Your Breakdown Survival Checklist

For car nuts like us, we feel perfectly safe and comfortable behind the wheel. Don’t let this euphoria fool you though! There are all kinds of accidents and mishaps that can happen while driving, some of them more dangerous than others. Breaking down in the middle of nowhere is rarely serious, but can be exceptionally frustrating! Here are some items to keep in your car in case this happens to you.


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First of all, a few tools. These are great for making quick mechanical fixes that might be needed to get your car moving again. I’m not saying you need to take up half of your boot with a full-size toolbox. In a lot of cases, you can pick up motorcycle tool kits which are nice and small, but contain everything you’d need. The main things you should have are locking pliers, a 6-in-1 screwdriver, wire-cutters, and hex keys. A plastic gas can may also come in handy. Let’s just hope you’re not the one who needs to walk miles to the petrol station! A battery charger, is also a good idea. This will get you going when there’s no one to jump-start the car. Some of these have been known to be unreliable though. Take your time finding the best car battery charger.

Next, some tools for recovery. These are the things you’d use if your vehicle gets stuck, and a tow truck isn’t an option. If you own a 4×4, and you can afford it, have an electric winch fitted to the front of the car. Make sure it’s been rated for the weight of your car though. To make sure you’re 100% prepared, look for a full winch recovery set. This should include a tow strap, clevis, and a tree-saver strap. I understand that a winch isn’t always practical. In some cases, a hi-lift jack can be used as a heavy come-along winch. This is good to have anyway, in the more likely case of a flat tire.

Finally, your basic survival supplies. It’s extremely unlikely that you’ll end up in a serious survival situation. However, this has happened in the past. I’m sure you don’t want to be stuck without having anything to see you through! Get a couple of foil blankets and keep them in the car. These are great for retaining body heat, but if not a fabric one will do. A wind-up torch is a good idea as well. This is great for attracting attention, and you’ll be able to use it indefinitely. If and when disaster strikes, I’m sure you don’t want to be caught with flat batteries! Try to get into the habit of bringing food in the car, too. You don’t have to bring a week’s worth of rations for a drive into town. On longer, rural journeys though, bringing food is a no-brainer.

No one likes thinking about stranded in their cars. However, being prepared for the worst means you’ll be in a much better position. I hope that you take my advice on board, and that you never have to use these emergency items!

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Published on: April 7, 2016

Filled Under: Auto Tips and Guides

Views: 2078

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