Thursday, May 9, 2024

What To Do If Your Car Breaks Down

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How To Stay Safe If You Break Down On A Motorway

What to do if your car breaks down on the highway

1. Pull onto the hard shoulder stopping as far to the left as possible 2. Leave the vehicle by the left-hand door 3. Ensure that passengers keep away from the carriageway and hard shoulder4. Dont attempt even simple vehicle repairs5. Once youre in a safe place use a mobile phone 6. If you dont have a mobile 7. If using an emergency telephone 8. If you feel at risk from another person9. Before you rejoin the carriageway We also have advice on how to deal with all types of road incidents here, and how to change a tyre here.

What To Do If You Break Down In A Car Park

A car park is likely to be one of the safest and most convenient places to break down. There should be room to leave your car while you wait for a recovery service.

Step 1: If youre causing an obstruction you could ask for help in pushing your vehicle to a parking space or other out-of-the-way spot.

Step 2: Bear in mind that you could face parking charges while your car is there.

If possible make sure you have a valid ticket. If your car is going to be there for some time speak to a parking attendant or a member of staff of the business where the car park is located.

Some car parks, such as those at supermarkets or motorway service stations, allow free parking but only for a limited period, say, two hours.

If your car is there for longer than this, you could get a parking charge notice in the post.

Talk to staff to explain whats happened and collect evidence that youve broken down such as a photo of your car being repaired or the invoice from your breakdown company.

This could help you challenge your parking fine if necessary.

Get Your Car Off Of The Road

At times a breakdown will give you no choice but to leave your car stranded in the middle of the road. However, often youll be able to move your car, at least a little bit. When this is the case, always steer toward the shoulder of the road. Try to do so in a gentle manner that will avoid adding an off-road accident to your unfolding predicament.

In addition, if you have a child or another person in the car, alert them to the situation and ask them to sit still and remain quiet as you slow down and maneuver to safety. If a pet is in the vehicle, make sure theyre well-contained before starting to drive so that they wont interfere with this process, either.

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What To Do If Your Car Breaks Down At Night

Having your car break down under any circumstances is never a pleasant experience. If you are traveling at night time, especially alone, the last thing you want to deal with is your car breaking down.

You can ask a bystander for assistance or walk to the nearest auto-repair shop yourself on a busy highway or inside the citys limits. But an unlit country road on an Alberta highway can be your worst nightmare as there are long stretches of road with no houses or people to ask for help.

The dangers of being stuck in the middle of nowhere add stress to the situation so to ensure the safety of your vehicle and yourself, contact the nearest roadside assistance service for help. Having your car breaking down on a deserted road can be scary for anyone, especially for new drivers and being alone can make it seem even more stressful.

In case you find yourself in such an unfortunate situation, weve provided some handy tips for you to follow and ensure your safety.

Car Trouble Is The Last Thing Anyone Wants But You Still Need To Be Prepared For A Car Breakdown Heres How

What You Can Do When Your Car Breaks Down In Traffic

It doesnt matter how old you are or how long youve been driving, the sensation of a car suddenly slowing down, ebbing power, is one that sparks feelings of frustration, anger and dread. Especially if youre on the motorway. Finding yourself in a car broken down on any kind of road if bad enough but on the motorway is not fun at all.

That feeling of dread isnt just because of the impending expense, its mainly because you suddenly find yourself stranded and potentially at risk of being stationary when all around are vehicles travelling at high speed. So, what can you do to lessen the danger when you do break down?

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Did You Know That Protect My Car Offers Complimentary Roadside Assistance

Yep, thats right! If you find yourself stranded and happen to have a vehicle service contract then your roadside assistance costs will likely be free. You may also find your repairs covered under your contract as well. Lucky you!

Well, not so much lucky and more smart you. If you are the type of person who suffers from unexpected expense anxiety, or you are someone who just doesnt want to have to worry about repair costs bankrupting them, a vehicle service contract from Protect My Car may be exactly what you need.

Free roadside assistance is just a small perk among so many benefits. Check it out below and apply for a totally free quote. Even if you arent interested, you may end up needing to buy a new car after your car breaks down while you are on the road. You have no obligations from getting a quote from us and we will give you a FREE CARFAX REPORT. You read that right. Completely free.

How To Prepare For A Potential Car Breakdown

Ending up with a broken-down car is every drivers nightmare.

