13 Things A Person Should Keep In Their Car (Repost)

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13 Things A Person Should Keep In Their Car (Repost)

Post by Murph » Tue Dec 22, 2009 9:45 am

THIS IS A REPOST! Blah blah blah, I can't take credit, but I wanted to start a discussion on it.

FROM: "Art Of Manliness"
http://artofmanliness.com/2009/12/17/13 ... n-his-car/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
1. Fully charged cell phone. Cell phones have significantly cut down on your chances of being stranded on the side of the road, but don’t count on it as your only line of defense. I’ve been in plenty of rural areas where my cell phone was only worthwhile for playing pong. In addition to you main phone, have a backup one that you can use to call 911. Any old cell phone will do, even if it’s not activated. Cellular carriers are required by law to complete 911 calls from any cell phone. Just throw that old Nokia cell phone from 1999 into your glove compartment and keep it there.

2. Jumper cables. You walk out to your car after a long day of work, stick the key into the ignition, give it a turn, and…. click, click. Crap! You’re going to be late to your kid’s football game! You then look up and notice you left the dome light on all day. It happens to the best of us. Car batteries die, so be ready with a set of jumper cables. And even if you never suffer a dead battery, it’s always good to have a set of jumper cables so you can help a damsel (or dude) in distress who needs their car jumped.

3. Flashlight. Good for providing light at nighttime when 1) putting on a spare tire, 2) jump starting another car, or 3) exchanging insurance information with the clueless driver that rear ended you at a stop light. Get a Maglite and you can also thump would-be car jackers in the head with it.

4. Roadside flares/reflective triangle. When pulled over on the side of the road, you’re basically a sitting duck, hoping that other drivers don’t turn the situation into a clip for one of those extreme video shows. It’s especially dangerous to be hanging out on the side of the road at night. Ensure that you and those around you are visible when you pull over to the side of the road by using road flares or at least a reflective triangle. The old school flaming flares seem to be harder to find these days as people switch to LED “flares.”

5. MREs. You never know when you’ll be stranded for long periods of times in your car. If you’ve ever driven out West, you’ll know that it can be hundreds of miles until the closest source of help. Unless you’ve built up a tolerance for extended periods of fasting, keep some MREs or granola/power bars in the back of your car to munch on while you wait for the tow truck to come.

6. Warm blankets. Tom can tell you firsthand why warm blankets are a must. It got pretty dang cold in his Caprice that night. But blankets have uses that go beyond emergency situations. It’s always good to have a blanket in the car for snuggling with your gal while you cheer for your team on a cold fall night or for laying it on the ground for a picnic.

7. Ice scraper. Don’t be the chump that’s out there scrapping their windshield with a credit card at 5AM in the morning. A good ice scraper will set you back just a few bucks, and it will make clearing your windshield much easier and much faster.

8. First aid kit. Whether you’re cleaning up a head wound filled with glass shards or fixing a boo boo on your two year old, it’s good to have a first aid kit. You can always buy one, but putting together your own in an Altoids tin is more fun.

9. Water bottles. For when you’re stranded in Death Valley in the middle of the hottest heat wave on record… or for any other time your car decides to break down on you. Or, for after you’ve left a concert and you’re so dang parched!

10. Tow strap. I don’t know how many times my dad saved my butt with this thing back in high school. Towards the end of my blue ‘92 Chevy Cavalier’s (aka, “The Smurf”) life, it would just stop running and no amount of cable jumping would help get it started. For moments like these, my dad busted out the tow strap. You just attach one end of the tow strap to the front of the car that you want to pull and the other to the hitch on the back of your car. The stranded driver stays in the dead car, puts it in neutral, and steers and brakes while it gets towed to its destination.

