Since I talked about some things to have on your person at all times lets talk about things to have in your vehicle. When I finally got my first vehicle ( 91 Dodge Caravan) my father handed me a socket set and told me to keep it in my van at all times. You don’t need to be a gear head to be able to work on your vehicle just be able to tighten things up when they come loose or reattach if they come off. I suggest getting a set that also includes hex (alen) keys and a multi-tip screwdriver.
Duct tape is always key. Don’t buy some shitty store brand. Purchase a decent brand name roll of the stuff. Duct tape can fix a lot of things. Handyman’s secret weapon. (Google RedGreen)
Jumper cables are always a good item to have. I don’t have chronic issues with my battery. It’s to help others than anything else. For the love of peaches buy a good set. Do not buy the cheapos from Wal-Mart. If anything you’ll end up frying both of the vehicles. I am also aware of the charge and go kit, but remember that is essentially a battery itself and will eventually discharge the juice you put in it especially in cold weather. It’s easier to just carry cables and bum a jump off of someone.
I highly recommend a flashlight. Do not get one of the shake and charge flashlights. I have yet to come across a decent one. Throw a small Maglite and a pack of batteries in the glove box and you are good to go. Just remember to check it once in a while. Nothing worse than needing to shed light on something in a hurry and the damn flashlight is deader than Anna Nicole Smith. (Too soon?) There are also small flashlights that can be charged off of the cigarette lighter power adapter.
All vehicles come with some sort of manual jack stand to help change tires in the instance you get a flat. Ditch it and buy something more durable. Every single time I help change a tire those things buckle and give way like someone blowing on a house of cards.
Since were talking about tires there are few things I recommend to keep in your vehicles for your tires. Tire slime does work. Keep a can or two of it in your vehicle. Tire repair patches are always a good thing especially if the puncture isn’t that bad. The next few things are optional depending on funds and space available. Tire pressure gauge, I don’t really trust the ones at the do it yourself air units. Which is why I carry a air pump that runs off the cigarette power adaptor. If you vehicle of choice allows for it and you have the money to do it put a full size tire in place of the space saver spare.
In the instance you do run into vehicle issues and are on the side of the road you’ll want to make yourself visible to other drivers especially at night. If your vehicle still has power put your hazards on. Secondly you should have some sort of reflective hazard signs that you can place about 10 feet behind your vehicle. I really caution against road flares just because of the required fireproof box needed to store them in, but also because the first hazard they pose while in use.
A first aid kit is also a must. Even if you only ever use a band aid from it, it’s worth having.
Finally a container of some kind to keep all of this stuff in. I’m fairly certain you don’t want all of this stuff rolling around in the cargo area of your vehicle. A basic Rubbermaid container will do.
Some of you may say “I don’t need any of the stuff I have OnStar or AAA.” So what if you do. What happens if you are in an area that doesn’t have cell service. Then what? I consider having these items part of being a responsible vehicle owner.