Be Prepared for Emergency Breakdowns and Roadside Car Problems

We never know when we will be facing sudden breakdown of an automobile we are driving perhaps. But the only thing we can do to counter emergencies is to have a plan of attack than a panic attack.

Check out what you can do to avoid emergency due to car breakdown.

How to get unstuck?

Snowy or rainy conditions can leave your car stuck with no traction in mud or any other surface. Here’s how to get out.

Don’t let your car’s tires spin, this will just dig the car in deeper. Keep the car wheels straight.

Place the gearshift in ‘1’ and after pressing accelerator allow the spinning wheels to move the vehicle forward a bit. Then release the gas and let the vehicle roll backward. Immediately apply gas and roll forward. Continue this procedure to build enough momentum to get the vehicle out of the rut.

Make sure you are not shifting the transmission back and forth between ‘D’ and ‘R’. Otherwise you will have to replace transmission auto parts and will have to pay heavy bill for repairs.

You can also call a towing service if nothing works or if it is heavily raining.

Keep car emergency kit

Having a membership to an auto club or driving a later model vehicle under warranty often lulls us into a false sense of security about our prospects regarding a car breakdown.

A roadside emergency kit can ease the pain and reduce the hassle of such breakdowns. You can buy car emergency kit at any online auto store or even can assemble your own kit with necessary items.

While you are building your own emergency kit don’t forget to include the following items:

Car owner’s manual is a pivotal item and must to be kept with you. Major car problems can be identified and solved using car manual. It will show you how to change a flat tire, fluid types, light bulbs etc.

You should keep an LED flameless flare attached to the magnetic base to your car and set it to flashing mode to warn other drivers.

Hand phone charger is really important. Inexpensive phones and chargers are available everywhere. At least you can ask for help at the time of emergency using one.

Understand warning lights

Warning lights especially on your car’s dash shouldn’t be ignored. You must know what they mean so that you can take appropriate action by identifying the problem.

Here are few examples.

Traction/stability control – you can still drive your car but be careful of the slippery roads. Have the system serviced soon.

Tire pressure monitor – inflate tires to correct pressure displayed in owner’s manual and reset light if required to extinguish.

Check engine light – this light illuminates when the vehicle detects a fault with the engine management system usually related to emissions or running concerns. It can cause the vehicle to go into limp home mode when illuminated and requires immediate professional attention.

ABS warning light – This light will show you have a fault in the ABS braking system. This will not result in losing brakes but additional safety features will have been switched off and professional help should be sought to resolve the issues.

Temperature warning light – it warns the driver of possibility of engine overheating and usually demands the driver to stop the vehicle so that the engine can cool down.

Jump starting a battery

You should know how to boost a dead battery. Practise it properly because you may not know when you will need to perform it for your dead battery.

First and foremost, turn off the ignition and all the electrical accessories in cars. Connect the positive jumper clamp to the remote terminals of a good car. If you can’t locate the remote terminals connect positive jumper clamp to positive battery terminal. Then do the same on the dead battery.

Then do the same with negative jumper and negative battery terminal. Start the good vehicle and let it charge up the dead battery. After getting charged, try to start the vehicle with cables still in place.

Take professional assistance if this idea doesn’t work.

Stay calm during collision

In the event of collision stay calm and do not panic. There are essential things that you need to do at that time. Get the other driver’s license number, insurance company name and policy number.

Call 911 if you find someone injured or even if you are injured. Find out your location, street address and destination signs etc. Insurance company will need this information for your claim.

Sketch the accidental scene and take photos of the damage.

Locate any witness and get their account of accident with their names, address and contact number.

Call your insurance company and file a claim. Don’t admit to any fault.

Changing flat tire

Update your to learn checklist because you will definitely need to learn how to change a flat tire. It’s an easy DIY thing.

Break the lug nuts loose before you jack up the car. Once the spare is in place, spin on the lug nuts and tighten them partially. Then lower the vehicle and perform a final tightening.

Drive to a nearest service station and check tire pressure.

Always make sure that you have a spare tire with you especially when you are going for a long trip.

Be warned that you will most likely destroy the tire and possibly the wheel by driving to the exit.

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