Dads are the ultimate boy scouts. They live by a simple credo and that credo is “be prepared”… Well, as prepared as any parent can be in the hectic world of the 21st century. All experienced parents know that problems can arise even in the most innocuous of circumstances (especially when your kids are part of the equation) and a big part of the learning curve of parenting is knowing which handy items to have close by at all times to prevent a minor mishap from turning into a disaster. Nowhere is this more relevant than when on the road in the family car.
With Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, for most of us this means covering a whole lot of miles on the road as we check in with loved ones all around the country. When dark wet days are coupled with a car full of tired kids, well… it’s a potential powder keg that could go off even if something relatively minor goes wrong with the car. Usually one doesn’t have to be an expert in auto repair to fix some of the minor issues that tend to occur on the road (or at least limp to an auto repair shop). Keep the following in your car at all times and you’ll be prepared for just about anything…
A jack and wheel brace
Tyre changes are certainly the most common of all roadside fixes), but too many motorists who bought their cars used have no idea whether they have a jack or not before it’s too late. If you don’t have one this should be a matter of priority. As well as tyre changes, they can be used to push or pull stiff or lodged parts and even push popped body panels back into place.
Decent quality screwdrivers
While there are a huge and varied range of screws in any given vehicle, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that a Phillips cross head and a flat screwdriver will fit just about any screw in your car between them. Just make sure you pay the extra few bucks for a decent one, since a broken screwdriver is useless to you on the roadside.
A socket set
Over the course of a long journey it’s natural for bumps, jolts and vibrations to cause lug nuts to loosen over time. Tightening them up is a quick and easy job and can prevent something really nasty from occurring. Though most vehicles tend to have only two or three main bolt sizes it’s a good idea to be prepared and carry a comprehensive set just in case.
A Swiss army knife
No, seriously! A surprising number of automotive fixes require nothing more than a good sharp blade or a half decent saw which you’ll find on the boy scout’s go-to tool.
Damage to your exhaust pipe can lead to the release of dangerous fumes that could be harmful to yourself and your family. Patching these up with metallic tape (which will be able to withstand the incredible heat generated by your exhaust) is a quick and easy temporary fix until you can get your car to the nearest repair shop.