What To Do If Your Car Breaks Down On the Road?
No doubt a fear that everyone has is their car breaking down on the road. But the fear is even greater when that road is the highway. Highways are particularly dense in America. With the number of people driving cross-city to make it to work or going city-to-city because of work, things can get hectic pretty fast.
According to Agero.com, 69 million vehicles break down on US roads every single year.
So the last thing we want is our car breaking down while on the highway. Not only can this cause a major accident, but it will also leave you stranded for hours. So what do you do if your car breaks down on the road? Well, we have an article that explains that.
Whether your car breaks down or not, the most important thing is to stay safe. When on the road, it can be quite easy to steer your vehicle in a direction full of traffic. The sudden realization that your car is breaking down as you drive can be enough to scare any veteran driver at the moment. So your first objective is to redirect your vehicle as further away from traffic as you possibly can.
Make your way to the most-right lane if you’re on the highway and stop. Since there could be other vehicles passing by, it’s best to exit the vehicle from the passenger door. Here is where your training comes in handy. What do you do next? In case you’ve forgotten, the next thing to do is to turn on your hazard lights, put on a reflective vest, and set up the reflective triangle at least 30 meters behind.
All these things will alert oncoming drivers that something is happening up the road. They will naturally slow down and thus minimize the chance of an accident.
There is always the case of you being unable to move the vehicle from the road. If this happens, put your seat belt on, turn on hazard lights, and contact emergency services ASAP.
Assess the Issue
Once you’ve taken the necessary safety precautions for both you and other drivers, the next step is to assess the issue. The issue might not be as big as you initially thought at first. It might be something meaningless and something that can be easily resolved. But unless you know how to deal with these things, the issue will not go away.
In most cases, the issue will be much larger and complicated to deal with on your own. But let’s walk you through how to assess the issue.
The first thing to do is pop the hood and take a look inside your car. Do you see anything out of the ordinary? Is anything missing? Is anything leaking? You can trust your eyes to serve you well when assessing issues under the hood. But, again, not every person is an experienced mechanic and knows what they’re looking for.
So if you can’t spot the issue, maybe you can hear it. Oftentimes, vehicles give our strange sounds when something isn’t right. Did you hear any popping, clanging, crunching, or any other similar or unusual sound while you were driving? Although assessing the issue simply by hearing won’t help an inexperienced driver identify the source of the problem, it might help you narrow it down.
There are a couple of expensive car repairs to look out for whenever your car breaks down on the road. Maybe you have a loose fuel cap, bad air filters, or the battery needs a replacement. All these things can cause your car to break down in certain situations. So if you can’t hear the issue, the last thing to do is try and smell it.
If something smells like fuel or burning, it could be a problem with the engine or electrical system.
Have A Reliable Mechanic Waiting
Once you’ve called the appropriate services to come and pick you up, the next step is to take it to the repair shop. It’s always smart to have a reliable mechanic to work on your vehicle. This could be an issue when you’re stuck in another city, state, or country.
But that’s why you should always have your mechanic inspect your vehicle before traveling someplace. The best way to prepare for a car breakdown on the road is to mitigate the issue before going on the road. It might sound silly to go to the mechanic every time you plan on traveling, but it’s the best way to prevent such a serious issue.