AVB-AMG

Automobile Emergency Bag (Contents)

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I have 5 nieces and nephews between the ages of 18-22, who all are now licensed to drive in different States and have their own cars. The parents of my nieces and nephews are members of AAA and have extended their membership to include their children, so they have the benefit of AAA towing and/or battery jumping service, if they are in an area that is serviced by an AAA affiliated station. But as many of us older drivers know from our experience, sometimes you just have to rely on what you already have in your vehicle to deal with an unexpected situation. That is why many of us have some form of Automobile Emergency Bag in our vehicles, to address that possibility.

As a “car guy”, I decided that for their combined Christmas and Birthday presenst this year, that I would custom prepare an Automobile Emergency Bag for each of them. This is not to be confused with a Go Bag or Bug-Out Bag, but a bag that will be stored in the trunk of their respective cars and filled with items that, from my experience, will be useful in case of various automobile emergencies, including a flat tire, dead battery, fender-bender accident or off-road crash scenario. I decided to purchase all of these items separately, instead of just buying one of many available pre-packaged kits/bags because I wanted to ensure that all items are of good quality, something that is definitely compromised in most of these other packaged emergency bags. This exercise has snow-balled and I have now spent far more than my original budget estimate for each bag, but rationalize that these new drivers in my extended family are worth it. I know already that their parents are thrilled with the idea for it adds to their peace of mind when their kids are on the road, since they already are deeply concerned about the increase of accidents caused by distracted driving, etc.

BTW, the bag itself is a 20 inch Bucket Boss 60020 Gatemouth Tool Bag, the same bag I have in my vehicles, that is large enough to hold all of these items and constructed using quality materials. All of these items make the bags rather heavy but that really is not a big issue since it will reside in the trunk of their vehicles. I know that most people have their “list” of what the most important items are to have in this type of bag, so for what it is worth, here is the list of items that I have included in these custom bags.

· Engine Motor Oil – One (1) Quart of same motor oil used in engine, with a small funnel
· Tire Air Gauge – dial analog, (no batteries) tire air pressure gauge
· Jumper Cables - 4 Gauge, 500 Amp, 20 Ft. long battery jumper cables in pouch
· Electric Battery Jump Starter – 10-160 PSI, for 4 -6 cylinder engines, by Red Fuel
· First Aid Kit - Surviveware Small First Aid Kit in red canvas case
· Fire Extinguisher – Kidde regular dry chemical for (B) flammable liquids & © electrical equip.
· Standard Electric Tire Inflator / Pump – Plugs into car’s 12V cigarette power outlet
· Extendable Lug Wrench – Extends from 15 in. to 22 in., by Black Jack (11/16” – 22mm)
· Safety Vest - Neiko high visibility neon yellow safety vest (Size: XL)
· Small Tools - Cruz Tools Speedkit Compact Tool Kit in a cylindrical blue fabric case
· Emergency Reflector Warning Triangles – Set of 3 collapsible/foldable in orange case
· Heavy Duty Tow Strap with Hooks - (2in. x 20 Ft. / 10,000 lbs), by Capri
· Flashing Emergency Roadside LED Lights - (Pack of 3 in orange case)
(Note: Need to unscrew/loosen the 2 screws on back and remove paper strip from batteries)

· Fix-A-Flat Can– Flat tire inflator and sealer (16 oz aerosol can)
· Gasoline Siphon Pump – GasTapper manual siphon pump w/ access sleeve, guide & fuel tubes
· Foldable Tire Traction Mat – to get unstuck from snow, mud or sand, (2-Pack)
· EVA Rain Jacket – Adult; Size: L / XL, by Coleman & Umbrella, 36 in. Dia., by Totes
· Multi-Tool & Utility Knife – by Leatherman, in a black and red pouch (in ZipLoc Bag)
· Mylar Thermal Blankets – 2 Emergency survival blankets; 52in. x 82in.,(in ZipLoc Bag)
· Rail Clip Knife & Marine Orange Safety Whistle (in ZipLoc Bag)
· LED Aluminum Flash Light – with 2 – AA Batteries (not installed) (in ZipLoc Bag)
· LED Flashlight (3-AAA Batteries) & Mini-Headlamp (2-CR2032 Batteries) (in ZipLoc Bag)
(Note: Batteries are included but not installed, to preserve their charge for when needed)

