Put zip ties in your emergency car kit

Zip ties are the new duct tape.

You are driving down the highway and suddenly there’s a rattle or a scrape coming from under your car. You pull off the road worried that you’ve got a real mechanical problem. Nope, it’s just a piece of loose plastic. I had it happen this weekend while driving on the Kansas Turnpike. Naturally, it was after dark. I pulled into the next fuel/food stop, found a safe place to park and look under the car. Yep, it was a piece of loose plastic, hanging down and scraping the pavement.

My car is a 2016 Honda. Not an old car. No dents and damage. It shouldn’t be falling apart. But tell that to the scraping part, and Honda.

So, I got my pack of zip ties out of the glove compartment, and started looping. Usually there’s a screw hole in the plastic to loop the tie through, The screw hole is probably where the plastic should be fastened to the car, but it stretched out or the screw fell out. (Are you reading this, Honda?) There’s likely a secure piece of metal nearby that the tie can loop around to hold the plastic up. Sometimes there’s a need to chain some ties together to reach the secure piece to loop around.

This is not pretty, but it was a windy January night in the Kansas Flint Hills. I didn’t care to spend any longer than I had to, laying on the ground reaching under my car. It got me home without hearing my car scrape the pavement for 50 more miles.

It took several ties chained together, to reach the secure car part. Then I cinched them up to make it close.

How did I know to carry zip ties in the car? Well, this isn’t the first time I’ve needed them for a loose piece of plastic. Or the second time. (Are you reading this, Honda?)

Anyway, the temporary fix is that simple. Carry zip ties in your car. I’ve just ordered some more. Because there will be a next time. Sigh. I’m going with this assortment. It will help to have an assortment of lengths. https://amzn.to/3WdaJY8 (affiliate link)

If you get caught out with a flapping car part and no zip ties, don’t despair. They are probably sold at the nearest convenience store on the road. Dollar General carries them. They are carried just about everywhere, thankfully. You’ll probably only pay $2-$5 for a pack.