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few people, if they drive for a long enough time, can say they’ve never broken down on the side of the road. One day, you might turn the ignition key and nothing will happen, or you’ll hear a pop and a hiss as your tire does its best impression of a sad hot-air balloon. Keep these WIRED-tested items handy in your trunk and you’ll be back on the road in no time, rather than making a long, long walk down the highway to the nearest tow truck. Everything here can be used by anyone, but it doesn’t hurt to open the car’s manual or look up a how-to on YouTube.

Be sure to check out our many other guides, including the Essential Home Tool Kit and the Best Emergency Gear to Keep at Home.

Updated May 2022: We’ve added new picks like the Noco Boost Plus GB40 Jump Starter and Carhartt Trade Duffel, and we’ve added a new section with some roadside tips and tricks.

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