Even if you know next to nothing about cars, much less maintaining them, you should always have spares of the essential car parts in your trunk or garage.

There aren’t always going to be auto shops and emergency car services around to fix your car. What are you going to do if your car breaks down 50 miles from the nearest auto repair center that has the appropriate alignment car lift?

You don’t have to be a full-fledged mechanic, but having basic auto repair knowledge can save you from a bad situation. Aside from that, make sure you keep these spare parts on hand:

1. Tire

It goes without saying that having a spare tire can mean the difference between having a minor setback and being stranded for hours on end. Hence, it should be a common rule that drivers shouldn’t leave the house without a spare tire in their trunk.

And more importantly, make it a point to learn how to change a tire. Even if you have a spare in your trunk, it’s not going to be much help if you don’t know how to install it.

2. Wiper blades

You don’t want to have a broken windshield wiper in the middle of heavy rainfall, so it’s important to have spare blades in case your current ones start malfunctioning.

3. Lights

If you drive with a broken taillight or headlight, you will likely get pulled over by police. And even if getting a ticket is not a threat, causing an accident is. For that reason, store spare light bulbs in your trunk for emergency situations.

4. Coil

Having a spare coil is crucial for people who drive a six-volt vehicle, especially for long trips.

5. Spark plug

Your spark plug may fall out or loosen during your drive, and if that happens, your car may not start properly–or even start at all. Thus, having a spare spark plug in your toolbox is a good idea. If your spark plug does happen to malfunction, an extra can help you reach your destination.

6. Filters

When was the last time you changed your air and oil filter? In any case, keep spare ones handy in your car to prevent any potential issues.

7. Belts

Even if you’ve just changed your car’s belt, don’t hesitate to bring a spare with you, especially if you plan to take a long trip. Keep spare belts for the one that runs the water pump and whatever unusual pump that you won’t find a spare belt for in most stores.

8. Points and condenser

If you drive a car with a points-based and mechanically-advanced ignition, keep a condenser and spare points on hand regardless of the length of your drive. These are the usual parts that break down in the middle of the road.

9. Distributor cap and rotor

man checking the car parts

Don’t let a bad distributor cap and rotor leave you stranded on the road; keep spares in your trunk. You won’t regret your decision when you find yourself stalled.

It’s easier to carry these spare parts with you than to find yourself stranded because of a faulty belt or condenser. Aside from bringing these spare parts, it’s crucial that you know how to install them.

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