Driving in winters, especially on snow roads, entails a lot of dangers. Similarly, conditions in winter are icy, snowy, and downright unpredictable. You never know what you may come across while when you jump into your car and get on the road. Therefore, you must always have these winter car essentials in your car to fully prepare yourself for everything that comes your way on the road.
You should not wait for the winters or actual snow to put these items in the car. Sometimes weather changes without any warning, catching you off-guard and stranded on the road. Things can get bad to worse if you are traveling with the family. Therefore, getting prepared beforehand can save your skin in case of unexpected snowfalls, accidents, and crashes, getting stuck in the snow, or car breakdowns which are all too common in winters.
What to Keep in Your Car for Winter?
The following are the 25 essential accessories you must always have in your car’s trunk during winters. These items can potentially save your life in cold weather emergencies as well.
1. Strong Ice Scraper and Snow Brush
One of the most important snow accessories for cars is the ice scraper. Only a few inches of snow can fully cover your car. Moreover, there are always chances of unexpected snow spells because the weather girl is not always right. Throw snow brush and ice scraper in the car on the first sign of winter. Ice or snow on the windshield and even on the roof can obstruct your view, and therefore, it is very dangerous. You have to clear the entire car before hitting the road and it is only possible with an ice scraper.
Always have a collapsible or small shovel that occupies minimal space in your trunk. It will help you clear a pathway or the road if you are stuck in the snow. A shovel will come to your rescue whenever you are stranded in a snow or mud pile. Apart from digging around the spinning tire, it can also help you improve traction and tire’s grip by adding fresh dirt or snow to the mix. You can easily find miniature shovels from any hardware or grocery store, especially in winters.
3. Portable Phone Charger/Battery
It is always important to have a mobile phone while driving albeit a fully charged one. You don’t want to be part of a horror movie like the scene when you are stuck on a desolate road with your phone battery at 1%. You know what happens to the damsel in distress in these situations. Besides the phone charger, you should always keep a power bank and a portable battery with you. A phone charger that plugs into the cigarette charger or car’s USB is useless if the car is dead. On the other hand, you can charge your phone on the go, irrespective of the location, using a portable battery.
4. LED Flashes or Hazard Triangles
The approaching cars need a “heads up” to avoid a mishap if you meet an accident or skid off the road. You can accomplish the task using LED flashers or hazard triangles. They also enable you to mark your location, making it easier for passing cars to spot you from distance and reduce their speed. Similarly, rescue teams will also spot you and your car more easily.
5. Portable Air Compressor
Portable air compressor is one of the crucial car accessories for snow. It occupies only minimal space and can be powered by your car’s 12v outlet. You can use the compressor to fill out low tires as well as low spare tires. However, you should check the air pressure of your tires regularly. The accidents related to low tire pressure are surprisingly common, especially in winter.
6. Safety Absorbent
Getting stuck in snow or ice also means less tire grip or traction. However, you can regain some of the traction by using some sort of safety absorbent. People also use cat litter for this purpose but floor swoop absorbent is a better option.
7. Gloves and Other Winter Gears
You have arranged all the tools and items on your car essentials list, but it is now time to put them in use. You will find it easier to clean your car if you are wearing warm clothing including gloves, a jacket, and warm socks, etc. Keeping a hand warmer in the car will further make the task more convenient for you. Bundling yourself in warm clothes will also keep frostbite at bay. You will only be able to clean your car or wait for the rescue if you are warm.
8. Part-Time Heater
You may be tempted to keep the car running to stay warm when you are stuck in the snow. However, it can lead to drastic consequences. Firstly, you will eventually run out of fuel even if the tank is full. You will need to find fuel to start your car when the weather clears up or help finally arrives. Secondly, the ice and snow can block the exhaust of your car’s engine. As a result, deadly levels of highly poisonous carbon monoxide will accumulate in the cabin of the vehicle.
A candle-powered heater, on the other hand, is not only safer but also offers incredible heat in the confined spaces such as a car’s cabin. You can easily create a candle heater by having a metal can, a lighter, and an emergency candle.
Put some of the extra blankets laying in your closet in your car. Temperatures can drop pretty fast in winters, which is particularly dreadful if your car breaks down, you meet an accident, or simply get stranded in the snow. Blankets will keep you cool, especially if you cannot switch on the car’s heater.
10. First Aid Kit
Sometimes, you can get out of a car crash unscathed. However, someone will get hurt in a crash most often. Although you should have a first aid kit in your car throughout the year yet you cannot deny its importance in winters. You may have to wait longer for the emergency vehicle in winter, especially if it is snowing. Having a first-aid kit means you can administer rudimentary first aid to the victim until help arrives.