· Work Gloves – 1 pair of Mechanix Wear FastFit work gloves (Black, Size: Large)
· Auto Duct Tape – 1 roll
· Windshield Washer Fluid, 1 Gallon, by rain-x (bottle could also be used for gasoline)
· Emergency Survival Whistle – orange, (in ZipLoc Bag)
· Paracord – Para/100 heavy duty paracord rope (50 feet)
· Road Maps - Various State & Regional paper AAA road maps, (in ZipLoc Bag)

What else I will recommend to them to possibly add in a second bag or just include in their trunk is a blanket, empty plastic gasoline can and a warm polar fleece jacket and flat soled shoes, all of which make sense but would not fit in the bag I selected. They each have their car’s Owner’s Manual in the glove compartment, along with a hand-held glass breaker / seatbelt cutter. Also, I figure that they will know to bring some water and snacks for longer road trips and I understand that any spare drinking water will freeze in the trunk in the winter months and could break open its container causing a damaging mess.

So what am I missing?

AVB-AMG

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https://www.amazon.com/AutoXscape-Emergency-Seatbelt-Survival-Flashlight/dp/B01B48R2PM/ref=sr_1_1?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1480606950&sr=1-1&keywords=AutoXscape+3-in-1

 

Not necessarily this model, but something similar. It shouldn't be in the bag, but maybe attached to the driver's side door panel for easy access.

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I would also include the following since they are millennial's

 

1. A complete description of each of those items and how to use them.

2. Safety Pins

3. Coloring Books

4. The phone number to someone who knows how to use a lug nut wrench.

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https://www.amazon.com/AutoXscape-Emergency-Seatbelt-Survival-Flashlight/dp/B01B48R2PM/ref=sr_1_1?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1480606950&sr=1-1&keywords=AutoXscape+3-in-1

 

Not necessarily this model, but something similar. It shouldn't be in the bag, but maybe attached to the driver's side door panel for easy access.

 

Chris:

 

Good idea.  I will suggest that as well....

 

AVB-AMG

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Fix-A-Flat is horrible horrible stuff... I would rather run on the donut than use that stuff.

 

Krdshrk:

 

I tend to agree with you since many mechanics will refuse the PITA work required to remove that slimy goo from inside the tire before they can locate and repair a puncture.  But my thinking is that they and their parents would rather that they are able to make a temporary roadside repair and then drive safely to the closest mechanic/repair shop.  If a new tire is required to be purchased, then so be it....  Also, some cars today do not even have a spare tire, whether it is full size or a doenut spare.

 

AVB-AMG

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So what am I missing?

 

AVB-AMG

 

 

That's a pretty good list--way more comprehensive than what I've given the kids for their cars.

 

One addition I'd suggest is some hands-on experience.  When my kids got their licenses, I had each one actually change a tire, and jump start a car.   I talked them through it, but they had to do it with their own hands.

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That's a pretty good list--way more comprehensive than what I've given the kids for their cars.

 

One addition I'd suggest is some hands-on experience.  When my kids got their licenses, I had each one actually change a tire, and jump start a car.   I talked them through it, but they had to do it with their own hands.

 

10X:

 

I agree and commend you for your efforts.  The proper instruction of the use of most of these items, when they are paying attention, followed by their performing the task on their own is definitely the best way for anyone to learn.

 

AVB-AMG

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No amount of tools & gear will compensate for habits. 

 

1. Let responsible individual (Parents?) know before the battery runs out

2. Dont stand in the middle of highway while trying to text 

3. Learn to keep-it-together for few hours without the social media

4. Presence of mind on the highway and remember when they last saw houses / people, so they can walk back if they have to
5. Presence of mind to pay attention to signs of trouble - smell, noise, gas level, etc, and stop as soon as possible
6. Stay on maintenance schedule and learn not to procrastinate

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No amount of tools & gear will compensate for habits. 

