Tire Guides and Advice that make the Grade

Roadside Emergency Kit List

It’s an average day, and you’re cruising along the highway, enjoying the scenery, when suddenly, your vehicle decides to throw a wrench in your plans. Whether it’s a flat tire or a sudden breakdown, roadside emergencies are inevitable, no matter how well-maintained your car or truck might be.

Roadside Emergency Kit List

Equip yourself for unexpected road mishaps with general roadside emergency supplies like a first-aid kit, flashlight, and jumper cables.

Don’t forget tire-specific tools such as a portable air compressor and tire plug kit.

Adapt your kit for seasonal needs, packing extra water and sun protection for summer and items like an ice scraper and warm clothes for winter roadside emergencies.

In this article, we’ll delve into the details of what makes a comprehensive roadside emergency kit. We’ll cover the general supplies you should always have, along with some essentials specifically for tire care and maintenance. Plus, we’ll discuss some additional items you might want to consider for those hot summer or cold winter days.

Let’s take a closer look.

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You Never Know When You Could Become Stranded

General Roadside Emergency Supplies

Hey there, future roadside emergency expert! Let’s dive into the essential items you’ll want in your car or truck for any potential hiccups on the road. Remember, it’s not just about having these items, but knowing how to use them too. So let’s get started!

First-Aid Kit

No roadside emergency kit is complete without a first-aid kit. Imagine getting a minor cut while changing a tire or dealing with a nasty bug bite while waiting for a tow truck. A basic first-aid kit should include:

  • Band-aids of various sizes
  • Antiseptic wipes or creams
  • Tweezers
  • Gauze and adhesive tape
  • Pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen
  • Any necessary personal medication
First Aid Kit

Flashlight and Extra Batteries

A good, reliable flashlight can be your best friend during a roadside emergency, especially if it happens at night. Don’t forget to pack extra batteries too, you don’t want your light going out at the wrong moment!

Jumper Cables

Jumper cables are like the defibrillator for your vehicle. If your battery dies, these bad boys can bring it back to life with a little help from a friendly driver passing by. Remember, red is positive, and black is negative!

Jumper Cables

Blanket and Extra Clothing

If you’re stuck in your vehicle during a cold night, you’ll thank your past self for packing a warm blanket and some extra clothes. It’s always better to be cozy while waiting for help to arrive!

Water and Non-perishable Food

Hydration and nutrition are super important, especially if you’re stuck for a while. Pack bottled water and snacks like energy bars, nuts, or dried fruit that won’t spoil in your car.

Multi-tool or Swiss Army Knife

Think of a multi-tool or Swiss Army knife as your do-it-all wizard. From cutting loose wires to opening canned food, this tool has got you covered.

Road Flares or Reflective Triangles

Visibility is key in a roadside emergency. Road flares or reflective triangles can alert other drivers to your location, helping to keep you safe and maybe even speeding up your rescue!

brand new tire flat overnight
Flat Tire Warning

Tire-Specific Emergency and Maintenance Equipment

Alright, my fellow tire enthusiasts, it’s time to talk about our favorite subject: tires! From tire pressure to tread depth, we’ve got you covered. Remember, your tires are the only thing between you and the road, so taking care of them is crucial. Let’s roll into it!

Importance of Tire Maintenance and Regular Checks

Before we start talking about the tools, let’s highlight why this is so important. Regularly checking your tires can prevent unnecessary wear and tear and help you spot problems before they lead to a flat or a blowout. So, it’s time to get friendly with your tires and start those regular check-ups!

Portable Air Compressor

An underinflated tire can lead to problems like poor gas mileage or even a blowout. That’s where a portable air compressor comes into play. This nifty device can inflate your tire on the go, no gas station needed! Just plug it into your car’s power outlet, attach it to your tire’s valve stem, and fill ‘er up.

Craftsman Portable Air Compressor

Tire Pressure Gauge

Meet your tires’ new best friend: the tire pressure gauge. This tool can tell you if your tires are underinflated (or overinflated) so you can add or let out air as needed. Simply remove the valve cap, press the gauge onto the valve stem, and read the pressure. Easy as pie!