Your vehicle may be well-maintained, but car breakdowns can be an unavoidable inconvenience or, at the very least, a nuisance that can interrupt your drive significantly. So, just to prepare for such an eventuality, heres a checklist you can follow:

  • Check if your breakdown cover or access to roadside assistance is up to date. This way, you can expect prompt recovery and towing services, as well as the provision of alternative transport like taxis.
  • Always carry a roadmap with you wherever you go, so itll be easier to calculate where you are and to decide whether theres a place near enough for you to get help.
  • Keep a warning triangle with your car toolbox you can use it to warn motorists about your parked vehicle.
  • Have some spare change on you. Its not uncommon to find remote areas with a weak mobile phone signal or to end up with a dead phone battery in the middle of nowhere. One great alternative is payphones that you can use to call for assistance, so get your coins ready.
  • Gear up for a walk. You never know what the weather will be like when your car breaks down. Keep a comfy pair of shoes and a rain jacket so you can walk to the nearest town for help. Also, keep a change of clothes each for warm and cold weather, plus blankets.
  • Stock up on food and water. If youre travelling long distances, keep some ready-to-eat food supplies and plenty of drinking water for emergencies.

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Avoiding And Preparing For A Breakdown

  • Cars dont generally conk out suddenly. Be aware of strange noises, a change in the way the vehicle feels, a lack of power and warning lights. If something doesnt feel right, pull into a service station if you can, or park well off the road.

  • Regularly servicing your vehicle and having roadside assistance are the best measures to prevent and deal with breakdowns.

  • A torch, fully charged mobile, paper and pen are helpful items in a breakdown.

  • You might not know that a breakdown is imminent, but you can prepare for the possibility. Being aware of your destination and surroundings is key. If you travel to remote locations regularly, a mobile phone may not always receive service to make emergency calls. You could invest in a satellite phone or HF radio for long-distance communication.

RACV is there for you 24/7 whenever you’re in need of help out on the road. We’re always just a phone call away.

Smoking From The Hood/overheated Engine

What to do if your car breaks down in the winter

If your car is smoking from under the hood, pull over and exit as quickly as possible.

If you notice the engine overheating, the battery light come on, and a loss of power steering, youve most likely got an issue with the serpentine belt or the belt tensioner. There isnt much you can do from the side of the road except follow the safety tips above and have the vehicle towed.

Watch the Heat

If you see smoke or steam from under the hood, be very careful when opening it. If the engine is overheated, smoke might be pouring out of it. Youll want to check the coolant level, but do not remove any caps from the radiator or coolant reservoir.

Tip: Do not remove the radiator cap with the engine warm. Hot coolant can spray up and burn you.

Check the Coolant Level

Look at coolant level but dont remove the radiator cap or open the coolant reservoir.

Add Water If in a Pinch

Let the engine cool. If you need to add more coolant, you could fill the reservoir with water, but this is a temporary fix and youll need to flush the system after or it will have problems.

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Refrain From Performing Auto

It may be tempting to try to solve your breakdown right there on the side of the road. However, unless youre dealing with a spare tire or adding a little extra oil, its recommended that you wait until youre at an auto-repair shop to diagnose the issue.

Once your vehicle has been moved to a safer location, professionals will be able to use OBD1 and OBD2 diagnostic tools and apps to pinpoint the problem and address it without danger.

Breaking Down On A Freeway

  • If you break down on a freeway, immediately signal and move as far to the roads left as possible if its safe to do so.

  • Once stopped in the emergency lane, turn on your hazard lights to make yourself visible to other motorists.

  • Call roadside assistance, noting any signs or markers to help the patrol find you. If you cannot get your vehicle off the road, ring VicRoads Incident Response Service on 131 170.

  • If the car is in a dangerous position close to traffic, get out through the left-side doors and stand as far from the road as possible. Never try to cross a freeway on foot.

  • If the car is a safe distance from traffic, keep your seatbelt buckled while waiting for help.

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Things Not To Do When Your Car Breaks Down

For safety, there are several things you should not do including:

  • Changing a tire that is on the side of traffic.
  • Checking for damage on a busy highway.
  • Standing on the shoulder of the road it’s safer to remain buckled in your car unless there is smoke or flames.

Watch the video below to learn more about how you can stay safe if your car breaks down.

How To Handle Roadside Safety

What to do if Your Car Breaks Down

If your vehicle breaks down, the following tips can help get you through this event safely:

  • Turn on your hazard lights.
  • Stay calm it can be frustrating and scary when your vehicle breaks down take a few moments to gather your composure.
  • Pull over to the side of the road, if possible.
  • If you are unable to exit a highway, pull over to the right side of the road. Move your vehicle as far away from oncoming traffic as possible.
  • Shut off your vehicle.
  • Exit the car on the non-traffic side and raise the hood to alert other drivers that your vehicle is inoperable.
  • Stand away from the car when calling roadside assistance. Do not stand in front of your vehicle if your car is sideswiped, it could move forward and cause injury.
  • If you have a roadside emergency kit, carefully place flares or reflective triangles in safe locations around your car to alert oncoming vehicles do not place them too close to your vehicle or flammable debris.
  • If you do not have a cell phone, and it is safe, walk to a nearby public place for help while keeping your eye on traffic and remaining alert. Do not cross a freeway or highway.
  • Do not try to repair your vehicle on the side of the road even if you have flares or reflective warning devices.

