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Five Things Every Car Owner Needs

Car owners need to have a few essentials in their vehicles. Car trouble can happen at any time so it’s crucial to be ready by having tools and devices that can help resolve some of the most common car issues. So, what are five things every car owner needs? 

Lug Wrench, Spare Tire, and Tyre Jack

Yes, these are three items but you need them all to perform an important task - changing a flat tyre. Imagine if you’re missing a tyre jack, you still wouldn’t be able to use the lug wrench and the inflated tyre so you can continue on your journey.

You need these three items so make sure you have them all in your car. Also, check if your car has special locking lug nuts. If it has, then you’re going to need a lug nut key as well. 

Jumper Cables or Jumpstarter Kit

You might find that your car battery died at a very bad time. While you can wait for a good passerby to give your car a jumpstart, this isn’t a good plan to depend on. Sometimes, jumper cables aren’t enough so you may want to consider getting a jumpstarter kit or emergency battery booster just to be sure. 

Of course, another important thing to remember is to learn how you can jumpstart your car. Every car owner needs to learn this skill because having a dead battery means you’re stuck where you are until roadside assistance arrives or another car owner helps you out. So take some time to read about how to jumpstart a dead battery and practice doing it. 

Tyre Pressure Gauge

A tyre pressure gauge is just a small gadget but it can be a powerful tool to have in your car. As a car owner, it would be great if you can check your tyres regularly using this device. By knowing whether your tyres have lost air, you can then prevent having problems with flat tyres. A tyre pressure gauge is a simple tool that’s easy to use. It’s also inexpensive so there’s no reason not to have this in your car tool kit. 

Flashlights and Reflective Triangles

If you ever experience car trouble at night, you’re going to need a good flashlight to figure out what’s wrong with the vehicle. While most mobile phones have flashlights, you might want to save your phone’s batteries. It’s best to have a dedicated flashlight in your car for nighttime emergency repairs. 

Reflective triangles are also necessary to let other drivers know that your car is having a problem. The triangles offer visibility for other drivers so they can avoid accidentally hitting you or your car as you’re fixing what’s wrong with the vehicle. 

Important Car Documents

The car documents you need in your car are the owner’s manual, car repair information, licence, insurance, and registration. Don’t forget these documents because they are proof that you are legally allowed to drive the car and they contain information in case of car trouble. Keep these documents in a waterproof resealable bag that you can store in your glove compartment. 

How to Change a Flat Tyre

Find a Safe Spot to Pull Over

Flat tyres can happen as you’re driving to your next destination. Once you hear that loud bang, then that thumping noise, you know you have a flat tyre. Remember not to panic. Slowly direct your car to the flat area at the shoulder of the road so you won’t cause trouble with other car drivers. For your safety, use reflective triangles so that you can warn others that your car is having trouble. 

Get Your Lug Wrench, Spare Tyre, and Tyre Jack

With these three, you can start to remove the flat tyre and replace it with an inflated one. Make sure that you know where these three things are located. If you’re not sure, they’re usually found beneath the floor mat of the car trunk. Sometimes, the spare tyre could be under the vehicle or mounted on the tailgate’s back. 

Using your tyre pressure gauge, check the pressure of the spare tyre so you’re sure that it isn’t flat as well. Now, you’re ready to remove the flat tyre. The vehicle should be in “park” and also set its emergency brake so that the car stays in place. Remember that it should be parked somewhere flat. You may also want to block the opposite tyre of the flat tyre with a heavy object to further ensure that the car won’t move. 

How to Loosen Your Wheel Lugs

Use your lug wrench to loosen your wheel lugs. Expect them to be very tight so you’re going to need a lot of strength to do this. See to it that you’re turning them in a counterclockwise direction. When they’re loose, don’t remove them yet. Move to the next step where you need to use the tyre jack. 

Jack Up the Vehicle

Before you do this, know where the right jacking points are. If you’re not sure, get your owner’s manual so you can check. Once you know where the jacking points, place the jack underneath and then raise the tyre jack. If you have a screw-type scissor jack, then you only need to turn the knob found at the end of the tyre jack and then crank it. Continue doing this until the flat tyre has been raised off the ground completely. Remove the loose lugs and then remove the flat tyre. 

How to Install the Spare Tyre

Place the spare tyre over the wheel studs. You’re going to hold it so that it lines up with the studs found on the brake hub. The tyre’s going to be heavy so you may want to balance it on your foot as you’re moving it into the right position. You can now screw the wheel lugs again. You can do this by hand and then use the lug wrench when you can’t tighten them anymore. 

Lower the Vehicle

You can now lower the car. Once done, get the tyre jack. You can start tightening the lugs at this point. Make sure that you tighten them as much as you can. After this step, you’re done! 

Takeaway

It’s crucial to have at least five essential things in your car so that you won’t be stranded with a broken-down vehicle for a long time. Practice how to use the tools so that you can be confident in handling them if the time comes that you need to change a flat tyre or jumpstart a dead battery. 

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