Tread Depth Gauge

A tire’s tread affects how well it can grip the road, especially in wet conditions. A tread depth gauge can help you figure out if your tires are wearing out and need to be replaced. Just insert the probe into a groove on your tire, push the shoulders flush with the tread, and read the result. If it’s 2/32 of an inch or less, it’s time for new tires.

Tire Plug Kit

If you get a flat tire from a nail or other sharp object, a tire plug kit can be a quick fix until you can get to a repair shop. It includes a reamer to clean the hole, a plug to fill it, and glue to hold everything in place. Remember, this is a temporary fix, so get that tire checked out as soon as possible!

Tire Plug Kit

Tire Sealant

Tire sealant is like a band-aid for your tire. If you have a small leak, you can use this to temporarily stop it. Just pour the sealant into the valve stem, inflate the tire, and drive a short distance to distribute the sealant. But remember, this is a temporary solution, so make sure to get the tire properly repaired or replaced soon.

Compact Jack and Lug Wrench

A jack and lug wrench are essential tools for changing a tire. Even if your vehicle, like a Tesla Model 3, doesn’t come with them, it’s a good idea to purchase and keep them in your car. The jack lifts your car, and the lug wrench removes the lug nuts. Remember, safety first, always use your jack on solid, level ground!

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You Should Be Prepared For Summer Heat Or Winter Cold

Preparing for Seasonal Emergencies

You know what they say, “Expect the unexpected!” Well, that’s especially true when it comes to weather. Whether it’s a scorching summer day or a snowy winter night, Mother Nature can surprise us. So, let’s get ready for her curveballs!

Summer Roadside Emergencies

Oh, the joys of summer… until your car breaks down in the heat! Here are some items that can help you out:

Extra Water

You’ll be thankful for extra water when you’re stuck by the side of the road under the hot sun. Dehydration is a real risk in these situations, so make sure to pack plenty of water to keep yourself cool and hydrated.

Sun Protection

Don’t underestimate the power of the sun! Pack some sunscreen, a hat, and even an umbrella to protect yourself from those harsh rays while you wait for help.

Bug Spray

Bugs love summer too, and they might see you as an uninvited guest. A can of bug spray can keep those pesky insects at bay.

Winter Roadside Emergencies

Winter can be a challenging time for drivers. Here are some winter-specific items to add to your emergency kit:

Ice Scraper

An ice scraper is a must-have for any winter roadside kit. It can help you clear your windshield, windows, and mirrors of ice and snow, improving your visibility.

Ice Scraper

Snow Shovel

A compact snow shovel can be a lifesaver if your car gets stuck in snow. It’s perfect for digging out snow from around your tires to help you get back on the road.

Cat Litter or Sand

Believe it or not, cat litter or sand can help you get unstuck from a slippery spot. Just spread some around your tires to improve traction.

Warm Clothes and Blankets

Remember to pack extra warm clothes, gloves, and blankets to keep you cozy if you’re stuck in the cold for an extended period.


Below are some links you may find helpful when learning about tires

Final Thoughts

No one plans for their car to break down or for a tire to go flat, but it’s always smart to prepare for these situations. Your roadside emergency kit is your lifeline when you’re stranded, helping you stay safe and get back on the road quicker.

Remember, your car and especially your tires need regular check-ups. Just like you go to the doctor for a physical, your car needs its routine maintenance to stay healthy. Regular checks can prevent unnecessary wear and tear, helping you spot problems before they lead to a flat or a blowout.

What goes into your kit can be customized based on your personal needs and the regional weather. If you live in a hotter climate, you might need extra water and sun protection. If you live in a colder area, you might need extra blankets and an ice scraper.

Good luck and happy motoring.

About The Author
Will Creech
Will has been an automotive enthusiast since he was old enough to make engine sounds. Formerly a member of the contract training team at Discount Tire, he is unusually knowledgeable on all things related to tires. He is now the owner of and main contributor to TireGrades.com.
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