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Information Connection: Assembling your car's emergency kit

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(ARA) - If you had a flat tire or some other emergency while you're driving your car, would you be prepared? If you answered no, Jiffy Lube spokeswoman and national auto expert Lucille Treganowan suggests you assemble an emergency kit so that you're always prepared.

"The kit is designed to give you the tools you need to handle roadside emergencies so that you won't have to wait hours for roadside assistance or rely on the random kindness of strangers," Treganowon said. "It should be kept in your trunk at all times."

The kit contains everything from a simple flashlight and batteries to a fluorescent safety vest. Many of the items can be found lying around your house.

Start with an old duffel bag or a diaper bag and add the following items:

  • Small throw rug
  • Work gloves
  • Two bread wrappers and four rubber bands
  • A large standard screwdriver
  • A pair of pliers
  • A spray can of penetrating oil
  • A set of battery jumper cables
  • A wheel chock
  • Emergency flares
  • A large flashlight and extra batteries
  • A rubber hammer
  • A folding shovel or a short-handed shovel
  • A roll of mechanic's wire
  • A four-way tire wrench
  • A funnel
  • An old shower curtain for ground covering if you have to crawl under the car
  • An old scarf for emergency hose repairs and an old belt
  • A bag of cat box filler or rock salt
  • A cigarette lighter
  • A plastic jug of water
  • A basic first-aid pack
  • A fluorescent safety vest to wear if you have to repair a car on the side of the road
  • Dried fruit, nuts or other nonperishable food in case you ever get stranded, along with a blanket to ward off cold weather

"If you invest a little money assembling your emergency kit, you'll be paid back with confidence and peace of mind," Treganowan said.

If you do need to make repairs, look at these replacement parts.

As a companion to your emergency kit, consider the following commonsense guidelines to protect you and your family.

  • Try to move the car completely off the road.
  • Never stand near the edge of the highway while checking the car.
  • At night, turn on flashers to signal your need for help. During the day, raise the hood and tie a white cloth on the antenna or door handle.
  • Set out flares.
  • If you have to repair a car at night, wear a fluorescent safety vest. While you wait for help to arrive, stay inside your car with the windows up and the doors locked. Never accept a ride home from a passing motorist.
  • Carry a cellular phone or carry a cardboard sign for your windshield. Preprinted signs that say call police for help are available at auto parts stores.

"If you have no other option, wait for daylight and walk to the phone," Treganowan said. "But be sure to wear your florescent vest."

Treganowan, America's most renowned female mechanic, opened her first transmission shop in 1973 in Pittsburgh, PA. Today, she owns two transmission repair shops in Pittsburgh, hosts a national car care show, "Lucille's Car Care Clinic," and writes a regular column on the MSNBC web site. She is also the author of "Lucille's Car Care: Everything You Need to Know From Under the Hood By America's Most Trusted Mechanic," now in its third reprint, and is currently writing her second book. The 68-year-old grandmother has gained national notoriety for her automotive expertise. She has served as a spokesperson for Jiffy Lube since August 1996, traveling the country to educate consumers about car care.

Jiffy Lube International is the largest franchising organization in the rapidly expanding fast lube industry. It began in 1979 as a loose association of seven centers in the Western United States. Today, there are 1,590 Jiffy Lube centers in 48 states. For more information on Jiffy Lube, check out our web site at

Courtesy of Article Resource Association,, e-mail:


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