If your car has broken down while you’re driving, don’t panic. There are a few things you can do to try and get your car back on the road.
Pull over to the side of the road
As soon as you realize your car has broken down, it’s important to pull over to the side of the road. This will help you avoid causing an accident. If possible, try to park in a safe spot away from traffic. This way, you can properly assess the problem and what caused your car to break down.
Call for help
When your car broke down while driving, one of the first things you need to do is call for help. Whether you call a tow truck, a friend, or a roadside assistance service, getting some help will be crucial in getting your car back on the road. Whether you have a roadside assistance plan or not, it’s always a good idea to have someone come and help you with your car. If you’re not sure how to call for help, most phone companies have a roadside assistance number that you can call. Also, most cities have towing services available, so ask a friend or do a quick web search for a tow truck in Houston, Seattle, New York, or any city where you are currently traveling. A tow truck can help bring your car to the nearest service station or garage so that it can be repaired.
Check the car and assess the problem
Is your car making a strange noise? Are the lights on the dashboard flickering? Do you smell something burning? Any of these could be signs of a serious problem. You need to figure out what the problem is before you can try to fix it. Here are several things you need to check:
Check your fluids:
If your car has broken down while driving, the first thing you should do is check your fluids. This includes oil, coolant, and transmission fluid. Low levels of any of these fluids can cause your car to break down.
Check for leaks:
Another reason your car may have broken down while driving is due to a leak. Check for leaks in your hoses or other components. If you see any fluid leaking, it needs to be fixed as soon as possible.
Inspect the engine:
If you’re not sure what caused your car to break down, take a look at the engine. Check for any loose wires or damaged parts. If something doesn’t look right, it’s best to have a professional take a look at it.
Check for loose cables:
Another possible reason for a breakdown is loose cables. Check to make sure all of your battery cables are tight and secure. Loose cables can prevent your car from starting or can cause it to stall while driving.
Once you know what the problem is, try to look up how to fix it, if possible. If your car has a minor breakdown like a dead battery, flat tire, or radiator hose leak, you can try fixing your car if you have repair kits available. However, if you can’t pinpoint the cause of the breakdown or if the problem is more complicated than you can handle, play it safe and call a tow truck or roadside assistance. It’s better to let a professional handle car repair for complex problems. Trying to fix a major problem could make things worse and put you in danger.
Turn on your hazard lights
This is another important thing you can do when your car breaks down. By turning on your hazard lights, you’re letting other drivers know that you’re in trouble and they should be cautious when approaching your vehicle. You don’t want anyone to accidentally rear-end you or run into you while you’re stranded on the side of the road. If your hazard lights are faint to see during broad daylight, put road cones around your vehicle to make your situation more visible to other drivers. Add reflectorized stickers to these cones if you use them at night.
Once you’ve called for help, parked your car in a safe location, and turned on your hazard lights, your next priority should be staying safe. There are several things to consider to keep yourself safe while waiting for help to arrive.
- Stay inside your car: Once you’ve taken care of the essentials, it’s important to stay inside your car. This will help you stay safe and warm (or cool) until help arrives.
- Turn off your engine: Once you’re safely inside your car, it’s a good idea to turn off the engine. This will help conserve gas and also minimize the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Keep your doors and windows locked: Even if you’re just broken down on the side of the road, it’s always a good idea to keep your doors and windows locked. This will deter would-be thieves or other unsavory characters from trying to take advantage of your situation.
- Hang a “Help” sign in your window: If you have a sign that says “Help” or “Need assistance,” hang it in your window so that passing motorists will know that you need assistance.
Stay calm and wait for help
The most important thing to do when your car breaks down is to stay calm and wait for help. Panicking will only make the situation worse and could put you in danger. If someone offers to help, be cautious about accepting their offer. It’s best to wait for professional help to arrive. So, take a deep breath and relax until someone comes to your rescue.
Get your car towed
Once a tow truck arrives, they will hook up your car and tow it away. If your car needs to be towed to a garage, be sure to get an estimate of the repairs before authorizing any work to be done. This way, you avoid surprises when a professional take a look at your car and determines what the problem is. Once they know what’s wrong with your car, they can fix it and get you back on the road.
In some cases, your car may not be able to be repaired and you may need to buy a new one. If this is the case, then you’ll need to find a reputable dealership that sells quality cars. There are many different dealerships out there, so make sure you do your research before making a purchase.
By following these steps, you can make sure that you and your car are safe until help arrives. Remember, the most important thing is to stay calm and wait for assistance. With a little patience and some help, you’ll be back on the road in no time.