 

1. Let responsible individual (Parents?) know before the battery runs out

2. Dont stand in the middle of highway while trying to text 

3. Learn to keep-it-together for few hours without the social media

4. Presence of mind on the highway and remember when they last saw houses / people, so they can walk back if they have to
5. Presence of mind to pay attention to signs of trouble - smell, noise, gas level, etc, and stop as soon as possible
6. Stay on maintenance schedule and learn not to procrastinate

 

 

jackandjill:

 

Putting sarcasam aside, you make some excellent points worth discussing, especially to form good habits and not perpetuate bad ones.  With regard to your specific points:

1.  Agreed, let a parent or friend know what has happened and where you are before your cell phone battery dies

2.  This should be obvious, but from what I have seen from some millennials, maybe it needs to be clearly emphasized.

3.  Yes, unfortunately, some millennials will waste valuable cell phone battery energy on social media.

4.  All part of what we teach our kids as part of situational awareness and to be cognizant of their surroundings.

5.  Very good point...  These are warning signs of a possible or potential problem that may very quickly become a disabling issue.

6.  As we know, this last point is probably one of the most important, as well as the easiest way to avoid unexpected automotive problems, but alas, is also probably one of the least followed.  I have tried to impart the importance of this to them as responsible young adults, but sometimes I think all they do is put gas in the tank and forget about everything else....

 

AVB-AMG

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While a commendable idea, you might be overthinking this a little.  A little education might be worth more than many of the redundant things you have included.  Do they even know how to read a map?  I saw a TV show the other day where a bunch of millennials found an world atlas and made the comment "who knew they used to print out google maps".  Cars don't burn oil like they did in the 1960's.  I don't see why you would need to carry a quart of oil rather than just teach them to actually check the oil level every few weeks.  If you include the electric battery jump starter with the inflator do you really need jumper cables and a tire air gauge.  In an emergency you just want to get air into the tire to drive the car, you don't really care if it is the perfect PSI level.  The long lug wrench is a good idea, but only if they have been taught and made to actually change a tire.  The last thing I would want is a kid trying to change a tire for the first time at night in the dark and cold on a narrow shoulder of an interstate.  I made mine do this in the driveway before I even let them take their driving exams.  Not sure about a gasoline syphon pump either, teach them to never let the darn tank get below 1/4 and pay attention to the trip set odometer as to how far the car can go on a tank of gas.  As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

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I equipped my daughter's cars in a similar fashion when they started driving 25 years ago.  I've upgraded the components  as technology has progressed.  Your list is pretty comprehensive.  However, I shall offer my comments on some of the components based on my experiences.

 

Motor Oil-  most people, men or women, don't check their oil on a regular basis.  They realize they need oil when the oil light comes on.  While I prefer gauges as you can predict problems but most cars today only have lights.  while one quart of oil might make the oil light shut off 3 quarts is a better idea.  If you have a cracked oil filter (it happens) one quart isn't getting you far.  That happened to me about a year ago in my van.

 

Jump Starter- these are handy but they are not throw in the trunk and forget.  I periodically text my daughters its time to recharge them.  Most can be charged by the cigarette lighter.  Many have outlets to recharge a cell phone.  They are pretty compact and I tell my daughters to keep them inside the car.  Cold in the trunk and cold kills the charge.

 

Tire Pump- many of them are junk and take so long to inflate a tire they overheat and fail.  If they are driving anything with bigger tires (SUV for example)  it will take forever to blow up a tire. The best out there IMO is the Husky sold at Home Depot.  It puts out enough so you're not taking 15-20 minutes to blow up a tire. About $35.

 

Fix a Flat-  I'm not condemning it like Krdshark but it does have limitations.  Get the biggest can.  It still will not blow up bigger tires but will work on smaller ones.  If needed, top the tire off with the air pump.  You need to keep it in the passenger compartment or warm it up when its cold.  Its worthless if its been sitting in the trunk when its cold.

 

Tools- rather than the tool kit you list I suggest a screwdriver set and an adjustable wrench, and a pair of vice grips.  You can do more with those.  Ideally a small tool set is much better.  You can do anything with a socket set you can do with a box end wrench.  You can do most things withn a socket set you can do with an open end wrench.  The adjustable wrench takes care of those you can't. 

