Must-HAve Car Accessories You Should Have on Your Christmas List
Things to keep you warm and safe through the winterby Ciprian Florea, on
Christmas is nearly upon us, and we’re in for loads of fun opening presents and spending time with family and loves ones. But if you’re planning to take a long trip or visit relatives, it’s best that you check your shopping list again and add some important accessories you should have in the trunk for the cold season.
Snow may be fun and all in the backyard, but you should be prepared for a car buried in snow, an engine that won’t start, and other typical accidents that can happen on the road. We prepared a list of things you might want to buy next time you go shopping for the holiday season.
Getting your parked vehicle going will cause quite the headache after a few hours of heavy snow fall if you don’t have one in the trunk. While a full-size shovel will take up most of your cargo space and won’t even fit in some trunks, be sure to stay away from the cheap mini shovels. Go with a collapsible shovel instead. It will get the job done, and it will take up less space in the trunk.
Once you’re done shoveling the snow around the car, you’ll obviously need to clean the car itself. This is where a snow brush and ice scraper come in handy. Fortunately, they’re sold as two-in-one items nowadays and won’t take up much space in the trunk. Forget to get one, and you’ll be stuck in the parking lot waiting for the ice on the windshield to melt.
Freezing weather means your vehicle may have trouble starting. Not to mention that a dead battery is a very common issue. Jumper cables will get you out of trouble so you can be on your way.
It’s a good idea to keep a flashlight in your car year round, but it becomes even more useful during the winter when the day is shorter. Whether you change a tire, jump-start the engine, replace part or simply looking for that ice scraper, a flashlight will make the job easier.
Salt / sand / cat litter
Sometimes a shovel isn’t enough to get you out of snow. Losing traction is common in the cold season, and you also need to make sure you get some salt or sand to spread under the tires. Cat litter works too, so pick whatever you can find.
Having the correct tire pressure is extremely important when it comes to safety. And cold weather can cause a loss of pressure, even when the tires are fairly new. Air compressors that plug into your car’s 12-volt power outlet are usually compact and won’t take much of your luggage room. They also feature a gauge, so you’ll know when the tire has the right pressure.
External batteries are quite common nowadays with so many electronic devices around. However, it’s best that you get one to keep in the car as well. Just in case you get stuck somewhere and your cell phone’s battery is almost depleted. Having one on hand could prevent you from being stranded for hours. Some car-specific batteries can even jump start your engine, so you won’t have to find another vehicle to get going.
First aid kit
I think every car has a first aid kit nowadays, but just in case you own an older vehicle, make sure you buy a new first aid kit. If you already have it, make sure the contents are still usable. Be it a car crash or just a scratch, it’s always safe to have a first aid kit around. They’re usually compact too.
This is another type of first aid kit. The one you might need for basic repairs in the car or under the hood. You should never go on a trip without a small kit that includes a wrench, a screwdriver, alan keys, pliers, and zip ties.
Extra washer fluid
You can never have too much washer fluid during the winter. Okay okay, you can, because it can take up a lot of space, but make sure you always carry an extra bottle. The windshield can get dirty quite often on the highway and a lack of fluid will reduce visibility quite dramatically, especially at night. Also, make sure the washer fluid has antifreeze components.
Before you say anything, I’m not saying you should store gasoline in the trunk. That’s not safe. However, it’s completely safe and highly recommended to keep an empty can in the car. Running out of gas gets worse during the winter, and a gas container will come in handy if you can walk to the nearest gas station or borrow from another driver.
Whether we like it or not, things can go bad during the winter and we can end up stranded. When nothing works, and you can’t call for help, it’s best to have something to keep you warm. A fleece blanket is a safe bet, as it’s warm and doesn’t take up too much trunk space. They’re not expensive either.
Gloves are pointless if you have a heated steering wheel, but they’ll come in handy when you lose power and need to stay warm. They’re also ideal when you shovel or scrape ice off the windshield. Buy a pair and store it in... you guessed it, the glove compartment, just to make sure you don’t forget them in another coat.