14 Things You Never Thought to Keep in Your Car


We all know to carry jumper cables, blankets and water in the car in case of emergencies, but what other items are useful when you’re out and about?

Safety on the Road

Many of us take it for granted that our vehicle will get us safely to our destination. However, as the old saying goes, there is always a what-if scenario. Weather conditions can take a car off the road. Potholes can cause punctures. Even something as simple as a traffic jam can cost a driver a day of travel.

While it’s hard to predict these problems, it’s not difficult to be prepared. Here are 14 things you may not have thought to carry in your car that can help you prepare for almost anything on the road.

1. Cooking Spray

You won’t be using a frying pan while driving, but it’s a good idea to keep a can of cooking spray in your car – especially in the winter. If the weather forecast is bad, get out the sprayer and open all the doors of your car. Spray the edges of the doors with rubber gaskets and carefully apply them one at a time. This oil will keep melting snow from sticking to the seals, so you don’t have to play tug-of-war with doors that freeze overnight. 

  1. Cat Litter

Cats have nine lives, but a car’s superpowers are apparently limited. When stuck in snow and ice, instead of hitting the gas, take a bag of cat litter from the trunk and sprinkle it on the front of the tires. The pellets will act like gravel and give you enough traction to stay on the road. It’s best to choose the type that doesn’t harden so it doesn’t clog the tire grooves.

  1. Plastic bags

Ice is one of the most dangerous hazards of winter. The best way to prevent ice from sticking to your windshield and mirrors is to park your car in a garage or covered carport. But for those of you who can’t park outdoors, here’s a tip. Open a couple of plastic bags and place them on the mirrors. Opening a few plastic bags and placing them over your mirror will prevent snow and ice from sticking to your mirror, which can be frustrating on extremely cold mornings. 

  1. Toothpaste

Driving at night can be dangerous due to inadequate street lighting or impaired night vision. Given these dangers, fogged headlights are the last thing you should avoid. In this case, use toothpaste. Simply place a small tube in your glove box. When the light is brighter, wipe the toothpaste on a cloth to remove any built-up dirt. 

Note: Most toothpastes can be used in an emergency, but for best results, use white toothpaste.
White toothpaste with baking soda is effective.

  1. Socks.

If you’ve ever shoveled your driveway after a snowfall, you know that thick socks are a winter necessity. But did you know that you also need to keep the inside of your car warm? Putting your wipers up, putting long socks on them, and putting a plastic bag over the front of the storm will help keep ice from forming on them. If there will be wind, don’t lift the wipers too high as this will increase the resistance to the wind. 

  1. Lighters, empty coffee cans and tea lights

A lighter, an empty coffee can and a teapot, all three of these items put together, will keep you warm in the winter when your car breaks down. Place a tealight candle inside an empty coffee can and light it. This will give you a slight glow and warmth when you call for help for about four hours.

  1. Razor blades.

Keep razor blades or a paper cutter in your glove box. These are useful in emergencies for cutting things, such as canned food or seat belts. Some people also swear by using a razor blade to clean bug-stained windshields when they don’t have a razor on hand. However, when cutting windows with a razor, be careful not to scratch the glass.

  1. Duct tape.

This amazing product can do almost anything, but it can also fix your car in case of emergency. If your wing gets blown up by the wind, duct tape can temporarily hold it in place so you can go to the store for a more permanent repair.

  1. Chalkboard eraser

Fogged windows can be frustrating and sometimes dangerous. By placing a chalkboard eraser inside your car, you can wipe the windows from the inside, leaving no wipe marks.

  1. Red flag

White flags have long been considered a sign of surrender, but a red flag, or in this case a red scarf, can send a warning. Tie a red scarf to your antenna to show other drivers that you are asking for help. Also, if your car breaks down in bad weather and visibility is poor, this bright red dot may help other drivers find your car from a distance, even if there is snow around.

  1. Sturdy trash cans

Don’t underestimate a trash can. A sturdy bin keeps the interior of the car clean and prevents water bottles from rolling around on the floor and becoming a hazard. You can also keep small parts and fuses organized as a carrying case for emergency repairs on the go.

12. Spare Fuses

Car electronics are quite advanced these days, and fuses are used to protect against overloading of electronic equipment. If you notice a malfunction in your dashboard lights, headlights, or power seats while driving (especially in the rain), there is a good chance that a fuse has blown. Fortunately, this can be easily repaired with spare parts.

  1. Comfortable shoes

In most cases, it is wiser to stay in your broken down car than to walk back to the gas station. However, if walking to help, it is best to wear comfortable trainers or hiking boots rather than high heels or dress shoes. You will have better footing and a better chance of avoiding injury. In late fall and early spring, it is recommended that snow boots also be carried in the car.

  1. First Aid Kit

Most people know to keep a first aid kit in their car, but what about a first aid kit? After all, the road is dangerous. Anything you need to keep someone safe until help arrives can save their life. Be it yourself, your passenger, or another person on the road.