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Summertime is here and that means road trips! But, before you head off on your epic journey or take the family on a weekend outing, be sure to do a thorough inspection of your vehicle—either by yourself or with a mechanic. You should also always be prepared with a car kit, in case of a breakdown, medical emergency, or another other potential danger that could arise.

Here are a few must-haves for your emergency kit, and why you need them:

Extra Cash
You never know where you’ll be if your car breaks down. Maybe you’ll need cash for a taxi to get back home, for a phone call to the tow truck company, or simply to grab a bite to eat while you wait for help.

Tire Pressure Gauge
Your car’s manufacturer suggests a certain air level (or PSI) that your tires should be inflated to. This is usually located on a sticker inside the driver’s side door or in your car’s manual. Use the tire pressure gauge to make sure your tires are properly inflated.

This spray lubricant has a multitude of uses—both at home and in the car. Having a can in your kit can be quite useful as a degreaser or to loosen items that may be stuck.

Phone Charger
It’s always smart to carry a phone charger or two with you, especially as we become more and more reliant on our cell phones. Portable battery chargers are also good to have at the ready just in case.

First Aid Kit
Accidents happen when you least expect it, so having a first aid kit in your car is always a good idea, during a road trip or otherwise. Make sure it’s fully stocked with bandages, alcohol swabs, ointments, and anything else you might need.

Have you ever tried to pour oil or antifreeze into your car without a funnel? If so, you’ll understand the importance of having one of these in your car kit.

A flashlight is a practical tool if you need to change a tire in the dark or flag down a passing vehicle—and it’s much more reliable and bright than the flashlight on your phone.

Tire Inflator and Sealer
When you get a flat tire and the nearest help is a few miles away, tire inflator and sealer can save the day. While it won’t help with a big blowout, it can help get you where you’re going if you have a small issue.

Jumper Cables
This is a must-have item for every car, not only if you’re embarking on a road trip. You can’t always count on others to have it, and jumper cables will save the day should your battery die and leave you stranded.

Duct Tape
From patching holes in tubes and hoses to fixing a broken taillight, duct tape has a number of uses. It’s also been known to serve as a tow rope in a pinch!

Lots of things that could go wrong with your car call for a wrench. Whether a screw needs tightening or something gets stuck, you’ll be thankful it’s in your car kit should the need arise.

Car overheating? Water is essential to cool it down. Stranded on the side of the road waiting hours for a tow truck? You’ll probably get thirsty. Make sure you’ve got some available at all times.

Owner’s Manual
For obvious reasons, having the owner’s manual for your car can help you navigate a number of situations—including what the warning lights mean on your dash. If you don’t’ have the original, look online for a downloadable copy.

Like the wrench, pliers are one of those tools you’ll be happy you have in your car kit when the need arises.

Ready to make your own emergency car kit?  Download this printable guide with more car kit ideas and information on how to change a tire, what to do if your car overheats, and much more!

Download Car Emergency Kit