Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

Road trip survival kit for your car

Here’s what to pack in your road trip survival kit

You never know when you’ll have a mechanical breakdown on a road trip so you have to be prepared by packing a road trip survival kit and storing it in your vehicle before you leave. I’ve put together this comprehensive list of items to keep you safe until you can get help

Pack your road trip survival kit with personal safety items

• Bottled water. You don’t know how long you’ll have to wait for help to arrive,bottled water for road trip survival kit so why risk not having water on hand, especially if you’re stranded in a hot location where you need to replenish fluids.

• Energy snacks. Avoid salty snacks and concentrate on high protein energy bars to keep you going.

energy bars for road trip survival kit


• Plug in trouble light and flashlight. Find a trouble light that plugs into the power port or clamps to the battery in your car. Make sure the cord is emergency trouble light for carlong enough to reach all around your car. You’ll need a battery powered or crank style flashlight to cover all your bases in case the car battery is dead and you can’t use the plug in light.

• Cell phone and charger to call for help.

car cell phone charger

• First aid kit and wound cleaning supplies. Baby wipes to remove dirt and grease. Hydrogen car first aid kitperoxide to clean open wounds. Bandages. Gauze. Tape. Aspirin or other pain meds. Scissors. Antibiotic cream.

• Warm gloves, blanket, hat and scarf to keep you warm. Pack a second pair of cotton gloves that you can use to do repairs and toss if they get greasy.

• Candles in tin can containers. Several candles can generate enough heat to keep you warm without running the engine. Just make sure candle for car survival kityou crack the window slightly to vent carbon monoxide and introduce fresh air.

Then add tools to your road trip survival kit

• Fold up shovel to help dig fold up shovel for car emergencies yourself out of snow, ice or sand.

• Tire inflator pump and a can of fix-a-flat. Aerosol fix a flat won’t inflate your tire to full pressure, so you’ll need the inflator tire inflatorpump to finish the job. Plus, chances are you haven’t checked the air pressure in your spare tire and it’ll have to be topped off as well.

• Jumper cables.

• Road flares to alert other drivers. Warning triangles placed at least road flares10’ away from your vehicle to alert other drivers.

• Fire extinguisher.

• Fluid supplies like: Quart of motor oil, brake fluid, windshield washer fluid, coolant.

• Sand or cat litter to help with traction.

• Duct tape and basic tools like a metric socket wrench set and wrenches, screwdrivers, hammer, zip ties.

Items to check before you leave on your road trip

Coolant level

Windshield washer level

Motor oil level

Brake fluid level

Power steering fluid level

Tire pressures (including spare tire)

Tire tread for wear

Headlights, tail lights, brake lights, license plate lights, turn signal lights, parking lights, side marker lights.

Heating system

Windshield cracks

Winter driving tips to avoid spin outs

Turn off cruise control when traveling on slick roads, especially over or under bridges where ice can accumulate. Driving with cruise control on when going over a slick brick can cause a sudden spin out and loss of control

Don’t get over-confident because you have AWD or 4WD. They provide better acceleration from a stop, but those drive systems don’t help at all during breaking or in turns.

Watch for black ice. It can catch you off guard and send you off the road.

©, 2017 Rick Muscopalt



Posted on by Rick Muscoplat


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