11. Folding shovel. There are a couple of instances where a folding shovel might come in handy. The first is when you get stuck in the snow or ice. You can use the shovel to dig some snow out and place some dirt under the tire to get more traction. The second situation is when a car tire gets stuck in a hole or something. You can use the shovel to dig about and create some ramps to help get your car unstuck. Also, it can be used as an improvised weapon, Green Beret-style.

12. LifeHammer. When you’re trying to escape from a sinking car, this little piece of plastic and metal can be the difference between life and death. Use it to break your window, cut your seatbelt and make your escape.

13. Portable air compressor. My dad feels like this was the best purchase he made for the car. When your tire is leaking but hasn’t totally blown out, instead of putting on a spare, you can use a portable air compressor to get back on the road. The compressor fills your tire up enough to allow you to drive to a repair shop to get it fixed. It plugs right into your cigarette lighter. Bonus use: no more paying 75 cents to fill up your tires at stingy gas stations.
I don't have a tow strap or LifeHammer. They sound like important things but a pretty rare chance you'd need them. thoughts?
Does your BOB at least have: water, basic tools, fire, food, first-aid kit, and shelter?
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Re: 13 Things A Person Should Keep In Their Car (Repost)

Post by JojoZS » Tue Dec 22, 2009 9:49 am

I have 10 out of the 13, I am also minus the tow strap and life hammer.

I don't live where it freezes so I'm not carrying a ice scraper :wink:
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Re: 13 Things A Person Should Keep In Their Car (Repost)

Post by Finch » Tue Dec 22, 2009 9:52 am

i dont carry jumper cables because in this area EVERYONE with a pos car that won't start asks if you have jumper cables

ands its a pain in the ass

i suppose i could just lie


but i have everything else
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Re: 13 Things A Person Should Keep In Their Car (Repost)

Post by offcamber » Tue Dec 22, 2009 9:53 am

Seems like a pretty inclusive list.. I have all of those things.

My wife's mother gave us one of those life hammer things, not a real one, but a cheap knock-off. Its got a window smasher and seatbelt cutter. I just throw it in the glove box, but should probably mount it somewhere accessible just in case I go in the drink.

Things I would add to the list that I also like to carry:

Fire Extinguisher
Food
Local area maps
A GPS unit
CB Radio
Snatch Block and Clevis
Tool Kit
Jack and spare (you would be amazed at how many people don't have this)
Fix-a-flat
Road Flares (good for signaling)
Snow chains (if you live in a wintery area)

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Re: 13 Things A Person Should Keep In Their Car (Repost)

Post by tireiron » Tue Dec 22, 2009 10:04 am

Everything except the life hammer, plus

14) Tire patch kit

15) Tool kit (Wrenches, channel-locks, pliers, screwdrivers, bailing wire and e-tape, tire gauge)

16) Folding Shovel

17) fire extinguisher

18) M1 Garand (at least in deer season :D)
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Re: 13 Things A Person Should Keep In Their Car (Repost)

Post by elkhills » Tue Dec 22, 2009 10:23 am

Good stuff Murph. Agree 100% and working on it

Dang you're right about actual fire flares being hard to find. I'm still looking.

Rope should be in the kit, but that is no replacement for a real tow strap. The forces involved between two vehicles tugging on each other is enormous- learned this first hand after snapping every friends ropes 4 wheeling back in the day.

A spring loaded center punch will take out any car window but the windshield. Just so happens I was given a gift set of "Rescue Knives" at work, they have a little point for breaking windows, seat belt cutter, etc.- one in each glove box now.

Cell Phone charger needs to be in there, too. Here's a pretty good deal on a cell charger- and more!

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Re: 13 Things A Person Should Keep In Their Car (Repost)

Post by feuer » Tue Dec 22, 2009 10:33 am

I had a little dose of seasonal fail yesterday to remind me of this very subject.

