You never know when you’re about to break down on the road, which is one reason it’s a good idea to pack a roadside emergency kit. Whether you’re taking a cross country road trip or simply commuting to work, it’s important to carry things like first aid equipment, flares, and more.
First, according to the DMV, one of the most important things to have is a first aid kit. We at Gossett VW Germantown recommend stocking it with things like Band Aids, gauze, and antiseptic. However, it’s also a good idea to carry aspirin for headaches, tweezers for splinters, and antacids for heartburn. Feel free to customize your kit based on your needs.
Many drivers also pack flares or road triangles. If you have a flat, it’s necessary to let other drivers know that you’re distressed. Plus, flares can double as a light source or even as a fire starter if you get stranded in the wilderness.
Finally, consider bringing things like a blanket for warmth, fresh water, and non-perishable food. If you’re travelling, modify your kit to include an old cell phone (most old phones can be used to call 911, even if not on a plan). These are just some of the things you should pack in your roadside emergency kit.
One DIY task that every driver should learn is how to change a flat tire. Follow the steps below to learn.
- Car jack
- Lug wrench
- Flares/reflective triangles
- Wheel block
- Owner’s manual
- Something to kneel on (like a floor mat)
- Pull over in a location that is as safe, flat, and solid as you can and turn on your emergency flashers. Set up flares or reflective triangles behind your car.
- Set your parking brake and put a wheel block behind the wheel diagonally opposite to the flat tire. Put your floor mat by the flat tire for you to kneel on.
- Open your owner’s manual and read through for any specific instructions for your particular vehicle.
- Remove the hub cab, if you have one.
- Use the lug wrench to loosen, but not remove, all the lug nuts on the wheel.
- Position the jack just behind or in front of the flat tire. There will typically be a particular area along the car’s frame, sometimes indicated by an arrow, where the jack can safely lift.
- Slowly raise the vehicle until the tire is just a few inches off the ground.
- Finish loosening the lug nuts, remove them, and slowly pull off the tire.
- Get your spare tire, which should be located in your trunk or possibly on the underbody (for trucks and SUVs).
- Line up the spare tire with the studs, slide it on, and finger-tighten the lug nuts.
- Lower the car slowly and remove the jack.
- Use the lug wrench to tighten the lug nuts as tight as you can.
- Clean up your area.
If you need some new tires for your car, come visit us at Gossett VW Germantown.