BMW Essential Accessories

Essential accessories for your BMW (and others) for safety and emergency use

As the Editor of and former automotive technician & adviser to BMW, these are my professional recommendations for essential items to keep in your vehicle in case of emergency or other situations. This list is about items the average driver can utilize, and should always be complemented by membership to a vehicle recovery service for the ultimate protection.

These items are what I actually own and carry in my own BMW's and are all tried, tested and recommended.

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1# Portable Jump Starter

Portable jump starter

Incredibly important device. Using a built-in Lithium battery, these compact jump starters will get you out of trouble without having to ask other people for help. Can start a vehicle from flat several times from one charge, but always recharge your version after every use.

TIP - look for compatibility with your vehicle engine size.

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2# Car Fire Extinguisher

Car fire extinguisher BMW on fire in the UK

Could be the difference between partial damage or a complete burn-out. These extinguishers are small enough to store in the boot. Make a note of the expiry date and always choose one suitable for vehicle-based fires which are Dry Powder type extinguishers.

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3# Spare Mobile Phone

Nokia 105 Phone

A basic mobile phone can be a life-saver. If you forget to take your regular mobile, you'll be revealed to have this as a backup in an emergency. Nokia make some great small devices with long battery life too. My personal choice is a white colour as it's easier to find in the dark. Most of these can dial emergency services without a SIM card.

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4# Belt Cutter / Glass Hammer


These combo devices provide an emergency release of your seat belt with a cutting edge, and built in hammer for breaking windows, aiding escape. Choose one for both driver and passenger and store them in each door pocket. LifeHammer and ResqHammer are the two well known brands.

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5# Notebook & money bag

Car notebook

Use the notebook for telephone numbers of people you can call on for help, information on your insurance and recovery service. The moneybag should hold spare change for making calls from a phone booth, and paper currency for an emergency fuel top-up.

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#6 LED Tourch

Car torch

How useful would this be on a dark night with car problems! Chose an LED model for extra brightness and the longer battery life they offer. A brightness of 650 lumen or greater is recommended. Nitecore is a very good brand.

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#7 Automatic Battery Charger

CTEK Charger

Useful at anytime but especially in the winter when batteries are under more strain. For vehicles with a Stop/Start engine feature, an AGM compatible charger is recommended to match the corresponding technology. The manufacture CTEK makes some of the best battery charges available today.

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8# Haynes Maintenance Manual

Haynes car repair manual

Handy guide to your vehicles construction and safety features. Essential reference for those doing their own repairs and servicing, but equally valuable and interesting for all level of vehicle owners.

Haynes Website

9# Other things to consider

Car emergency items

Filled Water Bottle - for drinking and emergency radiator fill-up.

Oil Refill - 1 litre.

Plastic Sheets - for emergency warmth or as ground sheets for kneeling/lying down.

Latex Gloves.

Reel of Duck Tape - apparently kept onboard every NASA mission!

Jump Leads - useful as a backup to the above Portable Jump Starter.

Warning Triangle - you most likely have this - but do check.

First Aid Kit - you most likely have this - but do check.

Tools Pouch - tools comparable to your ability.

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