The fact that I high centered my car on 6" of iced up hard pack snow while attempting to exit a parking lot is where I actually screwed up. I failed at risk assessment. I'd like to think i'm better at predicting my cars capabilities, whether that be at the limit of dry traction performance, to inclement weather and undercarriage clearances. It's literally been over a decade since i've gotten any of my cars or trucks stuck. Anywhere from Maine to Colorado, in all sorts of weather, and everything inbetween for well over 150k miles of driving have been Murphy free.

Being materially prepared wouldn't have prevented me from getting stuck in the first place, but having a shovel and tow strap in the car would have saved me some time and embarrassment for sure. Lesson learned.

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Re: 13 Things A Person Should Keep In Their Car (Repost)

Post by The Highwayman » Tue Dec 22, 2009 10:56 am

I have all these, plus-

Tire plug kit
Extinguisher
Comealong (manual winch)
Safety Vest (got it free from work, so why not?)
Toolbox
Extra belt
Gallon water (can be used as antifreeze in a pinch)
Work gloves
Spare heavy jacket


Also, for those looking, try your local marine/boat supply place for flares...
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Re: 13 Things A Person Should Keep In Their Car (Repost)

Post by Airogue » Tue Dec 22, 2009 1:35 pm

DON'T TREAD ON ME wrote: Gallon water (can be used as antifreeze in a pinch)
Just need to specify that not just any water, distilled water. If you put mineral water in your radiator, you might as well shoot a hole in it. The mineral will work if you have to get out of dodge fast, but don't prep with it if you can get the right stuff.

Many vehicles prefer a 50/50 mix of coolant and distilled water so a little distilled water shouldn't hurt, though you will run hotter. Too much coolant could cause your engine to run under a "super cooled" condition which isn't good for it either.

If you do put mineral water in your radiator, or if you are not sure, after the emergency has passed, you will want to get your radiator flushed.

Just some things to think about and learn about if you want to know your vehicle as well as some of you know your side arms.

edit: for even more clearification, water can not be used as "antifreeze". It is called antifreeze for the fact that it lowers the freezing point of water by adding a type of alcohol or other chemical. Do not confuse this, and if you add water and dilute your antifreeze/coolant in a winter environment the chance of your radiator freezing and bursting is greater.
Last edited by Airogue on Tue Dec 22, 2009 2:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 13 Things A Person Should Keep In Their Car (Repost)

Post by Finch » Tue Dec 22, 2009 1:40 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3B3Ewl1C ... re=related" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

skip to 1:04
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Re: 13 Things A Person Should Keep In Their Car (Repost)

Post by JudgeDreadd » Tue Dec 22, 2009 2:17 pm

Since it's winter, and my truck is always where I am, i keep my BOB in the back seat. Here's my checklist.

Cell Phone - charger in truck
Jumper Cables - Used last week
Flashlight - Surefire G3 w/ LEd Bulb and spare batteries
Flares - in truck, and Lightsticks in BOB
MRE's - dozen protien bars in truck and another six in BOB
Blankets -wool blanket in truck and -30 sleeping bag in BOB
Ice Scaper - Check
FAK - 250 PC Total Resources International Hard-Cover first aid kit with CAT Tourniquet and a small kershaw knife.
12 bottles of water in back of truck (cost $5.00)
Tow Rope - Check
Folding Shovel - Gerber Coming Via Ebay for Christmas
Life Hammer - Have a Glass Break on the Knife I keep in my center console next to my G3.

No air compressor...dang i was doing so well. I do keep some of that tire filler spray gunk and a full sized spare on the back tho.


