Things to Keep in Your Car Year-round

While carrying extra weight around in your car can reduce its efficiency, there are still a few items that you should always have in your car. These items are in addition to the standard vehicle maintenance tools you should have, like jumper cables and tools for a flat tire. Here are five items that will easily fit into a small box you can keep in your trunk.


  1. Old cell phone with charged battery. All old cell phones, even when not activated, can be used to call 911. Make sure the battery is fully charged and keep it turned off until you need it.
  2. Blankets. Even in the heat of the summer, if you have to spend the night in your car, you’ll probably want a blanket.
  3. High energy snacks. Foods like protein bars, dried fruit, jerky, and nuts are great choices. They not only provide a lot of energy, but they shouldn’t melt in your car.
  4. Maps. Yes, some paper maps. You never know when your GPS system could fail. A paper map will always be there. Keep at least a state map, or a full U.S. atlas book if you want.
  5. First aid kit. If you or someone else gets injured, a first aid kit can help slow down bleeding and treat an injury until professional help arrives.

With these simple supplies, you’ll be prepared for emergencies on the road ahead.


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Winter Service Tips

Freezing temperatures and heavy snow can wreak havoc on your car, especially if you haven’t kept up on its maintenance. And, breaking down in the winter is a much bigger deal than it is at other times of the year. Follow these winter service tips to make sure you make it through the season.


  • Catch up on routine maintenance. If you’re fallen behind on oil changes, tire rotations, or any other basic maintenance, get caught up. Check your owner’s manual for the recommended service schedule.
  • Check your battery. Have your battery tested to make sure it has enough life to make it through the winter.
  • Inspect the cooling system. Make sure your cooling system has the proper mixture of antifreeze and water. A mixture actually has a lower freezing point than straight antifreeze.
  • Resolve any starting issues. If you experience any hard starts or stalling issues, get them checked out. As the temperatures drop, these issues will usually get worse.
  • Keep your tank full. You don’t want to run out of gas in the middle of a snow storm. Not only is it inconvenient, but your engine is your only source of heat. Try to not let your tank get below half full. In addition, a full engine can help prevent the gas lines from freezing.
  • Replace your windshield wipers. You want to make sure you can remove any snow, ice, and rain from your window. If your windshield wipers are older than six months, you likely need a new set. In addition, make sure your windshield washer fluid reservoir is full.
  • Make sure your HVAC system works. You need your heater in the winter, but your air conditioning plays an important role, too. Whenever your windows get foggy, your A/C can clear up the moisture. You always want to make sure your rear defroster is working.


If you want to make sure your car is winter ready, schedule a service appointment today at Hurlbert Toyota.

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