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CRW-7202-Stone-House-on-Lake-sRGB1-e1399938497814 By Ijeoma Aniebo Before you take off on a journey, you put together your essentials which includes toiletries, clothes and of course money. Unfortunately, most people think that just because their car is a machine, it doesn’t have ‘essentials’ as well. I have female friends who become blonde the minute the word ‘car’ is mentioned and male friends who think they know it all to the point they can predict how careful they have to be on the road so as not to get a flat tyre and have to replace it with the spare they don’t have. So, here are the essentials your car shouldn’t leave home without: 1. Fuel: We all know that without fuel, the car won’t start, much less leave home. Try as much as possible not to let the fuel in your tank hit reserve, there could be debris in your fuel tank that could affect your engine. Try to wash out your tank regularly and dry properly before re-use. Indicator is located on the dashboard and is usually represented by a fuel pump 2. Engine Oil: The second brain box behind the engine is oil. Check your oil regularly. As a child, some of my early memories had to do with my dad going under the bonnet to check the oil level and pour water into the carburettor. Thankfully, these days, cars have been designed to reduce the amount of attention they require. However, if you service your car promptly, at least 4 times a year, you should have no issues. Also indicated on the dashboard, it is usually represented by the ancient oil jar. 3. Spare Tyre: Why people feel they should be driving around without one of these, is beyond me. Would you rather have the panic of searching for a vulcanizer instead of just calmly switching to the spare and fixing the other as soon as you can get to a vulcanizer? 4. Fire Extinguisher: Once an extinguisher is opened, it is not as effective the second time around. Replace immediately. 5. Hazard Triangle: Necessary for use if a problem with your car is obstructing oncoming traffic. 6. Jack: This is used to lift the car up for whatever purpose, be it to change the tyre or to get at parts under the car in the event of an emergency. 7. Tool bag: A bag containing such tools as spanners and screwdrivers is a definite must have in your car. You never know what you might need and why you might need it. 8. Jumper Cables: For that unfortunate time when your battery might not be strong enough to turn your car on, jumper cables are so much more convenient than having to remove your battery so you can fit someone else’s in. 9. Brake Fluid: When your brake fluid is low, your brake doesn’t function like it should, to avoid potential accidents, alway check your brake fluid level and top up if necessary. 10. Water: The most important fluid on the planet, everything needs water and a car is no different. Check water levels wherever they are needed and refill if necessary. Listen to your car like you would listen to your child and it in turn will be good to you.     ajAbout the Author: Ijeoma Aniebo is an Actress and TV Presenter who also finds artistic expression in written and spoken word. When she’s not in front of the camera or on stage, she enjoys getting lost in movies, traveling and meeting new people. ‘Live, laugh, love and learn’ is the mantra she lives by and you can find her on twitter and instagram as @declectic or in the blogsphere at www.sidesofacoin.wordpress.com

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This article was first published on 12th May 2014

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