Also keep:
Reflective vest and neon-orange work gloves.
Tool Kit
Toiletries kit with axe spray, hair gel, toothbrush, deodorant, small razor and soap, small mirror, a roll of toilet paper and "wet ones" wipes.
Gym bag with change of clothes and gym shoes.
Last edited by JudgeDreadd on Thu Dec 24, 2009 6:16 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: 13 Things A Person Should Keep In Their Car (Repost)

Post by Airogue » Tue Dec 22, 2009 2:29 pm

LOL yes, the amount of calcium, and other minerals in your urine would require a flush of the radiator lol. But it would work in a pinch. Peeing on the engine would be more helpful as they probably had bullet holes in the radiator already. Another thing they could have done if possible is ripped off the hood and tried to air cooled it more while driving.
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Re: 13 Things A Person Should Keep In Their Car (Repost)

Post by The Highwayman » Tue Dec 22, 2009 2:47 pm

Airogue wrote:
DON'T TREAD ON ME wrote: Gallon water (can be used as antifreeze in a pinch)
Just need to specify that not just any water, distilled water. If you put mineral water in your radiator, you might as well shoot a hole in it. The mineral will work if you have to get out of dodge fast, but don't prep with it if you can get the right stuff.

Many vehicles prefer a 50/50 mix of coolant and distilled water so a little distilled water shouldn't hurt, though you will run hotter. Too much coolant could cause your engine to run under a "super cooled" condition which isn't good for it either.

If you do put mineral water in your radiator, or if you are not sure, after the emergency has passed, you will want to get your radiator flushed.

Just some things to think about and learn about if you want to know your vehicle as well as some of you know your side arms.

edit: for even more clearification, water can not be used as "antifreeze". It is called antifreeze for the fact that it lowers the freezing point of water by adding a type of alcohol or other chemical. Do not confuse this, and if you add water and dilute your antifreeze/coolant in a winter environment the chance of your radiator freezing and bursting is greater.

Yeah, I know it's not "antifreeze" but rather a coolant. I live in Florida, and it rarely gets below freezing here for very long.


Also, go figure but I've been working on my own cars for over 20 years, and never once added "distilled" water to my radiator. Not once. In all that time, I've only had one radiator fail on me, and that was in a 1990 pickup that had over 170,00 miles on it. So it was due, regardless of what type of water was added to the antifreeze/coolant. Huh. all these years I must have been doing it wrong. Go figure.... :roll:


BTW- The only time I add "distilled" water to my vehicles is if the battery happens to be low. THAT'S when it's important for the water to be distilled. NOT in the radiator. Not mine anyways....
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Re: 13 Things A Person Should Keep In Their Car (Repost)

Post by Airogue » Tue Dec 22, 2009 4:01 pm

cool, my airplane, motorcycle, and truck all liked 50/50. Just read your vehicle manual for optimum performance

(ps that was not directed to you, it's directed towards those who just read these posts for "reference" and don't know any better. We can't assume everyone has what we might consider common knowledge. Their environment may not have permitted the learning of those skills.)
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Re: 13 Things A Person Should Keep In Their Car (Repost)

Post by the_caged_bird » Tue Dec 22, 2009 10:42 pm

I've also just added regular water straight from the well into mine. I've never noticed any detriment to ANY of my vehicles' cooling abilities. Is it an aluminum radiator thing?

I don't pack most of that stuff. I'm within 15 miles of a town at any given point so hell, just walk it.

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Re: 13 Things A Person Should Keep In Their Car (Repost)

Post by Regulator » Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:24 pm

Water just leaves calcium and other mineral deposits when it heated, look at your coffee pot. Distilled water simply has these minerals removed. The build up in your radiator will vary depending on how hard your water is, whether you regularly flushed your system, metal or plastic radiator, etc. May or may not cause you problems.

Walmarts in KS still carry road flares.

Lifehammer… eh good I suppose but I think it’d be hard to swing it underwater. Prolly be easier to just open the door. Yeah yeah, sarcasm a bit.

I carry all that list except the hammer. Plus, spare u-joints, rear drive shaft, distributor bug, fan belt, plug wires, couple plugs, couple log chains, spare fluids for everything, tire plugs, epoxy putty, tie wire, 100mph tape, slim jim, hi-lift and bottle jack, 4 way tire wrench, hose clamps, spare hoses of different sizes, fullsize spare tire, towel and some rags, coveralls, fire extinguisher, led flashlight, power inverter, ammo box with assorted common ammo, gas mask, body armor, machete, toilet paper, couple MRE’s, box of club crackers, my winter kit consisting of change of clothes, large candle and lighters, spare boots, gloves and hat, wool blanket, small flashlight and a space blanket. This stuff stays in the truck all the time.

