Even the most trusty vehicle breaks down from time to time. In spite of your careful selection of the best tires for your car and regular maintenance appointments to keep your car running, your car can still break down. It can happen at any time, anywhere. That’s why it’s so important to be prepared for sudden car breakdowns—especially when an unexpected part failure can leave you stranded on the side of the road in our hot Wisconsin temperatures.
If you have an existing car emergency kit that you packed during winter, you only need to make a few modifications to your car emergency kit. Summer is an ideal time to remove the snow boots and shovel and make sure that the remaining items are still in good working order and that any food items are still edible. If you’re a rookie to packing essential items in your car emergency kit, here’s the list of items to pack in your car emergency kit, with items specifically geared for being stranded during hot summer temps:
- Flashlight. Make sure you test the flashlight from time to time, and that the batteries are still strong. You never know when you need a flashlight for car repairs, and you don’t want to be left in the dark.
- Snacks & water. A hot Wisconsin summer day is not when you want to be trapped inside a steamy car waiting for the tow truck. Carry a few bottles of water along so you can stay hydrated when you’re waiting for help to arrive. A supply of water can also be helpful if your car needs coolant. If your coolant level is low enough that you need water in your car, make sure to schedule an appointment to find and repair your car’s coolant leak.
- Jack and lug wrench. Most cars come with a jack and lug wrench for changing a tire, but some of the smaller, more compact car models do not. Make sure you have everything you need when you have a flat tire.
- Jumper cables. Contrary to popular opinion, summer heat is a worst case scenario for car batteries. Carry a set of jumper cables all year long for those sudden car battery failures.
- First aid kit. Always carry a small first aid kit with you for those just-in-case times, and make sure a pair of plastic gloves is included so you don’t come in contact with other people’s body fluids.
- Gloves. A set of gloves comes in handy during hot and cold weather. During summer, a pair of gloves come in handy if, for example, you have to change a tire and the tire is hot to the touch.
- Road flares/road hazard signs. Unfortunately, cars break down during the day light and at night. A set of road flares or road hazard signs can keep you safe during night time breakdowns or during late night emergency repairs.
- Roadside assistance card or tow truck phone number. Don’t be left scrambling trying to find a phone number at the last minute. Program the Tire-rifik tow number (920-261-8111) into your cell phone so you can call a tow truck, and get your car’s issue diagnosed and repaired quickly so you can get back on the road—and out of the hot Wisconsin summer temperatures.