Money Wise--Being Ready for a Breakdown - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

10/18/04

Money Wise--Being Ready for a Breakdown

As the holiday season nears, the nation's roads will become more crowded with people shopping and traveling to see friends and family. But if something happens to your car along the way, would you know what to do and have what you needed to fix it?

Picture this, your car has broken down in the middle of nowhere and help is hard to come by. Here are some tips from Good Housekeeping to save your day, and maybe your life too. First, keep an emergency kit in your car.

Good Housekeeping recommends the Justin Case Cross Country Kit. "It comes with glow sticks and a reflective triangle," said GHI engineer Gary Zukowski. "But it also comes with things such as a tool kit, an air compressor, a blanket, a first-aid kit and other essential things you could possibly use."

Flat tires can take the air out of any trip. But to save time changing your tire, you might want to invest in the right tools.

"We recommend using a cross-shaped lug nut wrench," Zukowski. "It will give you that extra leverage you need to loosen the lug nuts and it can be bought for about $10, $15 at any auto parts store."

And to give a good jolt to a dead battery, Good Housekeeping likes the Carol Pro Boost 4000 jumper cables because they're 16 feet long. This would be very convenient if you're parked head in against the wall with cars on both sides of you. It will let a car jump you from behind with the additional length in cables.

Finally, here's a checklist of things to have in case you're stranded on wintry roads: keep some water, and nourishing food like granola bars on board. Also, a coat coolant/anti-freeze, flares, spare fuses, and headlight bulbs are always a bright idea. And don't forget your cell phone.

If you have money questions you'd like answered in Money Wise, email moneywise@wtoc.com.

Reported by: Dmitra Denmark, ddenmark@wtoc.com

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