I drive an early 80’s Fullsize Chevy Blazer. Yes it’s heavy. Yes it gets 9 mpg. Old, ugly, loud, kinda rusty, but it keeps going and I don’t have to pay others to fix it. :D

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Re: 13 Things A Person Should Keep In Their Car (Repost)

Post by the_caged_bird » Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:36 pm

Regulator wrote:Water just leaves calcium and other mineral deposits when it heated, look at your coffee pot. Distilled water simply has these minerals removed. The build up in your radiator will vary depending on how hard your water is, whether you regularly flushed your system, metal or plastic radiator, etc. May or may not cause you problems.

Walmarts in KS still carry road flares.

Lifehammer… eh good I suppose but I think it’d be hard to swing it underwater. Prolly be easier to just open the door. Yeah yeah, sarcasm a bit.

I carry all that list except the hammer. Plus, spare u-joints, rear drive shaft, distributor bug, fan belt, plug wires, couple plugs, couple log chains, spare fluids for everything, tire plugs, epoxy putty, tie wire, 100mph tape, slim jim, hi-lift and bottle jack, 4 way tire wrench, hose clamps, spare hoses of different sizes, fullsize spare tire, towel and some rags, coveralls, fire extinguisher, led flashlight, power inverter, ammo box with assorted common ammo, gas mask, body armor, machete, toilet paper, couple MRE’s, box of club crackers, my winter kit consisting of change of clothes, large candle and lighters, spare boots, gloves and hat, wool blanket, small flashlight and a space blanket. This stuff stays in the truck all the time.

I drive an early 80’s Fullsize Chevy Blazer. Yes it’s heavy. Yes it gets 9 mpg. Old, ugly, loud, kinda rusty, but it keeps going and I don’t have to pay others to fix it. :D

DAMN! I can't fit half of that in the 'vette. :lol:

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Re: 13 Things A Person Should Keep In Their Car (Repost)

Post by GeneralDiscontent » Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:47 pm

That's a good tip about keeping and old cell phone/charger in the glovebox - I occasionally forget mine at home. I have a box full of old cell phones I'm been meaning to send out to Cell Phones For Soldiers, I'll snag one of 'em + a car charger and stick it in the glovebox.

I have everything on the list except the LifeHammer - my 4-cell MagLite is mounted within reach, and I'm pretty sure I could break a window with it. :lol: (plus I have manual windows, so I probably wouldn't need to anyway). I also have at least two knives within reach/on me, so cutting a seatbelt wouldn't be an issue. But, I have the safety knife that came with my Gerber LMF sitting around, so I'll probably mount that in the truck too...

I don't have "old-school" road flares, I carry jumbo glow sticks & some of the little square flares.

In addition to the stuff in the OP/above, I also carry:

-My GHB
-Tool box with basic set of hand tools
-Can of fix-a-flat
-Gorilla tape
-zip ties
-spider wrench
-several blankets, shemaghs, & bandannas
-work gloves
-Winter hat
-sweatshirt
-a whole bunch of ratcheting tiedowns & bungee cords (when you own a truck, people always ask you to help move something, then they NEVER have these) :roll:
-scanner
-roll of quarters
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Re: 13 Things A Person Should Keep In Their Car (Repost)

Post by Regulator » Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:48 pm

the_caged_bird wrote:DAMN! I can't fit half of that in the 'vette. :lol:
I gave up my Camaro after having to unload chainsaws, gas cans, axes, etc. out of the backseat to many times, lol. Some people just need trucks :wink:

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Re: 13 Things A Person Should Keep In Their Car (Repost)

Post by maldon007 » Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:50 pm

Regulator-
...tire plugs...




