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    36 Car Essentials That You Should Already Own

    When you hit the road, sometimes the road hits back.

    1. A digital tire inflator with an LED flashlight that plugs into your car outlet. Just set the PSI and turn the thing on.

    Black and red tire inflator

    2. A can of WD40 EZ Reach Spray, because it can do just about anything, from loosening extra tight lug nuts on wheels to removing leftover residue from embarrassing "Honk if you're..." bumper stickers.

    Model's hand holding and spraying blue WD-40 can with red top

    3. A roll of silver 3M all-weather duct tape to make sure broken things (like a side-view mirror) stay good and stuck on until you can properly repair them.

    the roll of duct tape with a black and green label

    4. A durable, three-pocket folding car trunk organizer with handles to keep all your junk in the trunk from rolling all over the place while you're making all those sharp turns.

    5. A three-pack of seat back trash keepers to contain all the junk that's not in the trunk but that's littering the rest of your ride. Can also be used for storage of non-trash items too, making it just one of the cool and useful things for your car.

    6. A case of 64 purified emergency water pouches that each contain a little more than 4 oz. of agua. Now we're not saying keep all 64 pouches in your car (hey, a deal's a deal) but they do last up to five years and can double as ice packs when frozen.

    White packet of drinking water with blue lettering

    7. A car windshield sunshade to keep you from burning your hands on the steering wheel after you've parked in the sun for hours.

    Light gray windshield sunshade

    8. A Bigfoot air freshener that "smells just like a Sasquatch." Luckily it's pine-scented because if we had to guess, the natural stench of Big Foot probably wouldn't be so appealing.

    Yellow illustrated Big Foot air freshener

    9. A two-pack of auto insurance and registration document wallet holders for those unfortunate times when you'd be asked to produce your insurance or registration information. At least you'll know exactly where they are.

    Black plastic document holder with car illsutration on front

    10. The Car Guys Super Cleaner, which is formulated to work on soooo many different surfaces in your car (upholstery, leather, vinyl, wood trim, carpet, floor mats, and more) so you can keep your ride nice and clean on a regular basis.

    Promising review: "This is the best stuff I’ve ever used. It literally works on every surface, even glass! I wouldn’t use it on my windshield but my navigation system screen and all other glass/plastic surfaces were spotless and streak free! The pic is of my son’s seat before and then after one application of Super Cleaner. Took less than 5 minutes and only a moderate amount of elbow grease. I am a Car Guys die hard from here on out." —Melodicardia

    Promising review: "Stop what you’re doing and add this to your cart, then come back to read the reviews. Former nanny whose frequent fliers for the past 7 years have been primarily five years old and younger, and you can imagine the toll that has taken on my backseats. The spray was so easy to use and came with a towel that worked well, and took everything out! Any parent or caregiver knows about the horrors of mystery stains! The picture [above] is of a pop (soda) explosion that had dried, and it cleaned up like nothing happened. The smell didn’t seem strong or bother me at all, and I did the whole interior of my car. I am so happy with the results and will be ordering a second bottle when this one runs out." —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $16.97.

    11. Or a no-rinse carpet spot cleaner that'll tackle those grassy, muddy, oily, and/or foodie stains that you've grown used to, but never fond of. 

    reviewer before photo of their stained car seat
    reviewer after photo of their clean car seat

    Promising review: "I had terrible rust and oil stains all over the seats of my car. I tried other cleaners but they made the stains darker. I took it to the dealership to see if they could get it out and they flat out told me no, so I gave up and lived with it for five years. I tried this after it was recommended by a friend. I sprayed it on and literally watched the stain run right off my seat. It was amazing! I thought I was going to have to pay hundreds of dollars to replace the seats in my car because nothing else would work. This stuff really is awesome!" —Brittany

    Get a 32-ounce bottle on Amazon for $6.65.

    12. A 24-piece bungee cords assortment jar (including 10-inch, 18-inch, 24-inch, 32-inch, 40-inch cords and 8-inch canopy/tarp ball ties) for securing objects inside or outside of your car, especially when you need to leave the trunk open.

    13. A keychain car escape tool to cut through seat belts and break car windows that you'll be happy to have (just in case) but even happier to never have to use.

    14. A windshield cleaning tool with extendable handle and washable reusable microfiber cloth so you can remove all the dirt, dust, moisture (fog) on the inside and outside of your car's glass. Now you've got no excuse for those dirty windows.

    Black cleaning tool with lime green colored pads and clear spray bottle

    15. A super large, super warm military wool blanket to keep in the trunk for cold weather emergencies or warm weather picnics in the park. Bonus: doubles as a seat cover if you've got a passenger or pet you're worried about making a mess.

    16. A 24 oz. can of Fix-A-Flat tire inflator that will seal small tire punctures in large tires and "provide enough inflation to lift tire rim off the ground." The hose top will also work on all wheels.

    17. A car jump starter that doesn't require another car to give yours a boost and holds a charge for up to 12 months. Also works on boats and lawnmowers.

