Thursday, November 8, 2012

Winter Is Upon Us, What's In Your Trunk?

I’m always saddened and humored when I see people on the side of the road with a flat tire. Saddened because it never happens at a convenient time, meaning that you always get a flat in the worst possible circumstances….and humored by all the “stuff” people keep in their trunks!

I’m sure you’ve seen it plenty of times, that vehicle on the side of the road with what looks like everything they own piled next to it. So, it’s time to take a look in your trunk and see just what you have in there and what needs to be cleaned out.

Remember that any “extra” weight adds to the fuel efficiency of your vehicle. Okay, so it may not amount to a lot, but any way we can cut back helps, and besides, hasn’t Fido been looking for his 50 lb. bag of dog food? I’m sure that Good Will would love it if you finally dropped off that bag of clothes you’ve been carrying around.

We’re all busy and it’s easy to forget about things you put in your truck, having every intention of bringing it into the house one day, but winter weather will soon be upon us and the ground won’t be a good place to have to put things when you need to change a flat. I would like to suggest some things that can be good to keep in your trunk.

If you have issues with your vehicle burning or leaking oil, then keeping a quart with you is probably a good idea. Look in your owner’s manual for the proper type of oil. Antifreeze may be another item. Remember, you don’t want to just add water to your vehicle if it overheats, it will freeze faster in the winter months, a 50/50 mix of coolant is the best. I always have a blanket or towel in my vehicle. It’s great to keep you warm if you had to sit and wait for help, to place on the ground so that you can kneel on it, or to keep the back seat or trunk from getting dirty when you need to put a dirty flat tire inside.

I always have a flashlight. I’ve been using an LED light lately; glass bulbs in regular lights tend to break easier when they bang around. I don’t keep water in the trunk because it freezes in winter and tastes disgusting in the summer after the heat causes the plastic to give off toxic chemicals.  I usually just bring water with me on every trip, even if it’s just to the store. After having a kidney stone, it’s best to stay hydrated than to go through that again…believe me.

My newest addition to trunk items, duck tape. Yep, you can use that for just about anything and it just may get you home. I had a women tell me that when she broke down, another woman stopped to help her. In a dress, she climbed under the vehicle and taped the broken muffler pipe up so that she could get home….awesome!

A battery jump box, one of my favorites, it allows you to jump yourself without the need of another vehicle. You can get them for around $60 and charge them through an accessory outlet in your vehicle while you drive. An old pair of sneakers, who knows when you may need to walk for help and ladies, it’s no fun to try and change a tire in pumps.

I also strongly suggest that you read in your owner’s manual how to change a tire and where the tools are well before you actually need to do it. It makes life so much easier.  

A small shovel is not a bad idea. You can get one that folds up and doesn’t take up too much space. Along with that, a bag of kitty litter can always help you get some traction on ice and snow. A first aid kit, if your vehicle didn’t come with one. It would be good to have reflectors to put on the road to make you more visible, a small piece of wood that you could place under your jack in case you have to change a tire on a soft surface and a charger for your phone. Of course gloves, hat and boots are always good to have too, if you’re not already wearing them.

So, before you say that you’re too busy to clean out your trunk, stop and think what it would be like if you got a flat and had to take everything out to get to the tire. If you drive an SUV remember, your tools may still be under the back cover so take a look at what’s in the back and get rid of the clutter. You’ll thank me one day I promise.

Watch my video for more tips.

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