Driving a car can be a great way to save time and get more accomplished in the day, but it’s not always perfect. You might have planned on driving back from work late at night or are simply heading to a family reunion when your car breaks down in the middle of the road. It’s normal for people to feel frustrated or even angry when this happens. Still, it’s essential to keep calm and take the necessary steps to handle the situation safely and efficiently – and there are six key things you should do.
1. Call A Local Towing Company
If your car has broken down and you’re unable to move it, you’ll need to call a tow truck. You can find listings of towing companies in your area by doing a quick online search – whether that means looking for companies that offer towing in the Bronx NY, the east side of Toronto or elsewhere, most of these businesses have websites that list their services. There are four main reasons why it’s important to contact a road assistance service as soon as possible:
- It’s unsafe to stay on the road if your car isn’t working properly – it may cause an accident if other drivers don’t see you in time.
- A tow truck can take your car to a mechanic, where it can be repaired, making it the most efficient way to get your vehicle back on the road.
- While it’s always a good idea to try to troubleshoot the problem yourself, you could make the problem worse if you don’t know what you’re doing.
- Depending on where you are, it may not always be safe to linger on the side of the road.
2. Warm Up Your Car
Sometimes, your car isn’t really broken down – it just needs a little jump start. If it’s a cold day, your battery may be frozen and unable to provide power to the car. This is true for all cars, but if you’re driving an electric car in wintertime, it’s a lesson you’re more likely to learn. In either case, you’ll need to warm up your car before trying to start it again. You can do this by slowly pushing on the gas pedal and turning the key to the “on” position. Listen to the sounds your car makes. It may take a few tries before the engine finally turns over. Once the battery is warmed up, try starting your car again – if it works, great! If not, you’ll need to move on to the next step.
3. Put Your Hazard Lights On
In case your car just doesn’t turn on, you need to take steps to ensure you’re clearly visible to any potential oncoming traffic. This means putting your hazard lights on, as well as placing the warning triangle you have in your car safety kit in a visible spot on the road. Depending on the road you’re on, this means placing either just about 40 feet away from your car or much further away than that if you’re on a highway or another road where people tend to drive fast. You need to provide the drivers with ample time to slow down and avoid hitting you. It will also be a good idea to put on the reflector vest you have in your trunk so that drivers can see you if you have to leave your car to investigate the problem.
4. Move Your Car Off Of The Road
If at all possible, try to maneuver your car off the road – even if it’s just a few feet. This will make it easier for the tow truck to find you and also make it less likely that other drivers will accidentally hit your car. The easiest way to move a vehicle that won’t start would be to open the driver’s side door, put one hand on the steering wheel and the other on the door, and then slowly push the car to the side of the road while getting out. If you’re driving a manual, put the car in neutral so that it’s easier to push. If you can’t move the car at all, don’t worry – as long as you’ve got your hazard lights on and the triangle placed properly, you should be fine.
5. Investigate The Problem
Once you’re safely off the road, it’s time to take a look at what might be causing your car to break down. There are a few things you can check:
- The oil and gas levels – if it’s low, that may be the reason your car isn’t working properly. If there’s a gas station nearby – you’re in luck!
- The radiator – if it’s overheated, that could be why your engine isn’t starting. You simply need to let your car cool down, then top off the radiator with water.
- The battery – remove the battery cap and check the acid and water levels. If they’re both low, you’ll need to add more (make sure you’re wearing protective gloves when doing this).
- The tires – if they’re flat, that may be why your car is having trouble moving. You should have a spare tire in your vehicle, but if you don’t know how to change a tire, you should call for help.
Once you’ve checked these things, you’ll have a better idea of what might be wrong with your car and how to fix it. If you’re not sure how to do this, it’s better not to try – you could cause more damage.
6. Call A Friend And Wait For Help
Changing tires and being low on gas or oil are common problems that are easy fixes essentially. Chances are, at least one of your friends that’s also a driver will know how to change a tire or will have some spare gas or oil that they can give you. If you have a friend that owns jumping cables – ask them to come over and give you a jumpstart. If you’re in a bad neighbourhood, it’s also a good idea to let someone know where you are, just in case. Once you’ve taken all of the necessary steps, all that’s left to do is wait for help to arrive. If you called a tow truck, they’d be there soon to take your car away. If you asked a friend for help, they’d be there in no time. In the meantime, stay in your car with the doors locked and wait patiently.
Breaking down in the middle of the road can be a frustrating experience, but it’s important to stay calm and follow the proper steps to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you. By putting your hazard lights on, placing a warning triangle on the road, moving your car off to the side if possible, investigating the problem, and calling for help, you can ensure that everything is taken care of as quickly and efficiently as possible.