Tire plugs are the shit, I use them always... I have not had a flat repaired by a shop in years. They are good for emergnecy to, but use them all the time & you will do better when its an emergency.
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Re: 13 Things A Person Should Keep In Their Car (Repost)

Post by The Highwayman » Wed Dec 23, 2009 12:00 am

maldon007 wrote:
Regulator-
...tire plugs...




Tire plugs are the shit, I use them always... I have not had a flat repaired by a shop in years. They are good for emergnecy to, but use them all the time & you will do better when its an emergency.

I agree. However, depending on how much air you lose, sometimes it's next to imposible to plug a tire unless you have a portable compressor to put some more air into it.
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Re: 13 Things A Person Should Keep In Their Car (Repost)

Post by cygor98 » Wed Dec 23, 2009 12:09 am

the_caged_bird wrote:
Regulator wrote:Water just leaves calcium and other mineral deposits when it heated, look at your coffee pot. Distilled water simply has these minerals removed. The build up in your radiator will vary depending on how hard your water is, whether you regularly flushed your system, metal or plastic radiator, etc. May or may not cause you problems.

Walmarts in KS still carry road flares.

Lifehammer… eh good I suppose but I think it’d be hard to swing it underwater. Prolly be easier to just open the door. Yeah yeah, sarcasm a bit.

I carry all that list except the hammer. Plus, spare u-joints, rear drive shaft, distributor bug, fan belt, plug wires, couple plugs, couple log chains, spare fluids for everything, tire plugs, epoxy putty, tie wire, 100mph tape, slim jim, hi-lift and bottle jack, 4 way tire wrench, hose clamps, spare hoses of different sizes, fullsize spare tire, towel and some rags, coveralls, fire extinguisher, led flashlight, power inverter, ammo box with assorted common ammo, gas mask, body armor, machete, toilet paper, couple MRE’s, box of club crackers, my winter kit consisting of change of clothes, large candle and lighters, spare boots, gloves and hat, wool blanket, small flashlight and a space blanket. This stuff stays in the truck all the time.

I drive an early 80’s Fullsize Chevy Blazer. Yes it’s heavy. Yes it gets 9 mpg. Old, ugly, loud, kinda rusty, but it keeps going and I don’t have to pay others to fix it. :D

DAMN! I can't fit half of that in the 'vette. :lol:
LOL, maybe 1/4th will fit in my Miata. Though i doubt i will need the life hammer.

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Re: 13 Things A Person Should Keep In Their Car (Repost)

Post by gothamalleyviper » Wed Dec 23, 2009 10:14 am

I kept the following in my truck for years

Maglite (3 D-cell)
Maglite (2 AA-Cell)
Tuna (#6 Can)
Jack (Ford Issuse)
Concrete Block (to boast the Jack)
Orange Triangle thingy
Jumper Cables
Cell Phone Charger
Road Atlas (Complete United States and Canada)
Spliting Maul
Spare Tire
Tire Iron
Anti-Freeze (1 Gallon Jug)
Windshield Washer Fluid (1 Gallon Jug)
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Re: 13 Things A Person Should Keep In Their Car (Repost)

Post by Lucretius » Wed Dec 23, 2009 10:57 am

Great list for your average happy motorist!

What about those small battery/jumper cable combos? I drive professionally, and insist that my employer include one of those in the trunk. You can start a car without the assistance of anyone, which has saved me from hours of waiting for help out in the sticks...

Also: spare fuses.
Cheap, light, takes almost no place, but are critical if any important fuse burns out on you. (Once, I had to use another fuse, harvested from the box. The one that'd burned out prevented me to start the engine, so I used one that apparently let me use the radio and the directional lights - which I had to do without on my way to the garage...).
SMoAF wrote: I used to have a shrink. He killed himself.

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