At some point in all our lives, we’re going to have to deal with a broken down car. It could be a burnt out battery, an overheated engine, or something far worse. If you’ve never had a breakdown before then it can be quite easy to panic. After all, not everyone is taught how to handle this kind of thing. Never fear, however. We’ve got the ultimate vehicle breakdown survival guide, just in case!
Know Your Vehicle
Whether you’ve bought a brand new car or something secondhand, always make sure you get it checked out before you hit the road. You should also ensure you know the ins and outs of your particular vehicle. This doesn’t mean you need to study as a mechanic for years, but you should know the basics. Is there a spare tyre? If so, where is it kept? Most of the information you’ll need will be in the manual that comes with the car or can be found online. Have a look through when you first get your car and every few months. Just to keep your mind refreshed. That way, if you do ever breakdown, then you will have a better idea of what the problem may be. And, perhaps even how to fix it.
Next, familiarize yourself with the most common causes of breakdowns. By knowing what could go wrong with your car, you’ll be able to handle a disaster much more effectively. Here are some of the most common causes of breakdowns:
- Flat Battery – Usually caused by leaving lights or the radio on.
- Flat Tyre – Happens through general wear and tear in most cases. May also be something stuck in the tyre, like a small piece of glass.
- Fuel Problems – Not filling up your tank before setting off!
- Mechanical and Electrical Failures – You should get a warning sign before something like this happens.
- Engine Overheating – This is more common in warmer months, so keep an eye out for telltale signs.
Dealing with a Breakdown
Hopefully, you should have some kind of idea what may be wrong with the car, by now. In some cases, you should just be able to fix it yourself. If you have a flat tyre then replace it with a spare. If you have an overheated engine then stop and let it cool back down. Dealing with it yourself may not always be an option, however. In some cases you should ring an expert to fix your car. This is especially the case if you’ve broken down in the middle of the road! For fast 24 hour roadside assistance call Roadside Response or the equivalent in your area. A roadside assistance team will be able to get your car off the road as quickly as possible. Some may even be able to fix it there and then.
The key to a roadside breakdown is not to panic. Make sure you always carry around the number of a road assistance company, a spare tyre and perhaps even this survival guide. Who knows, it might come in handy one day!
* Picture by Adrian8_8.