Waiting in the hot sun for a tow truck, getting towed miles out of your way to get your car repaired, and a delayed arrival at your destination all make for a pretty miserable trip. According to Captain Compare, roadside assistance coverage with your auto insurance is a must. However, not every car repair requires a tow truck. If you always carry a small car repair kit with you on road trips, small issues won’t turn into big delays. A well-stocked repair kit and a little DIY ingenuity can make you the hero of your family vacation.
Fix a Broken Car Window
Say a rock from a dump truck in the lane beside you cracks or even breaks one of your side windows. Does this have to ruin your trip? Absolutely not! All you need is duct tape and a trash bag. Keep thick, industrial strength trash bags and duct tape in your car and you’ll be back on the road before you know it. Just cut the bag to fit the window, pull it tight, and duct tape it into place. You’ll be on the road again quickly and can get the window replaced when you arrive at your destination.
Raise a Dragging Exhaust Pipe
A dragging exhaust pipe not only makes an obnoxious scraping noise as you drive, it can also get caught in a pot hole and take most of your engine with it. A wire coat hanger is a quick fix for this potential hazard. Just let the pipe cool off before touching it. Then, straighten out the hanger and wrap it around the pipe and its supporting frame. Make sure the wire isn’t touching the drive shaft, electrical wiring, or brake lines, and you are good to get moving again.
Un-Stick Lug Nuts
A flat tire is common on the road and most people can change one. However, you’ll find changing that tire to be quite impossible if the lug nuts are stuck. Leverage is the key in un-sticking them. Try putting your lug wrench into position, parallel with the ground, and then stand on it. Your weight is often enough to get the lug nuts moving again. You can also create more leverage if you’re not heavy enough to move the nuts with your weight. Just affix a small section of water pipe around the end of the wrench and push on it. The additional leverage provided by the pipe will likely be enough to get those lug nuts off and the tire changed.
Fix Your Own Radiator Hose
Don’t wait for the tow truck if your radiator hose goes. Just unclamp the hose, cut off the damaged portion, re-clamp it, and move on. Silicone Rescue Tape works, too. Just make sure you let the hose cool off before touching it and wipe it down as clean as you can get it so your clamp or tape will get a firmer grasp on the hose. Fill the radiator up with water and get it to a shop for a proper repair as soon as you can manage. This DIY repair will keep your car moving smoothly until then.