Cars--just like any other machine--can break down or stop working for any number of reasons, ranging from electrical to mechanical hiccups. You want to make sure you are prepared to deal with this type of problem, and the following guide will help you do just that.
Be Prepared With the Necessities
The following are a few things you should have or do before a breakdown that can help you prepare for an issue or help you during the crisis:
- Have the number of both a local towing company and international towing service, depending on your traveling situation.
- Make sure you have all your legal documents with you like your registration, licence, and insurance.
- Stay current with your vehicle inspections with your auto care specialist, as they may catch an issue before the car stops while you're driving.
- Charge your phone, or turn it off to make sure you have enough battery for any emergency.
- Keep basic car fluids, like your transmission fluid, engine oil, power steering, and coolant in your trunk. Make sure you have an empty gasoline container just in case you need to add gasoline to your car.
- You should consider keeping safety triangles or flares to make your car more visible in case of a break down.
Breakdown Safety Tips
Consider the following to keep yourself safe if your car breaks down:
- Turn your hazard lights on to warn other drivers of your car troubles, and signal roadside assistance that you are in distress. Accept roadside assistance to get your car to safety, but remember that roadside assistance may be expensive. So call your towing service if you need extra help.
- The safety places are on the right shoulder or the far right lane. Do not park at a curve, as speeding cars may not see or anticipate you being there.
- Place a triangle 10 feet behind your vehicle, and a few feet away, on the left side of your car. Put your flares around 200 to 300 feet from your vehicle to give vehicles enough time to stop, especially at night.
- Roadside assistance and highway patrol know that a popped hood is a sign of a broken down vehicle, so pop the hood when you are in a safe location or if your hazard lights are not working.
- You can also turn your turn signals on if your hazard lights are not working.
- Avoid parking on a hill, but turn the tires away from the road and put your emergency brakes on if you cannot avoid parking on an incline.
At this point, the best thing you can do is stay in your vehicle--unless there are strong fumes--and wait for your towing truck to get you to a trusted mechanic, such as Arringdale's Engine Rebuilding & Auto Repair.