Noises from the trunk

Ok, so this is an easy one - I’m just looking for what solutions other people have tried.

I like to carry spare fluids in the trunk of my cars. One quart of oil, one of transmission fluid, a jug of coolant, even some windshield washer fluid sometimes. I’m obsessive about this, though I’ve pretty much never used them. I recently replaced the quart of oil I had in the trunk of my 1997 Taurus because it was 10 years old and it had never been used (time for lawnmower duty for that one).

Anyway, here’s the question: There is no spot in either of my cars that neatly holds a jug of coolant or the washer fluid. I can tuck the oil and transmission fluid away nicely, but not the others. Then, if I take a corner just a tad fast, the jug flys across the trunk and makes a nasty bang that can be rather startling.

So here’s what I’d like to know - how do the rest of you secure such items? I’ve tried a cardboard box with everything in it, but then the whole box flies around the trunk. Strangely, I never have problems with groceries or other items except for carboard boxes (something about the friction coefficients between the box and the carpet or the fluid bottle and the carpet if the bottle is loose, I assume)…

Some vehicles have attachment points for a cargo net. I know that my '86 Taurus had them, so it is possible that your '97 Taurus is similarly equipped. Even if you don’t want to buy a cargo net, those attachments can sometimes be used to attach bungee cords.

When I transport propane cylinders back & forth to the filling station, I use bungee cords at 4 points (under tension), in order to keep the cylinder in one place in the center of my cargo area. This same arrangement can be used with a cardboard box or even an old laundry basket if appropriate holes are punched in the box/basket.

Take a look in your trunk to see if you have any of these attachment points in your car. If you do, I have given you the solution.

My 92 year old mother-in-law puts these things in a cardboard box and surrounds the bottles and jugs with old towels. A zero cost solution that kills all the noise.

That is an okay idea, but the OP will still have the problem of the box sliding around in the trunk when he corners and stops.

The One Item That You Don’t Carry In Your Trunk Is The Item You’ll Need In An Emergency. Live On The Edge For A Change. Leave That Stuff At Home Where It Belongs.

Trunks are for golf equipment !

I’m sure that you routinely check and fill the fluids in your car. I do our fleet every week, year around. In addition to keeping the fluids full it gives one the chance to detect any problems early before they become critical.

That stuff you carry is sold all over the country, even in my neck of the woods. Buy some if / when you have the “big one” that you’re worried about.

Carrying something extra around with you for ten years and then getting rid of it because it’s too old is Mother Nature’s way of telling you to Forget About It !

By the way, are you carrying some extra clean underwear and socks ?


Maybe some of the old “moonshiners” could solve your problem. They carried jugs of their corn squeezings and often drove at very high speeds to elude the revenue agents. In fact, I think this is how stock car racing got started.

My 92 year old mother-in-law has a non-skid mat on the carpeted floor of her trumk, on which the cardboard box sits, I think it’s an old car front floor mat. Nothing slides, but then she does not corner at the speeds OP does it.

OP could put a couple of bricks in the cardboard box as well so he could corner faster!

I should be clear - I’m not racing around corners… We’re talking 20 mph or so on city streets.

Sure, its sold all over the country… where there are people. I’ve driven through areas where the next station can be 50-100 miles away, and regularly drive through areas where it may be 30 miles or more, with little traffic on the roads.

I do check things routinely before heading out, but even I’ve been caught by surprise in the past. A roll of duct tape, a hose clamp, a wrench, a screwdriver and some spare fluids (among a few other small items) have allowed me to “limp” to help before.

I use a collapsible milk crate. The bottom digs into the carpet, so it doesn’t go anywhere.

Maybe you’d want to try one of those gripper mats meant to put under carpets on hardwood floors and tile (from a place like Bed Bath & Beyond). You could also see if Velcro strips will stick to your carpet.

You probably don’t need a whole gallon of washer fluid. You could downsize to a quart bottle and reduce the weight of the box.

Make sure you put the box up against the rear seat area. In most cars, the braking force is higher than the cornering force or acceleration force.

Eraser, Stop And Think About That For A Moment. Your Car Suddenly Develops An Oil Leak. You Put In Your Trusty 10 Year-Old Spare Quart. Now, Can You Make It 50 Or 100 Miles (Or Even 30) To The Next Store ?


A Hitch And Small Trailer Would Do The Job, But Then You’ll Need A Scissors Jack, Wrench, Spare Tire And Some Taillight Bulbs. Look For One With LED Lights.


I’ve never had an oil leak that bad. I have noticed it be a little low on prior cars, and that quart has been enough to make sure that it doesn’t ever get too low in that distance.

I use the milk crate method.

I carry a bottle of window wash laying down with a roll of paper towels in a plastic storage container with a clip-on top. The key is that the bottom edge of the container extends beyond the container bottom, making all teh weight on the verye edge, and the center of gravity is low. And, should the wash ever leak, the leak is contained.