    Black and red digital car jump starter kit

    18. A pair of flex-grip work gloves made from synthetic leather so they don't shrink. Cold-weather insulation will keep those digits warm when working on your car during the most bitter of winter months.

    A pair of black and gray with yellow highlights and logo

    19. A portable solar panel battery charger with three USB ports that doubles as a three-mode lantern for when the sun (or your flashlight) goes down.

    Orange and black solar powered portable charger next to unfolded version

    20. A five-pack of 48-sheet waterproof notebooks, because you will always need something to keep in the glove box to write on that isn't a bunch of napkins from Wendy's.

    21. A digital tire pressure gauge for checking the PSI on your wheels to keep them in peak road-ready condition (and make them last longer). Works on truck, motorcycle, bicycle tires too.

    Silver and black tire pressure gauge with blue light-up screen

    22. A four-pack of car headrest hooks, because there's never a good place to hang your bag that gives you easy enough access to what's inside and keeps it one place while you drive.

    23. An impact- and water-resistant dynamo crank radio that's biggest selling point is it's ability to manually charge your phone. After that, the solar panel, LED flashlight, and multiple weather stations are totally clutch.

    24. A 100-piece first aid kit packed with bandages, butterfly closures, gauze pads, ointments, examination gloves, an instant cold compress and more for any emergencies that don't (hopefully) require a trip to the emergency room.

    Model presenting First Aid kit in red, white, and blue plastic box

    25. A set of six LED road flares with nine lighting functions (including the universal distress code S-O-S) for roadside emergencies without the hassle (or danger) of a chemical pyrotechnic display.

    26. A two-pack of static clinging car window shades (without any adhesives or suction cups) to keep things shady for passengers (especially children in the backseat) when tinted windows aren't an option.

    Black car window shade on rear side door

    27. A Leatherman multi-tool, which is actually 14 tools in one (including a knife, pliers, screwdriver, wire cutter, wire stripper, scissors, package opener, bottle and can opener, a file, a ruler, and more). There's no need for an entire toolbox in the trunk when this guy can easily fit in the glove box.

    28. A three-pack of windshield de-icer for melting snow, frost, and ice from any exterior glass or metal surface on your car with a quick and simple spray.

    White and blue spray bottle of de-icer

    29. A 16-count variety pack of Cliff energy bars, with flavors such as crunchy peanut butter, blueberry crisp, white chocolate macadamia nut, because you should always have a something to snack on in your car other than gum.

    Eight different colors and flavors of Cliff bars

    30. A jar of cleaning gel for car detailing, because there are some parts of your ride that just never seem to get clean by conventional means. That means the only thing to fight dust and dirt with is, well, a handful of slime. They'll never see it coming from one of their own.

    31. A portable car vacuum cleaner with a 16-foot-long cable that plugs into the car's lighter port, so unless your ride is out of gas or the battery's dead, you've got no excuse for not cleaning every nook and cranny from the dashboard to the trunk.

    A car vacuum kit that includes a handheld vacuum, a storage bag, and various attachments, plugs, and filters

    32. An adjustable and extendable cup-holder adapter to secure larger liquid containers so you don't have to keep your water bottle wedged between the seat and the gearshift for easy access to your refreshing beverage of choice.

    33. A universal smartphone holder (compatible with most recent models of the iPhone, Galaxy, and Nexus) that mounts in (many but not all) car vents. The 360-degree rotation allows you to position your phone exactly where you want it to be so you never have to fumble for your GPS.

    34. An AC outlet inverter with four USB converters to help keep your family plugged in and ~juiced up~ during those summer vacation road trips.

    Reviewer image of white and silver AC power converter plugged into back of car

    35. A car net barrier with storage for keeping your valuables firmly secured — and if you're traveling with a *large* furry friend, it'll help keep them in the backseat where they can't obscure your view as they ~attempt~ to sit in your lap.

    36. A durable and extendable snow brush with a squeegee and ice scraper so you don't have to factor in an extra 20+ minutes to clean off your car before you can hit the road in the morning. 

    Model using the brush to clear snow from the hood of their car
    Model using the brush to clear a snowy windshield
    Amazon, Amazon

    It also comes apart for storage or individual use if you prefer!

    Promising review: "Now you go to a truck stop or gas station and they are gonna wack you generally for a junk scraper that barely works and if it has a brush it would not brush ice off a cup of soda. But THESE. This thing is a beast. Literally cleans my truck like I am part yeti. If you need a good ice scraper that is not wimpy and takes the winter beatings with a grain of salt...(See what I did there? A grain of salt melts snow.....badum dum), anyway this thing WORKS! When you need it, IT WILL BE THERE. I recommend you take it inside with you so it won't get brittle but that's just me. People knock on my door to use it! Seriously a beast." —Sinbadd

    Get it from Amazon for $31.96.

    Now, these must-have, automotive items should prepare you for almost any scenario you encounter on the road, except for maybe one like this.

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