To most, a boot is seen as a space for them to keep their groceries after a trip to the mall or supermarket. While some drivers may prefer to have a clean and empty boot, others would rather fill up their trunk with work-related items such as files and laptops.
However, not many motorists would be prepared for contingencies as it is a simple matter of calling a tow truck or the Automobile Association of Singapore (AAS) for help when your car breaks down. As drivers, we tend to take for granted the ease and convenience of calling for help, even when the situation presents itself as an easy fix, we would rather do it ourselves and save a fair bit of money.
That being said, these are 10 must have accessories for your car boot. Regardless of what car you are driving, be it a hatchback, sedan or SUV, these items would keep you better prepared when unforeseen circumstances arise.
1. JUMPER CABLES
You can never avoid the unpredictable, especially when your battery runs empty. You might have either left your headlights or hazard lights on for an extended period of time, or it was an older battery that couldn’t hold a charge.
Whatever the case, jumper cables are a great tool to help kickstart your battery. However, you will need a Good Samaritan to pop by and aid you. Alternatively, you can save yourself the trouble and opt for a battery jump starter instead. However, do ensure that it is powerful enough to start your car’s engine. (Note: Diesel engines tend to need more power than petrol engines.)
2. SPARE TYRE/SPACE SAVER
Most production cars would come with either a spare wheel or a space saver under the boot floor. Some motorists remove these to make way for extra storage, however a spare wheel is an important fixture and should be left in the car. Be sure to check on the spare wheel from time to time to ensure there is sufficient air pressure in the event of a puncture.
3. LIFTING JACK AND TYRE IRON
A lifting jack is a necessary tool to hoist the car up and remove the flat tyre. These are relatively compact and simple to use, and they can be fully deployed in a matter of minutes.
In addition to the lifting jack, you will need a tyre iron to remove the lugs on the wheel and switch out the flat tyre. Of course, you will have to get down and dirty but it saves you the trouble of calling a tow truck. This usually fits in the spare wheel well together with the lifting jack and spare tyre.
4. TYRE SEALANT KIT
Another method to fix a flat tyre would be a flat is a tyre sealant kit. If the puncture isn’t located on the tyre side wall, using one of these kits is much easier than switching out the entire wheel manually. Some newer production cars come with these as standard while older cars tend to have spare tyres instead.
Most tyre sealant kits come with air compressors, so refilling the tyre after applying the sealant is a breeze. However, do note that tyre sealants are not a permanent fix and you should get the tyre changed at the earliest convenience.
5. REFLECTIVE WARNING TRIANGLE
One may not understand the significance of having one of these, but they are an important accessory when your car breaks down or when you get a flat tyre. Plus, they don’t take up too much boot space!
Some drivers may settle for just turning on their hazard lights but a reflective triangle would ensure better visibility for other drivers, especially at night. After all, the last thing you would want is to get rear ended as you are changing out your tyre on the road shoulder.
7. AN UMBRELLA
This may be overlooked by most people, but an umbrella would come in handy when Singapore’s unpredictable weather strikes. Whether it is to shelter yourself or your passengers, it will keep you dry if you are parking in an open space, or even provide you with some shade in Singapore’s scorching hot weather.
8. CAR SHAMPOO, GLASS CLEANERS AND RAGS
Most motorists would opt for a car wash when their car gets dirty, but some drivers may prefer to wash their car themselves as automated car washes may damage their paintwork. Therefore, having a bottle of soap and some rags on your boot would be more ideal for those who would rather clean their car themselves.
9. WATER BOTTLE (PREFERABLY 1.5L OR MORE)
Having a bottle of water in your boot will be a useful addition. From cleaning bird dirt and grimy windows, to wiping down your seats or interior in the event of spills, or even as windshield wiper fluid. It can even serve as an emergency coolant for your car radiator should your coolant tank run dry.
10. OWNER’S MANUAL
Last but not least, keep the car manual with you at all times. This instructional book, after all, has the information you require to operate your car model’s features along with important troubleshooting advice.
BONUS ITEM: A BAG WITH A CLEAN SET OF CLOTHES
This might seem like a strange choice but hear me out! Everyone needs a wet-weather contingency plan. Assuming that you got caught in the rain, and you still have somewhere else to be, then this spare set of clean clothes will be a lifesaver when the time comes.
If you have any other tips for us drivers, feel free to share with us by commenting below!