When it comes to winter car essentials, you cannot ignore the flashlight. A flashlight can save the day for you if you get stranded, stall, or stuck in the dark. And, it gets dark quite early in the winter. The flashlight will not only help you find the problem but will also enable you to scout the area. Besides, you become easily visible to the passing as well as emergency vehicles.
12. A Good Spare Tire
Most of you always have a spare tire anyway. But – if you don’t, you need to get a good one before the onset of winters. Similarly, you must replace the old one if it does not offer good tread. A spare tire will come to your help on snowy roads in case the original tire gets damaged due to any reason.
13. Go for Snow Tires
The all-season-tires are all you need if you don’t normally drive on snowy roads. However, snow tires are essential if you will drive on snow. More importantly, buy a good pair of snow tires as early as possible because supplies will dwindle when winter fully sets in. you should avoid driving on snowy, icy, and wet roads with bald tires because it is very dangerous.
14. Jumper Cables
You cannot miss the jumper cables whenever you think about the winter car essentials. They are an indispensable part of your winter car safety kit because your car battery can go dead at any time. It is one of the most common car problems in the world. Cold weather have a serious toll on your battery, draining it rather quickly compared to summers. However, the jumper cable will bring it back to life. It can also be a lifesaver if you are stuck on a deserted road.
15. An External Battery
You need assistance from another car to get your battery started using the jumper cables. You can save all this trouble by keeping an external car battery in your trunk. The external battery cannot only revive the battery but it will also charge various car electronics, which is necessary for making a quick call for help. It can be a difference between life and death if you are having an emergency on the road.
16. Gas or Petrol Can
Running out of petrol or gas can be a horrible experience at any time of the year. However, it can be worrying in the cold weather. It is not a good idea to store petrol in your car’s trunk, to be honest. But – it never hurts to keep a small gas can in your car. What you can do is to hire a cab to the nearest gas station and get the can filled. A gas can has more than fuel to take your car to the gas station and save you from a tow.
17. A Basic Tool Kit
You should never overlook a basic took kit while building your winter car essentials kit. You will require a toolkit to do simple fixes. You need not be a mechanic to use these tools as well.
18. Rope or Chain
You have to get your car towed if all other options to start your car have failed. In this case, you also need a good tow chain or rope to get your vehicle out of the snow.
19. Extra Fluid to Wash Windshield
The windshield can freeze quite quickly in harsh winter conditions. Therefore, you need a windshield washer with antifreeze quality to prevent that from happening. You can considerably improve your visibility in a blizzard simply by washing and clearing your windshield with the windshield washing fluid.
20. Food, Snacks, and Water
There is every chance you can be stranded for days during snowstorms. Although it is becoming a rare occurrence yet you must always be prepared, just in case. You can survive the blizzard or wait for the tow truck more comfortably if you have bottles of water and a stash of non-perishable snacks with you.
21. Pen, Pencil, and a Notepad
Pen, pencils, and notepads become great winter car essentials for a good reason. A dispatcher will give you many different numbers when you call for rescue or a tow. He may also give you additional incident numbers. You would also need the plate number and license number of the other car and the driver respectively if you are involved in an accident. It is difficult to remember all these numbers. You must have a pen and notepad with you to write them down. You may also need to warm up the pen between your hands if it is frozen. Or, you can use a pencil but it will be harder to read in poor lighting.
Fix-a-Flat can come in handy whenever you have a flat tire. It can temporarily inflate your tire, saving you from the trouble of putting on the spare in the sheer cold. Keep in mind that fix-a-flat does not offer a permanent solution. It is just an emergency measure to get you back on road. You need to find a tire shop at the earliest. Also, remember that fix-a-flat can only be dispensed when warm. You can heat it over the defroster or simply by keeping it in the cab.
You must be wondering why you need sunglasses in winter. Well, the reflection of the sun on the snow is very bright. Therefore, you can reduce the glare while driving by wearing sunglasses.
You will have to get out of your car to see what’s going on when you get stuck. An umbrella is one of the most important winter car essentials. will protect you from snow or rain, keeping you dry and warm while you wait for rescue.
25. Duct Tape and Whistle
Finally, an all-purpose duct take can help you make small repairs and improvise a situation. A simple whistle is another excellent method to signal for help.
It is nightmarish to get stranded on the road during a snowstorm. Therefore, you need to have all the winter car essentials before you hit the road in the cold weather. Check whether or not your wiper blades are working. Similarly, ensure you have surplus fuel back in the trunk as well as good pair of snow tires to provide enough traction on the wet roads.