The family vacation is now underway. Â The truck is loaded to the gills, bags on the roof, kids packed in the back seats. Fueled up and rolling, you are knocking back the miles when it starts. Tick, tick, tick turns into bang bang bang then Whump, the smoke monster starts to break free from your engine compartment. A hurried turn of the wheel to get to the side of the road and then you are standing, staring in head-scratching confusion, looking deeply into your engine compartment, not knowing what to do next.
What do you need to have to be ready for a roadside emergency?
The emergency kit
Building a basic emergency kit is simple, so simple companies have lined up to build them for you. You donâ€™t have to pay the premium for someone else to do it for you, though. Itâ€™s as simple as putting together these items: jumper cables, flares or a triangle, a quart of motor oil, a gallon of coolant, a first aid kit, a blanket (or space blanket), flashlight and batteries, a basic tool kit, a can of tire inflator or sealant, tire pressure gauge, paper towels, spray bottle with washer fluid, ice scraper, pen and paper, energy bars, and bottled water.
If you can, having a full-size spare is a luxury that canâ€™t be appreciated till you have to drive on one of the factory spares on a crowded high-speed highway. If youâ€™ve seen that guy, you know you donâ€™t want to be him.
If you are traveling on a dime, big emergencies can wreak havoc on your budget. In an emergency, you can turn to a short-term financer to get you through till you have the room in your budget to catch up. You may have to turn to your savings or your credit cards in the event of a major breakdown. Some breakdowns are so severe you may have to turn to the closest car dealer for an answer. Start out in one car and race for the finish in another, sounds like fun doesnâ€™t it? If you are forced to do some big spending, have your contacts for financing stashed away. Â
Keep your phone well charged and have your contacts up to date. If you have a smartphone or computer put together a file of your contacts and locations you plan on staying on the way. Pairing your mobile phone with your computer can allow you to access the internet of everything. Who knows, someone else may have been in your shoes and may have found a way out of the predicament youâ€™re in. Well worth every nickel you have to spend on paying to have a mobile hotspot available on your phone.
Do your maintenance beforehand
The best way out of any bind is donâ€™t get there in the first place. Spend the money ahead of your trip on a good mechanics time. Have your mechanic do a full inspection on all of your vehicle’s components. From tires to wipers, if they check out good ahead of time, the odds are in your favor for your trip. If a significant repair rears its ugly head at home, thatâ€™s way better than you standing in the middle of some desolate desert, kids crying as semi after semi roars past your steaming pile of future auto parts.
So be ready ahead of time, so this trip can be an enjoyable family adventure, One your family will remember for years for the fun, and not the misery of sitting on the side some hot lonely road.