The Dad-Approved List of What You Need to Have in Your Car

By Tracey Rector, Alumna of IUPUI

Many of us girls rely on our dads or the guys in our lives when it comes our cars. Unfortunately, accidents happen and cars break down in college and whoever helps with car troubles may not always be a phone call away — which is why I talked to my dad about top things to keep in your car in case of emergencies and what tips he has for fixes and maintenance.

To Keep in Your Car:
1. Properly inflated spare tire with jack and lug wrench
2. Set of jumper cables
3. Small tool kit with a basic assortment
4. Flashlight for nighttime problems
5. Blanket
6. Fire extinguisher

1. Keep plenty of gas in the tank in case of unexpected traffic jams or getting lost.
2. Speaking of getting lost, it helps to look up directions ahead of time instead of guessing if you don’t know where you’re going. GPS systems are extremely helpful, but if you don’t have the money, go online and use sites like Google Maps or MapQuest. There are also free apps for your smartphones, too.
3. Make sure to have your fluids (antifreeze, belts, hoses, oil, transmission, steering and brake) checked every three to four weeks. Even better, learn how to check them yourself.
4. When getting major work done, check two or three shops before choosing a place. Usually the cost of the repair should be in the same ballpark, cost wise. You can also shop around for a good mechanic in your area that has a good track record. Dealers are good and may have better diagnostics, but they tend to be more expensive. It all depends how much you have to spend or would like to spend.
5. Invest in AAA or some sort of 24/7 roadside assistance to help if your car breaks down, you pop a tire or if you've locked your keys in the car. Make sure their number is added to your contacts on your phone.
6. You probably do already, but keep your cellphone on you (and charged) at all times.

Image: FrameAngel /

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