It is important, being a woman, to especially take care in including emergency items in your car for any type of mishap. This article is going to focus on DUCT TAPE and it's versatility from quick-fix auto repair to first aid. Personally, I LOVE DUCT TAPE AND IT'S NUMEROUS USES not just with cars, but with everything I do, from my office, my home, kids and the outdoors.
Back in 1984 when I was working at one of the races for independent NASCAR team (Ronnie Thomas), I was known as the “duct-tape queen”, (as independent teams meant low budget utilizing creativity). I always carried it around with me and for good reason too.
Low budgets meant creativity – for example, my version of a brake cooling system was duct-taping “dryer vent hoses” from the open screened vents in the front of the race car (where lights would be on a normal car) and loop them up and over to bring the air flow directly to the brake calipers.
The contraption held together during the race and on the last NASCAR race ever held in Nashville, TN (1984), Ronnie Thomas (whom I was working for), admitted that when he came back out of the pits (after have problems with the car's rear-end), with a new set of tires (I specially staggered - donated from Darrell Waltrip's team – I worked the deal out with Jeff Hammon and they only had 38 laps on them), along with the brakes keeping their cool through my duct-tape job, that it was what helped him sail past the leader (and eventual winner) Jeff Bodine (Allstar Racing) – giving Ronnie the shine for a few laps and few moments on national television.
Where did it come from? Duct tape, also known as duct tape, is a strong, fabric-based, multi-purpose adhesive tape. It is usually 1.99 inches (48mm) wide and was originally developed during World War II in 1942 under the name “Duct Tape” as a waterproof sealing tape for ammunition cases. After the war, people started using it for multi-purposes and the name “duct tape” came from its use on heating and air conditioning ducts. Duct tape is a strong tape that is composed of three layers.
The top layer (1) is a resilient plastic (Polyethylene). The bottom layer (3) is a rubber-based adhesive. The middle layer (2) is a fabric mesh. Duct tape was manufactured by pressing these three layers together. Duct tape, when doubled over onto itself can pull a 2000 lb. car out of a ditch, and has the distinct benefit of not requiring any other tools to cut it - you just rip it with your bare hands!
A frequent joke is that a handyman needs only two tools: duct tape for “sticking” and the lubricant WD-40 for “unsticking”. From NASA – Apollo 13's incident where duct tape saved the lives of three astronauts to used regularly by musicians and film crews, it's precision in ripping it into thin strips with ease, is absolutely amazing! (Can you tell I love duct tape?)
CAR OVERHEATS - In case your car overheats, and a hose is busted, duct tape is a temporary form of repair. Tape the hose and then pour a mixture of antifreeze and water into the radiator. If everything is too hot and steaming, wrap your hands where you will be touching hot parts with duct tape. It will act as an insulator. But don't wait too long. Duct tape can only withstand temperatures up to 200°F (93°C). Also, don't use it to repair a leak in your car's gas line -- the gasoline dissolves the adhesive.
GLASS CHIPS/BREAKS/SHATTERS – if through an accident or something thrown through a window, use duct tape on the INSIDE OF THE WINDOW – Before removing broken window glass, crisscross the broken pane with duct tape to hold it all together. This will ensure a shard doesn't fall out and cut you. and tape up all around the damaged area. It will prevent glass from shattering on the inside until it can be fixed. Duct tape by itself will hold out.
TIRES STUCK IN MUD/SNOW – Look around the car for bulk such as sticks, boards, even-side road garbage (paper plates, etc), and duct-tape together to create something at least 2 feet long (for the two main tires - rear or front tires depending upon rear wheel or front wheel drive) for the tires to grab onto to get out of the rut. Always rock the vehicle when getting out of icy situations. Don't just let the tires spin as it will dig your car deeper into a rut. Blankets are also good for this. Bunch it together with duct tape so it stays thick and together.
FIRST AID – Duct tape can act as bandages, slings, used for splints, in rare cases, tourniquets. You can make a cup for water, or temporarily tape skin back together should there be a deep cut.
REPAIR LIGHTS – If someone just backed into your car and smashed the taillight! Here's a quick repair that will last until you have time to get to the repair shop. Depending on where the cracks lie, use yellow or red duct tape to hold the remaining parts together. In some states this repair will even pass inspection. In case a headlights goes out – duct tape flashlights to the front until able to get to a safe place and fixed.
To conclude, here is a list of all items that should be included in your car for any emergency. I encourage you to add to my list of uses for duct tape and autos. HAPPY SAFE TRAVELING!
Daytona is founder/host of Daytona & Friends Celebrity Network, a daily positive talk radio format soon to launch 24 hour positive programing – 7 days per week, as well as host of Daytona & Friends noon-time TV Show. She was the first female NASCAR licensed mechanic in 1984 and “over-the-wall” pit crew member, and is an advocate of building self-esteem in people of all ages. Daytona is mother of four children, grandmother of two and resides in Eagle, Idaho with her three teenagers.