A car is more than just transportation. It’s a lifestyle, an indication of status, and a means of protecting your most essential belongings. And while you might not think about it all that often, there are some pretty fundamental things you need to take care of to keep your car running smoothly and looking good for years to come! So to help get you started on the right foot, we’ve put together this list of 13 essential items every car owner needs.
A Car Alarm
Most cars come with an essential theft-prevention feature—if your car is parked on your driveway, you usually want some protection from a potential thief. So start by making sure your car alarm is working. You can check it out by pulling into a service station or visiting your local mechanic. If it’s not on, you’ll need to make some changes to ensure it stays that way!
A Spare Tire and Jack
Most cars have some jack under the hood—it looks like a big hook with an extendable handle—to help you swap out tires for winter maintenance or when getting them at the gas station requires extra attention. While changing a tire can be dangerous, if you have a flat, you should try to change it—a spare will only get you so far if you’re stuck on the side of the road.
A Tool Kit
Your car is always with you, so use that to your advantage! Keep some essential tools in your car for emergencies because you never know when you might need to tighten a necessary screw or repair something before it creates an even bigger problem. This set by Black & Decker has 14 different pieces bathe. They’ll help with pretty much any job.
An Ice Scraper
It would help if you always had an ice scraper—but you definitely should use it to scrape ice off your windows. If you have side-view mirrors, use them instead as they are safer for both you and the glass! If you don’t have any other choice, be careful not to damage the window. A safer choice is to buy a plastic scraper that you can hang from your mirror.
All cars are different, but most have fuses in the exact essential location—usually under the hood or in the fuse box near your car battery. If you happen to be feeling adventurous, you can check out what you need to change by pulling out your car manual.
A lint roller is something that most people who own don’t think of using. Lint is there because—well—we all have fur, feathers, and fur on the insides of our clothes! You might not notice it in a few days or weeks, but about once a month/season, you should pick up a lint roller and get rid of it when heading to an important business meeting. I don’t have one; you can pick one up at Target or another office supply store.
A Trash Can
Leaving food on the kitchen counter is a pretty common thing to do, but it can be dangerous for your car, too! Instead, pick up extra trash cans—or change out the ones in your car—to make sure nothing harmful ends up there. While some great products are made for this quiet, it’s always best to use something portable enough for car use.
A Car Battery Charger
In most cases, a fully charged battery should last several months without any issues. But it’s always essential to have a second battery charger in case you ever need to jumpstart your car! Otherwise, you could find yourself stranded with a dead battery and no help in sight. Check out our article on how to find the best car battery charger for your situation.
A Windshield Wiper Fluid Treatment
This is a pretty straightforward product that a lot of people forget to buy. Windshield wipers are essential; they don’t work on their own! Check your fluid level at least once a month to ensure you have at least enough to handle heavy rainstorms. Then, when it comes time to do the job, you can pick up this product for all your windshield wiper needs.
A Cleaning Kit
People typically keep cleaning supplies in the house. Still, unless people clean out their cars regularly (which they aren’t), you must clean out your car regularly. Cleaning kits are available at almost any big-box store, including Target.
Coats/Jackets/Hats in the Winter
It’s when it’s nice out; you might want to keep a few extra layers in your car, don’t! You don’t want to be stuck without a way to keep warm in the winter, and if you ever hit a blizzard (or live somewhere that sees them more often than you’ll), you’ll appreciate having that extra sweater or coat. On hand! Check out our article on how to pick up an emergency kit for your car for more information.
Even for people living in warmer climates, rain gear can still come in handy. You might be tempted to use your umbrella you’ll, but you’ll find it’s not the best solution for keeping your car clean! Instead, a sheet of plastic covering the seats will protect them from water stains, and plastic covers will keep the water off the windshield, making it safer for everybody involved.
It’s easy to forget about cleaning out any stray debris after a drive—but you don’t want to have a big mess back there! So instead, use a vacuum on your seats and floorboards to get rid of any messes that might have accumulated over you’re While you’re at it, remember to empty the center console too!
Be sure you’re prepared for anything that might come your way. Being prepared with all the things mentioned above will help keep your car safe and looking good—and even save you a bit of money in the process!