 

http://www.harborfreight.com/130-pc-tool-set-with-case-68998.html

 

A tool set like this gives many more options.  Yeah, its Harbor Freight but a good enough quality for an emergency set of tools.  I had something similar in my daughters car.  They questioned the value of this by commenting they didn"t know what to do with thses tools.  My response was what if I or someone who know how to use them is with you.

 

Yes, you"re a car guy.  You like cars but do you have experience working on cars?  I really learned how to do things over 45 years  ago.  I started in the Army as a wheel and tracked vehicle mechanic.  However I served my real apprenticeship owning an Austin Healey.  I really learned about emergency, on the road repairs with that car.  Not only plagued by Lucas (the god of darkness) I found myself doing on the road repairs like changing a rear spring.  I did carry a lot more tools.  I became friends with a mechanic at the dealership.  I met him at the parts counter (spent a lot of time there).  He saw me buying engine rebuilding components, clutch kits, axle shafts, and a variety of parts.  He often gave me advice on how to do a job.  It came to the point when I was there one time he informed me there was a mechanic's opening at the dealership and he would vouch for me.  Turned it down as I was in college then.

 

There was another bit of advice my Mother gave me in cold weather.  She would remind me to take a warm coat.  This carried over when I woukl take my daughters and their friends to the bowling alley, skating rink, or gymnastics.

 

They also need to be aware of the points Jack and Jill listed in post #10.

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Howard:

 

I am all for teaching and educating all of these millennial drivers on prevention, but disagree with some of your points.
Thankfully, the parents of our nieces and nephews have taught them how to use and read a road map as well as how to change a flat tire, so that is not an issue with them.

 

 Also, I would rather have a bit of overlap and redundancy it if helps cover for other possibilities.  For example, while I have included an electric battery jump starter, it is essentially a battery that requires an initial charge and then to be recharged on a monthly basis.  If that is not done then it may not have sufficient charge to do the required task and then it falls to using the traditional jumper cables.

 

Most current automobiles have electronic oil level sensors and some have even eliminated the traditional Dip Stick to manually measure the oil level.  So in these cars, a warning appears on the dash that essentially says either "Check Oil Level" or words to that extent, which for most cars means that the level is low by a quart.  That is why I have included one quart of the appropriate OEM specified engine oil for each of their cars.

 

It is important not to over-inflate a tire, especially one that has some form of Fix-A-Flat sealant that is temporarily plugging a puncture.  That, along with their ability to regularly check the air pressure of all four tires prior to a long trip, is the reason for including the tire air pressure gauge.

 

I actually have advocated to never let the gas tank level go below one half full.  But that is me and who knows what they will do.  The reasoning for the gasoline siphon pump is to be used to take gas from another car that may stop to help, putting it into a small container, such as the emptied 1 gallon windshield washer fluid plastic bottle, which then can be poured into the empty gas tank of their car so they can then drive to a nearby gas station.

 

AVB-AMG

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A lot of good ideas. We have kits in our cars, but with todays new cars, is all that really necessary? Our new cars come with Emergency Road Side Assistance and if not, there is always AAA....

Would a young lady even know what to do with most of it?

I told my wife, call me, call for assistance, keep warm and don't panic.

 

In the event assistance is not possible, then try use the kit.

 

 

 

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Then there is the issue of do you even wanting a young lady to get out of the car?  These days there are all sorts of crazies that will stop to "help" a stranded person with bad intents.  Might be best to just stay in the car with the doors locked and wait for help.  It's a mixed bag.

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I equipped my daughter's cars in a similar fashion when they started driving 25 years ago.  I've upgraded the components  as technology has progressed.  Your list is pretty comprehensive.  However, I shall offer my comments on some of the components based on my experiences.

 

Motor Oil-  most people, men or women, don't check their oil on a regular basis.  They realize they need oil when the oil light comes on.  While I prefer gauges as you can predict problems but most cars today only have lights.  while one quart of oil might make the oil light shut off 3 quarts is a better idea.  If you have a cracked oil filter (it happens) one quart isn't getting you far.  That happened to me about a year ago in my van.