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What To Do When Your Car Breaks Down

Posted on: February 14, 2022

Few things are more frustrating than realizing you have a lemon vehicle on your hands. If your new car breaks down while driving, not only are you stuck on the side of the road, but you are facing a repair bill and days without a vehicle. It adds insult to injury when the car that broke down is a recent purchase.

Although it is a situation no one wants to deal with, buying a lemon does happen. Knowing what to do when your vehicle stops working may save you money in the long run, and it could save you from serious injuries.

What Is Gap Insurance

If your car was totaled in an accident, check to see if you have gap insurance.

Gap insurance is the type of insurance that covers financed vehicles on the difference between what is owed on the car and how much the vehicle is worth. Essentially, a vehicle may not be worth what a car owner currently owes on the car. In many cases gap insurance is a requirement for leased or financed vehicles.

The purpose of gap insurance is to cover any excess between what the car is worth and the loan amount still outstanding on the vehicle. This is important because insurance will only cover what the vehicle is worth and not what you owe regardless of whether the damage is caused by a natural disaster or a car accident.

Gap insurance makes up that difference between what is owed on a car loan and what the car is actually worth according to your insurance agency so that it may be replacedand you dont end up in debt over a car that is no longer drivable.

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The Basics On How An Extended Warranty Works

Weve all heard the term extended warranty and usually the image that pops into our heads is getting endless calls from a robo dialer spamming us at all hours of the day. While some extended warranty companies do practice unsavory marketing practices, others can really be a valuable tool to have at your disposal.

Extended warranties come after the dealership or manufacturer warranty runs out on your car. Many car owners choose to purchase a 3rd party extended warranty at this time to help them cover the cost of their unforeseen repairs.

A car can break down at any time, even one that has been maintained appropriately and these repairs can be obscenely expensive. Extended warranties help people avoid going into debt over these car repairs.

Similar to insurance, with an extended warranty you will pay a monthly premium. When your car breaks down, you pay a small deductible of $100 to $400 depending on your warranty provider and they cover the rest.

Breakdowns On Other Roads

What to do if your car breaks down in the cold

Breaking down elsewhere can be just as fraught as doing so on the Motorway. If your cars broken down on a country road, you need to get it as far over to the left-hand side as possible, obviously taking care not to get stuck on a soft verge or in a ditch. You must also ensure it remains as bright as possible, so keep your lights on and activate the hazard warning lights.

At this point it would be a good idea to get everyone who is travelling in the vehicle to put on a high-visibility jacket or tabard, if you have them, and stand away from your stricken vehicle. Such tabards typically cost less than £7 at either a high-street outlet such as Halfords, a motor factor or an online seller. A high-vis jacket or tabard is usually included in a typical breakdown pack, which will also contain a torch, a warning triangle, a tow rope, gloves and jump leads. At around £30, these are well worth the investment for the peace of mind they bring.

Place a warning triangle at least 50 metres behind the car to give approaching motorists more time to react safely.

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Take Extra Steps To Make Yourself Visible

If you are travelling over the Jubilee weekend, it is advisable to place high vis jackets in your car, incase of a breakdown. Everyone getting out of the car to wait at the roadside should wear one if possible, regardless of when you are travelling.

If you are on a road where it is safe to do so, you should place a warning triangle at least 50 yards behind your vehicle to alert oncoming traffic. This should not be done when stopped on the hard shoulder or beside a dual carriageway.

Pull Over To A Safe Spot

If your car breaks down on the road, try to manage the situation so that you are not stressed and can get back on the road as soon as possible.

Step 1: Prepare to pull over. Sometimes pulling over isnt the easiest thing to do. You might be on a mountain road with little shoulder space and many blind turns, or on a narrow part of the freeway surrounded by traffic.

That said, try to assess your unique situation and decide on a course of action.

Always try to remain calm. Its harrowing knowing that your vehicle is no longer running, especially when it happens right on the road, but you must remain calm. Until you pull your car over safely to the side of the road, your breakdown will affect other traffic that is around you, and you must be mindful as you try to maneuver yourself safely out of traffic.

Step 2: Switch on the hazard lights. Use the hazard lights to indicate to other traffic that you are in distress and try to use hand signals while you try to get to the shoulder of the road.

If you can, use the vehicles momentum to drift to a safe location.

If you cannot get to a safe spot on the road and you have to block a lane, use your hazard lights and signal so you can get the vehicle into the far right lane. Try to slow down as gradually as possible so as not to cause an accident, or multiple accidents on the road. If you let other drivers know about your vehicles failure, they can proceed to drive around your car.

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