Pack Your Car Wisely

If you spend a lot of time in your car, it can feel like a home away from home. In many cases, it makes sense to leave some items in your car in case of an emergency. On the flip side, some things should never be left in your car, especially when it is hot outside.   

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Items You Should and Should NOT Keep In Your Car

8 Items You Should Leave in Your Car

Keeping certain items in your vehicle can spare you a lot of hassle.

Cellphone Charger and Power Bank

You probably always have your cellphone with you when you are on the road. However, if you get lost or experience a breakdown or collision, it will not do much good if its battery is dead. Make sure that you always have a way to charge your phone when you are driving by keeping a charging cable, and if possible, a charged power bank, in your car.

First Aid Kit

A simple first aid kit with disposable gloves, bandages, pain reliever, antiseptic, tweezers, and scissors can go a long way in taking care of any little scrape you find yourself in. Some retailers sell first aid kits that are meant to be stored in your car and contain whistles.

Jumper Cables and Jump Box

A dead battery can be a hassle, but having jumper cables can ensure that you are back on the road with minimal inconvenience. Having a jump box in your car comes in handy by letting you jump your own car, sparing you the hassle of tracking down a good Samaritan who will help you out.

Car Jack

Flat tires are one of life’s inevitabilities, but you can save yourself a lot of frustration by having the tools you need for a quick repair. Keep a car jack in your trunk and know how to use it. It may also be a good idea to keep a small piece of plywood in the car to place under the jack to ensure that it is secure and will not sink into soft ground.

Lug Wrench

Your vehicle probably came with a lug wrench, but in all likelihood, it is not big enough to give you the leverage you need to actually remove the lug nuts holding your car’s wheel on. Consider purchasing an X-shaped wrench that will let you remove those factory-installed lug nuts.

Wheel Chocks

Wheels chocks are triangular metal stoppers that keep your car from rolling off the jack. Not only will this make your job easier, but it may also help prevent a serious injury.

Spare Tire

Depending on your vehicle, there is a good chance that you have a spare tire under the floor of your trunk or attached to the underside of your vehicle. However, due to increased mileage requirements, many car manufacturers are getting rid of anything that adds weight – including spare tires. Confirm that your vehicle has a spare, and if it does not, purchase one as soon as possible.

Fire Extinguisher

Small fire extinguishers come in handy against electrical fires and on flammable fluids such as gasoline. To ensure that it is easily accessible, you may want to use Velcro to secure it to the driver-side door.

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5 Items You Should Never Leave in Your Car

While it is perfectly fine to leave some items in your car permanently for the sake of safety and convenience, other items should never be stored in your vehicle for an extended period of time.

Water Bottles

While it may sound like an urban legend that circles around on social media every few years, a forgotten water bottle can actually cause a fire in your vehicle. Under certain conditions, sunlight rays can be magnified when they pass through a full water bottle. The focused beam of light can quickly heat your car’s upholstery to a high enough temperature to start a fire.

A potential fire is not the only reason to bring your water bottles with you when you leave your vehicle. Multiple studies, including this one from the University of Florida, show that harmful chemicals from the plastic seep into the water when it is warmed to a high enough temperature, making the water unsafe to drink.


The lighter that found its way under your seat may be small, but it is filled with highly flammable liquid. When your vehicle is parked outside on a warm day, its internal temperature climbs very quickly, which may cause a lighter to burst. While this probably will not cause your car to go up in flames, it may be enough to burn holes into your seat or damage the glass in your vehicle.

Aerosol Cans

Aerosol cans are pressurized containers, and most manufacturers recommend that containers are stored in temperatures no higher than 120 degrees. After one hour of sitting in the sun, surfaces inside your vehicle can get up to 200 degrees. In this heat, the contents of an aerosol can expand, causing the can to explode.


The best way to ensure that your electronics do not get stolen from your vehicle is to never leave them behind, but that is not the only reason to bring tablets, laptops, and phones inside. Prolonged exposure to heat can negatively affect your gadget’s mechanisms, causing permanent damage.

Food and Beverages

Abandoned food can attract pests such as mice and bugs, and items such as candy bars, chewing gum, and ice cream can melt and damage your floors and seats. On top of that, the longer certain foods are left at room temperature, the more bacteria growth there is and the higher the risk of food poisoning. Restaurant leftovers and groceries should be taken inside as soon as possible.

Optimizing Your Auto Insurance Coverage with Nevada Insurance Enrollment

While there is plenty you can do to keep your vehicle in good condition, life is unpredictable. At Nevada Insurance Enrollment, our auto insurance agents can help you review your policy to ensure that your coverage is adequate.

Related Articles:

Protecting Your Car From The Summer Heat

What To Do If Your Car Overheats

Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Vehicle Recalls

What To Do If Your Car Won’t Start

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