 

Jump Starter- these are handy but they are not throw in the trunk and forget.  I periodically text my daughters its time to recharge them.  Most can be charged by the cigarette lighter.  Many have outlets to recharge a cell phone.  They are pretty compact and I tell my daughters to keep them inside the car.  Cold in the trunk and cold kills the charge.

 

Tire Pump- many of them are junk and take so long to inflate a tire they overheat and fail.  If they are driving anything with bigger tires (SUV for example)  it will take forever to blow up a tire. The best out there IMO is the Husky sold at Home Depot.  It puts out enough so you're not taking 15-20 minutes to blow up a tire. About $35.

 

Fix a Flat-  I'm not condemning it like Krdshark but it does have limitations.  Get the biggest can.  It still will not blow up bigger tires but will work on smaller ones.  If needed, top the tire off with the air pump.  You need to keep it in the passenger compartment or warm it up when its cold.  Its worthless if its been sitting in the trunk when its cold.

 

Tools- rather than the tool kit you list I suggest a screwdriver set and an adjustable wrench, and a pair of vice grips.  You can do more with those.  Ideally a small tool set is much better.  You can do anything with a socket set you can do with a box end wrench.  You can do most things withn a socket set you can do with an open end wrench.  The adjustable wrench takes care of those you can't. 

 

http://www.harborfreight.com/130-pc-tool-set-with-case-68998.html

 

A tool set like this gives many more options.  Yeah, its Harbor Freight but a good enough quality for an emergency set of tools.  I had something similar in my daughters car.  They questioned the value of this by commenting they didn"t know what to do with thses tools.  My response was what if I or someone who know how to use them is with you.

 

Yes, you"re a car guy.  You like cars but do you have experience working on cars?  I really learned how to do things over 45 years  ago.  I started in the Army as a wheel and tracked vehicle mechanic.  However I served my real apprenticeship owning an Austin Healey.  I really learned about emergency, on the road repairs with that car.  Not only plagued by Lucas (the god of darkness) I found myself doing on the road repairs like changing a rear spring.  I did carry a lot more tools.  I became friends with a mechanic at the dealership.  I met him at the parts counter (spent a lot of time there).  He saw me buying engine rebuilding components, clutch kits, axle shafts, and a variety of parts.  He often gave me advice on how to do a job.  It came to the point when I was there one time he informed me there was a mechanic's opening at the dealership and he would vouch for me.  Turned it down as I was in college then.

 

There was another bit of advice my Mother gave me in cold weather.  She would remind me to take a warm coat.  This carried over when I woukl take my daughters and their friends to the bowling alley, skating rink, or gymnastics.

 

They also need to be aware of the points Jack and Jill listed in post #10.

 

GRIZ:

 

Thanks for your elaboration on the specifics of some of the items on my list.  You make a good point on the temperature being a factor on the usability of some of these items and why they may be better off located inside a heated car during the winter months.  Your suggested tool kit is more elaborate than what I have included but agree with your earlier suggestion on including a screw driver set, adjustable wrench and vice grips.

 

I applaud your mechanicl interest in cars.  BTW, not only do I enjoy various types of automobiles, I am also a "car guy" in the engineering, body and mechanical repair aspect of them.  I have owned and subsequently restored, a 1961 Mercedes-Benz roadster that I have now had for over 42 years.  Therefore, I can appreciate and empathize with your stories regarding your Austin Healey.  I have many similar stories of breaking down and having to do impromptu roadside repairs, as well as observing the work of the more knowledgeable M-B mechanics, once in the shop, who would show me what they were doing so I could learn.  Unfortunately, most young adults today do not have the same level of experience as we do, let alone the interest....

 

AVB-AMG

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>>Gasoline Siphon Pump – Arnold small outdoor power equipment siphon pump<<

 

Why? Where exactly do you think you can use this? It won't work on any modern vehicle.

Malsua:

 

See my explanation in my post #14. As I have done this before, it does work on current automobiles.

 

AVB-AMG

 

Edit: I corrected the brand and description of this pump on my original list...

