not talking about a battery pack to charge your gadgets when you travel; these are external heavy-duty batteries that can jump-start your car.
Instead of waiting for help in the middle of nowhere, these can instantly charge your car batteries to keep you moving.
A specialized set of winter tires or all-season variants are absolutely essential during the winter; they out-perform regular tires because of their superior tread compound and pattern that offers excellent traction on snow and ice.
Additionally, it’s crucial to keep a spare wheel in your car as it can save you from getting stranded due to a puncture.
You can search for spare wheels on different online stores or buy them from an authorized dealer.
Adequately inflated tires are an absolute necessity during the winter or any other season. As the cold winter weather can cause loss of tire pressure, it is important to keep an air compressor in your trunk at all times.
Remember, under-inflated tires cause increased wear as more tread touches the road surface – this can even lead to overheating and a blowout, putting you and your loved ones at risk.
This is where this small portable air compressor comes in handy; it can be directly plugged into your car battery and offers a gauge to check the PSI during filling.
Keeping a first-aid kit in your trunk is essential – you never know when an accident could happen and it’s better to be prepared than sorry.
Must-have items in your kit include:
- Elastic and butterfly bandages in various sizes
- Bandage strips
- Adhesive tape
- Super glue, etc.
If you don’t want to buy these items individually, many online stores offer pre-packaged first-aid kits in reasonable prices.
You should have a basic set of tools in your car such as pliers, sockets, screwdrivers, spark plug grabbers, etc. Many online retailers and stores sell pre-packaged kits with items you need in an emergency.
As a smart and cheap solution, Kitty litter works like a charm if you are stranded in the snow and your wheels keep spinning. Just pouring a small quantity underneath your tires on the snow will provide enough traction to make you drive away.
Getting stuck in the middle of nowhere during winter is nothing to take lightly; especially if your car has broken down and there’s no source of heat.
In such a case, it’s advisable to keep some warm clothes or a fleece blanket in case you have to wait several hours before help can arrive.
If you get stuck during the winter, you might have to wait for a longer time for assistance due to slow response times. In this case, storing some water can keep you hydrated while snacks can keep your energy levels up.
You can easily find online stores that have many types of non-perishable snacks like energy bars and cookies.
The frost that forms on windshields during the winter can seriously impair your visibility and increase chances of an accident.
Washer fluid is a basic item to keep in your trunk to ensure that your windshield is clean. Make sure you buy anti-freeze washer liquid to prevent it from freezing during the cold.
And that’s it – these are some must-have winter items to keep in your trunk. While this might seem like a long list, we promise that every item is extremely essential and can be a life saver.