Tips from Used Car Advisor

Car Advisor Tamotsu Todoroki

Hi, this is Tamotsu Todoroki. I am a car advisor of
I write an online column every week to take care of your vehicle. My column is all about something useful and practical for your vehicle. Please have a look once to keep your car in good condition.


Top Five Things to have in Car's Trunk for an Emergency - Vol.22

Driving a used car in Africa is very similar to driving almost anywhere else in the world, though there are often hazards in the more remote locales that you don't often encounter in more urbanized population centers. Just as it is important to plan for the occasional roadside emergency in other countries, it is equally important to think ahead prior to driving your car on the roads in Africa. If anything, it might even be more important, given that many of the African roads are not well maintained, and some of the terrain can be harsh and unforgiving if you suffer a breakdown or other emergency far from a village or town. To prepare your car for travel in Africa, here are five of the most essential items you should carry in your trunk to help you in the event that an emergency occurs.

1. Always have at least one spare tire in the car. Of course, a jack and tire iron should be carried as well. The reasoning behind this is simple: any flat tire on African roads is going to strand you for some time if you are unable to change it yourself. Unlike the United States and other parts of the world, African infrastructure is not so highly developed as to offer reliable towing and other car services to all of the remote areas of their road system.

2. Road flares should be carried at all times. In the event that you have a breakdown, these flares can make it easier for others to spot your car and provide assistance. Hazard lights and similar items are required by many African countries for just that reason. You don't need to carry dozens of them at a time – just make sure that you have a handful to light if your car strands you on the road.

3. Make sure that your car has a first aid kit in case there is a medical emergency on the road far from any hospital or clinic. Your first aid kit should contain gauze and bandages, antiseptic, any medicines that you or others routinely require, and so on. It is also a good idea for at least one of your traveling part to know CPR, as this lifesaving knowledge has saved untold millions of people down through the years.

4. Blankets are an integral part of survival in any emergency on the African roads. Whether you are in the desert or not, the nights can become very cold. Blankets can help to keep you and others warm until help can arrive. Flashlights and batteries can also make a night on the open road much more bearable.

5. Also pack water and essential automobile fluids. The water will be vital to keep you alive in any prolonged wait or medical situation, while the automobile fluids may make the difference between a car that continues on its journey and one that sits by the side of the road for hours on end. The best way to prepare an emergency fluid package for your used car is to simply buy the water, oil, and antifreeze, and store it in your trunk. Don't use it when you are in the city and other fluids can be bought – reserve it for your road trip.

Preparing your vehicle's trunk for driving in Africa is not as difficult as you might think. Simply be aware of the sometimes hazardous road conditions, understand the wear that the African weather can sometimes inflict on a car, and plan accordingly. When you do, the driving experience on the African roads can be just as enjoyable as anywhere else in the world.