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While a commendable endeavor, most of the items on your list will remain unused, forgotten about and over time end up in the corner of the garage when space in the trunk becomes more important for luggage or shopping bags.  Having traveled extensively through the years and done similar preventative measures, the best preventative measure is a well maintained vehicle.  While cars are more reliable than ever, they are still a bucket of bolts rolling down the highway.  Most breakdowns today cannot be cured with a 'MacGyver' bag of half ass tools and duct tape.  Years ago I would have agreed with you, but today's cars are a lot more complicated and failures almost always are due to the new controls and gadgets installed.

 

Flashlights, mini multitools should be on the person, not a bag in the trunk.  Tires, batteries, hoses, etc all should be replaced on a maintenance schedule not when they fail.  My experience tells me if the maintenance is done correctly and on schedule almost all of the items you speak of will never be used.  One of my jobs had me traveling over 25,000 miles a year for more than  20 years. The number of breakdowns I had I could count on one hand.  Every one required a tow, Nothing I had on me could have got me going again.  Each car I owned during that time logged over 175,000  miles.  

 

Maintenance is the key, all other times make the call.

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Then there is the issue of do you even wanting a young lady to get out of the car? These days there are all sorts of crazies that will stop to "help" a stranded person with bad intents. Might be best to just stay in the car with the doors locked and wait for help. It's a mixed bag.

That makes sense, depending on the situation, circumstances, location and time of day, etc...

But once help does arrive, I do believe it makes sense to have the proper tools and equipment to attempt to remedy the issue. Also, keep in mind that maybe it will not be their car that breaks down, but a friend that may be traveling with them in another car on some sort of caravan road trip...

 

AVB-AMG

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T Bill:

 

Yes, hopefully, they will never need to use anything that I have included in these Auto Emergency Bags. To help their memories, I have printed out two copies of this list with one in a clear acetate page sleeve placed inside the bag and a second one folded in an envelope to be put in the glove compartment of their cars for faster and easier access, to remind them of what is in their bags.

 

While it would be ideal for anyone to carry on their person a flashlight and a multi-tool, I suspect that most people, especially millennials will not do so. Therefore, it is good to have these items in the bag so at least they should be able to get them when they need them.

 

I agree with some of your thoughts and am all for advocating regular professional maintenance of modern cars, as well as older ones, as you and I do religiously. But we do not have control over what these younger folks will actually do, so can only preach this good advice.

 

Also, in the real world we know that car batteries do die over time if the headlights are left on and tires will run over nails, screws, etc and cause them to loose air pressure that can be fixed relatively easily. If they skid off of a icy or snow covered roadway, then some of the contents of this bag will be very usefull, if not life saving. My attitude is that if any of the contents of these bags can help any of them even once in an unanticipated situation with their cars then I believe it is money well spent...

 

AVB-AMG

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Malsua:

 

See my explanation in my post #14.  As I have done this before, it does work on current automobiles.

 

AVB-AMG

 

What size tube?  The anti-rollover ball will prevent pretty much anything larger than 3/16 tubing from getting past.  Some vehicles also have an anti-siphon screen.    

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Our government spends a lot on FEMA so we might as well use them:

 

https://www.ready.gov/car

 

One item I noticed on their site that I don't think was mentioned was some non-perishable food like energy bars).

Depending on the weather, you might need a straw or spoon to drink the melted energy bar. Lol

 

 

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Another bit of instruction to pass along, as it's a pet peeve of mine when I see disabled vehicles, particularly on highways...don't set the reflective triangles/emergency flashers/highway flares just a couple of steps behind your car. That's only useful if you want to give an approaching Amish buggy enough warning to pull to the left and give you some room.

 

Put those markers far enough back to alert cars traveling at highway speeds!

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While a commendable endeavor, most of the items on your list will remain unused, forgotten about and over time end up in the corner of the garage when space in the trunk becomes more important for luggage or shopping bags.  

Bingo!  Reading that list... I was thinking, damn... apparently I'm a crazy, reckless fool livin' on a wing and a prayer (LOL). I admire your protective attitude(s)... such Boy Scouts on here. Adorbs! My dad did the same when I was a teenager - I learned to change a flat, change the oil, to park on a hill (so I could pop the clutch to start my little VW Bug), etc. Even had my own dad-purchased tool box (good grief, why did he think that was necessary?). Good times, good times....!

