Using Vehicle Parts to Survive When Stranded

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    Storing survival gear in your car is a must. What if you were to break down away from civilization and only have access to your vehicle\'s contents? In situations such as this, one can only hope for a well-stocked vehicle to get you through until help arrives. If help is not coming, supplies will be even more vital to get you out of your current predicament and back to where you need to be. This is why having things you might need in your car at all times should be embraced.

    Let\'s say words of caution were not heeded at you wind up stranded with nothing in your vehicle to sustain you. Then what? How are you going to survive in the meantime until you are able to find help? Luckily there are components within your car itself that can help you through. This may require you to do some damage to your vehicle, but desperate times have been known to call for desperate measures. Your vehicle can be fixed later whereas you, on the other hand, might be a lot worse off and more irreparable.


    Probably the easiest part on your vehicle that you can use is the rear view mirror. Remove it from its bracket gingerly, disconnecting any wires that connect to it as you go. Removing a rearview mirror from a new car will require more care due to wiring for compasses and other sensors. Use it to reflect sunlight at people and potential sources of help in the distance to get their attention. While side mirrors can also be used for this purpose, they are much harder to remove.


    Present in the engine compartment are magnesium parts. Depending on the age of the vehicle, you may be able to find a goldmine of magnesium to use for fire starting. This can be found in the form of distributor caps, engine mounts, and other places. Pieces of magnesium can be scraped or chipped from these items and used to start a fire.

    Rubber and plastic components can be burned to create a distress signal. Since these items will burn with a thick, black smoke, signaling during the daylight hours is best. Floor mats, door covers, etc. are great items to burn but don\'t take your chances with an inflated tire as pressure can build within it, causing an explosion.

    Upholstery inside your vehicle can be removed and used for warmth. You can pull seats apart and create a bed or something to cover yourself with when it gets cold. The thing is, you can also just sleep inside the vehicle unless it is heavily damaged by an accident or has been rendered unsafe by some other means. Such a decision is a bit of a coin toss depending on the exact circumstances. However, the trunk liner or aftermarket seat covers can be used as a blanket without doing unnecessary damage.


    If you are mechanically inclined, using the battery to hook up a headlight or horn is possible. When doing this do keep in mind that it is possible to create a complete circuit which can cause serious damage to the battery or to you, so don\'t attempt this unless you have the practical knowledge to do so. Also possible is getting enough of a spark off of a battery to start a fire.

    Also useful for fire creation is the cigarette lighter should your vehicle have one. Engine oils can be removed and used in creating a black smoke signal but care must be exercised not to contaminate your environment. Hoses can be used to transport water for dousing fires although drinking from engine hoses is not recommended due to the chemicals that pass through them. Should you have strong enough tools, belts can be cut off of pulleys and used to create a splint while uncut belts that are large enough could act as a sling for injured arms.


    Having survival gear in your vehicles is of the utmost importance. If you did not realize that before, hopefully you will after thinking about possibly needing to destroy your vehicle to survive. There is no replacement for true preparedness, but in a desperate situation, a vehicle can provide you with options, although not nearly as many as if you think ahead and ready yourself for whatever might come your way.

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