The excitement of finally being a car owner is, quite honestly, indescribable. With improved technology and facilities, it is easy to buy a car and even easier to maintain it; it just takes a bit of effort.
Basic requirements that you should fulfill when you own a car include:
- Regular car maintenance
- Monitor headlights and tail-lights
- Monitor your brakes
- Check car fluid levels
- Getting hold of a good and trustworthy mechanic will save you a lot of stress in the long run.
A car can be almost like a second home to some people and a companion for years to come. Thus, it is essential to treat it as such and keep it stocked with a few rudimentary things.
Additionally, it is quite understandable if your car is unable to accommodate all the items listed here. In that case, you could stick to the essentials like:
- Spare tire and toolkit
- Small first-aid kit
- Jump-start kit
Not mentioned here are your insurance papers, driver’s license, and other necessary documentation that you absolutely must have without even being told!
If you get confused or overwhelmed with the number of items that people recommend, don’t worry; here’s a comprehensive list of things that every car owner needs.
Here are the five things that every car owner needs
1. First aid-repair kit
This is probably one of the most basic but crucial items that every car owner should have, whether seasoned or beginners.
Should the worst happen and you and your co-passengers find themselves injured, a first-aid kit can potentially be life-saving.
The minimum and essential items that a first-aid kit should include: The minimum and basic items that a first-aid kit should contain include:
- Antiseptic Wash: To disinfect the wound and sterilize it
- Band-aids/Adhesive bandages: For covering cuts or scrapes
- Ointment, particularly antibiotic ointment: To stop the bleeding and prevent it from getting infected, this applies more to minor cuts and bruises.
- Sterile gauze and medical tape: For treating wounds and securing the bandages
- Scissors: In case you need to cut the cloth around the wound
- Pain relief medication: Over-the-counter medications like Ibuprofen and Aspirin
- Tweezers: To pull out splinters or any piece of metal/wood that may have pierced the skin
- Antihistamine: For allergic reactions
- Distilled water: To wash the wound before applying a bandage
- A thermometer: A digital thermometer has been proven to be much more reliable than traditional thermometers.
- An Epi-Pen: In case someone has a severe allergic reaction.
- First-aid manual
Many first-aid kits are available readily online. However, it has been recommended to make your own to tailor the items according to what you might need, such as allergy medication or similar things.
A first-aid kit is something that you should not ignore when you buy a car.
2. Jumper Cables
In the unpleasant event that your car battery dies, it would not be ideal to wait for a helpful passer-by to help you out. In these situations, jumper cables prove to be handy. It would also be fruitful to have an emergency battery booster with you so that, again, you don’t have to rely on the help of a passer-by.
Jumper Cables are inexpensive and are sold everywhere, online and in retail stores. All you have to do is practice jumpstarting your car with jumper cables’ help, and you can save your time and energy.
Jumpstart kits are also readily available, which have to be charged themselves.
How to Jumpstart your car:
- Before beginning, make sure you conduct a brief safety check. Ensure that your jumper cables are in good condition; that is, they shouldn’t have any exposed wires. The rubber insulation should be free of cracks or breakages.
- Once your vehicles are in place (if you don’t have an emergency booster), turn off both of the cars, put them in park mode or neutral depending on whether the vehicle (s) are automatic or manual, and set their parking brakes.
- The cables are colored for easy identification, and the ends of the line are equipped with alligator clips to attach them to the terminals.
- The red cable is positive, while the black cable is negative. The red clamp on one end corresponds and connects through to the red clamps on the other; do not cross the cables.
- Now, connect one red clamp to the positively charged (+) terminal on the car with the dead battery.
- Connect the other red clamp to the positively charged (+) terminal on the car with the good battery.
- Connect one black clamp to the negatively charged (-) terminal on the car with a good battery.
- Connect the other black clamp to an unpainted metal surface anywhere in the car’s engine compartment with the dead battery.
- Power up the car with a good battery, and then start the dead car. If it doesn’t start immediately, wait for a few minutes and then try again. If it doesn’t work, then it is possible that the battery cannot hold a charge or some other damage to the vehicle.
- When disconnecting, do the one on the dead car first, and then the negative (black) terminal on the good battery. Then disconnect the positive (red) terminal on the good battery, and finally the positive (red) terminal on the jumpstarted car.
- Do not let the positive and negative clamps touch each other while disconnecting.
Jumpstarting your car is a basic thing that every car owner should know.
3. An Emergency Kit
This emergency kit can be stored in a trunk and should be checked every six months.
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Power bank for your mobile devices
- Reflective triangles to make sure your car is visible on the road in case of emergencies
- High-energy and non-perishable foods such as nuts or seeds and hard candy
- Duct tape
- Spare tire in good condition
- Water bottles
- Seatbelt cutters and window breakers
- If possible, a fire-extinguisher
- LED flares
- Thermal blanket
- An essential toolkit is containing – screwdrivers, pliers, an adjustable wrench, and a pocket knife. All-in-one tools are widely available and can be resourceful.
If you are a car owner, changing a flat tire should be a priority on the list of things that every car owner should know!
A flat tire is one of the most common emergencies, so here is a brief guide on how to change your tire:
- Your car should already be equipped with the following – Jack, Lug wrench, a car manual, and a fully inflated spare tire.
- First, use a lug wrench to loosen the hubcap of the damaged tire.
- Next, using the lug wrench to loosen the lug nuts on the flat tire. To do so, rotate the wrench in a counter-clockwise direction. Make sure you only reduce the lug nuts and don’t remove them altogether.
- By positioning the jack according to the instructions given in your manual, use the jack to lift the wheel off of the ground.
- Remove the lug nuts that you loosened beforehand.
- Lower the vehicle off of the jack by turning the handle in a counter-clockwise manner and stash away your equipment correctly.
- Practice changing your tires when you acquire your car, as it is a skill that can be immensely useful.
Additionally, a tire sealant can keep the car going even with a flat tire until you reach the mechanic’s. Thus, this would be something that you could keep in your vehicle.
4. Miscellaneous items for convenience
The following items are not must-haves by any means, but if you have enough space to accommodate them, they will surely make your (car) life more manageable!
- A phone charger that is adapted for cars
- Paper towels/napkins or a pack of tissues
- A notebook and pencil can come in handy in many situations
- Blanket or a large tablecloth
- Hand-sanitizers; keep your hands clean and, in emergencies, can be used to disinfect an injury!
- Loose change for tolls or for buying small items
- If you are traveling with kids, it will do well to carry portable DVD players to pass the time for those long journeys
- Change of clothes
This list of items are some of the must have car accessories, that will make your experience much more comfortable and hassle-free.
5. Items especially for Winter
Winter can be a brutal season, particularly for your car. If you live in a harsh area with extreme winters, you are more than likely to face some sort of emergencies when traveling in a vehicle.
These items are what every car needs during winter season:
- Ice scraper and snow brush
- Gloves and a heavy jacket
- Rock salt, salt, or cat litter can help your tires gain traction if your car gets stuck in the snow. Just spread the material around the area where you are stuck, and you should be good to go.
- Extra windshield washer fluid – make sure it has antifreeze. It improves your visibility.
- Although this should be present by default in your car, a tire-pressure gauge should be present, no matter what season it is.