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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Emergency kit for the car

There are a few essentials that everyone should keep in their car.  Having a minimum of supplies can mean the difference between getting off the freeway at the next exit to get to a service station and sitting for hours by the roadside waiting for the tow truck to get to you through all the traffic. Keep a bottle of all your car's fluids on hand.  Engine oil, transmission fluid, Premix Prestone, power steering fluid and brake fluid.  1 liter of everything, except the Prestone, get the 4l jug.  On top of that, if they make a stop leak for it...get it.  If you have a power steering leak, for instance, you can pour in the recommended amount of stop leak then top it off with PS fluid to keep you going.  Stop leak is a temporary repair and should not be used instead of an actual mechanical repair job, but you may be surprised how far this stuff can get you.  A can of self inflating tire sealant is a great addition to your supplies.  This will get you going faster than getting out the spare & jack, and if you are on a long road trip, you won't have to unpack everything to get to it either.  Just remember, like the stop leak, this is a temporary patch.  I also recommend a spare fan belt & radiator hose repair kit.  If need be, find a mechanic that can teach you how to install these.  Along with that, keep a set of basic tools with you.  I know a lot of people will tell you that cheap is good enough, but get something that will hold up to automotive repairs at least once.  An all in one screwdriver from the dollar store just won't cut it and will likely break before you get the screw undone.  Lastly, look in your fuse box and find out what tpes of fuses your car uses.  Get a few of each type as this can help keep the power widows rolling down, or your headlights lit.  All in all, this kit really shouldn't cost a whole lot.  Get a few things at a tome from Canadian Tire or other automotive stores as they go on sale.  For the tools, I suggest a basic kit with it's own case, and expect to pay at least $25.00 on it.  Oh yeah, don't forget the windshield washer fluid too!

You should also do a quick check on your car before leaving on a road trip.  Check & top off ALL fluids, verify that lights & turn signals work, check under the car for leaking fluid stains on the garage floor.  And folks, always, always top off the gas tank before you leave...even if you only nee 1/4 tank or less.

Drive safe Canada

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