The Ultimate Car Care Kit for Girls (and Guys)
While car maintenance is generally stereotyped as a “guy thing,” more and more women are joining automotive repair schools all across the country. However, you don’t have to be a certified mechanic to prepare for roadside emergencies and handle the basics of car maintenance.
Here are some the essential items you need in your vehicle in case of any roadside emergency:
Jumper Cables – Necessary for jumpstarting the car battery in case it dies, jumper cables can be found in any auto parts store. If you are unsure about using these to start your car in an emergency, check out this video tutorial!
Once the uncharged vehicle starts, leave the vehicle on and remove the cables. It is recommended you take the vehicle to your mechanic to test the battery’s life, as you may need a replacement. If it your battery is fine, your mechanic can check other electrical components, such as the starter or alternator.
Basic Tool Kit – Look for a tool kit with a flat head screwdriver, Phillips (“star”) screwdriver, ratchet wrench with different sized nuts to fit the various bolts in your engine, adjusting wrench, needle-nosed pliers and clamp. All of these will come in handy for various maintenance tasks, such as taking apart any components to get to a light bulb, changing a tire or removing your battery.
Jack – When used correctly, a jack will lift your vehicle so you can change a flat or blown-out tire. Standard jacks typically come with the mainframe and a long crowbar to manually adjust it. Usability Tip: Be sure the flat portion of the jack is going to lift up the vehicle frame – line it up appropriately before inserting the crowbar into the opening to crank it up. Need a visual example? Try looking at this one.
Shop Towels – These paper-like towels are excellent for cleaning fluid spills on your engine or within the vehicle. Use them to clear your dipstick when checking your oil!
Replacement Fluids – Every vehicle should be prepared for roadside emergencies by having backup reserves of motor engine oil, coolant, power steering fluid, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and washer fluid. All of these are essential to keep your car in tip top shape. If any of your dashboard lights indicate low fluids, safely pull off to the side of the road and replace whichever component needs attention. Check your vehicle manual to match the light icon with the engine part. For more information about fluid replacement, Esurance has a great blog about different car fluid types.
Air Compressor (or can of Fix-a-Flat) – Maintain the air pressure in your vehicle’s tires to ensure safe traveling. The air compressor can push air into your tire to return it to its required level of air pressure (PSI). It is also recommended that you purchase a tire pressure gauge. This pencil-like mechanism allows you to see the tire’s current PSI.
If your tire pressure monitoring system indicates a low tire, be sure to use your air pressure gauge to test the air levels. If low, connect your air compressor (or in emergency situations, try using Fix-a-Flat) to boost your tire’s low air pressure to the correct PSI. Your tire pressure gauge also comes with a nob that you can press against the valve stem to let out air if they are over-inflated. Fix-a-Flat is a mixture of self-sealing material to coat the inside of the tire to seal any holes or cracks until the driver can have the tire checked out or replaced by a mechanic, and it should only be used if there are no other options. Safety Tip: Check your spare tire’s air pressure quarterly to ensure it is ready-to-go in case of any tire emergencies.
If you need further assistance in how to use any of these products for any vehicle maintenance, ask an auto parts store or your mechanic. Car maintenance is an essential subject for men and women alike. If you drive a vehicle, you need to know how to handle the basics in case of any roadside emergency.
Premier Coach Works of El Mirage, Arizona is a collision repair shop for the Phoenix metropolitan area. Our auto technicians have open communication with all customers to ensure you understand completely the repair services we offer you as well as what to expect thereafter. Experience the Premier Coach Works difference by visiting us at 8030 N El Mirage Rd. El Mirage, AZ 85335!