 

But, today... I have NOTHING even close to AVB's all-encompassing, ready-for-the-nuclear-wasteland list in my car. As Bill said, today's cars are far too computerized to deal with... and I'm traveling in NJ, not Denali National Park. A great mechanic, regular maintenance (including checking the air in spare tire), jumper cables, "Premium" AAA membership, a charged cell phone, a blanket, and a waterproof poncho... baby, that's about it for me. Oh, and once the cold season hits, I also throw spare snow boots and a snow shovel in my trunk and keep them there until spring. 

 

If you must get them something, AVB, why not one of those hand crank emergency radios? I've been thinking about getting one of those myself. Most have a flashlight, a strobe light feature AND an all-important port to charge a cell phone. Combined with a AAA membership, that seems more practical to me than anything else. And it's small, so your loved ones will have the tendency to actually keep it in the car - where it's needed.

 

Edit: one more thing... I also have a length of pipe in the car...so if I'm in a dead zone and can't get AAA on the phone, I can at least get a little leverage on the lug nuts of a wheel - to compensate for my lack of muscle.

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If you must get them something, AVB, why not one of those hand crank emergency radios? I've been thinking about getting one of those myself. Most have a flashlight, a strobe light feature AND an all-important port to charge a cell phone. Combined with a AAA membership, that seems more practical to me than anything else. And it's small, so your loved ones will have the tendency to actually keep it in the car - where it's needed.

Mrs. Peel:

 

I have explained in previous posts why I am including most of the items on my list for practical and/or 'what if" scenarios of dead batteries and flat tires and I certainly hope that they never have a need to use them. But even with their AAA membership, when traveling in some parts of our country, AAA would take several hours minimum to respond. So that is why it may be taking a big chance in assuming that service, (or the corresponding manufacturers proprietary roadside assistance services such as GM OnStar, Mercedes TeleAid or BMW Assist), to be able to depend upon responding in a timely fashion is not always the case.

 

Thank you for your good idea of a hand-cranked radio with a flashlight, as well as a USB port that could also partially recharge a dead cell phone battery. I will look into adding that item to each bag.

 

Is my list for an Automobile Emergency Bag all-encompasing?.... yes. Is it overkill?.... maybe. But I would rather have more than less in this case. Remember, this is NOT intended as a GO BAG or Survival Bag, since those contents would be much different.

 

As an experienced adult driver you do what you are comfortable doing and take whatever chances you are willing to take. I believe that young drivers just getting started with driving and automobiles in general need proper instruction on how to drive, park and perform basic servicing and tire changing, followed by practice, as well as having the necessary tools that they MAY possibly need in an emergency situation. It will be ultimately their choice what they may want to include or not include in this bag in years to come.

 

BTW, this idea was sparked at the Thanksgiving dinner table, by my 18 year old niece telling me a story of her car's battery having died this past summer when she was on a trip approximatley 200 miles from home and she did not have any jumper cables and AAA took over 3 hours to respond. I was surprised that she was not better prepared and then upon further inquiry, learned that my other nieces and nephews were in a similar minimally prepared state with their cars. So, with consultation, encouragement and approval from their parents, I decided to move forward with this task as my gift to each of them.

 

AVB-AMG

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Awww... I was only half-joking about your kiddos traversing a nuclear wasteland well-prepped by their Uncle AVB. I spent several years working with engineers and architects btw and I was always rather amazed by... The planning! The checklists! The redundancies! Yikes. I'm the first to admit I come up short on the "Be Prepared" scouting credo. 

 

So, rock on... Uncle AVB... rock on.

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Edit: one more thing... I also have a length of pipe in the car...so if I'm in a dead zone and can't get AAA on the phone, I can at least get a little leverage on the lug nuts of a wheel - to compensate for my lack of muscle.

 

Not just for the weak. The lug wrench handles can't be more than 6" long (OK maybe a bit longer but they feel like 6"). No way to get any leverage without the pipe. The manufacturers are probably trying to save weight, space, and money but my 24" pipe makes up for that.

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