They may be every driver’s nightmare, but breakdowns are part and parcel of driving. Once you accept that, take steps to making any breakdown as pain-free as possible. Bear in mind that it could happen anywhere. Having a plan in place of what to do can save you a lot of stress, and could save you from an accident. If you encounter problems on a busy road, the last thing you want to do is panic. The following tips should help you prepare for any eventuality.
Before any problems occur, there are checks you should be doing. These may not save you from a breakdown, but they’ll go a long way to ensuring your vehicle is in the best condition. You don’t have to be a mechanic to keep your car up to scratch. You’ll need to consider the condition of your tires, and check air pressure every few weeks. Ensure, too, that you have a spare tire to hand should you need it. You should also check your engine oil and keep it topped up. Watching an issue such as this will allow you to take note if you’re topping up more than you usually do. Something like that is the sign of further problems, and you should book in with a mechanic. On top of this, you should do checks on the condition of your car. Make sure your lights are working, and free from cracks and dirt. Check, too, your car’s bodywork. Any dents or scratches may be a sign of further problems.
GET TO A SAFE PLACE
If you do encounter a problem when you’re driving, it’s crucial you get your car to somewhere safe. If you breakdown in the middle of a busy road, you could cause a serious accident. If this does happen, put your hazard lights on and get your car to the next layby as soon as possible. With any luck, there’ll be warning signs of a problem before you breakdown. As soon as you hear a problem starting, you should pull over to check. Don’t take the risk of carrying on in the hopes you can reach your destination. It’s going to be a lot harder to move your car out of the way if you leave the problem to develop. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
DIAGNOSE THE PROBLEM
Once you’ve got your car to a safe place, take some time to diagnose what the problem is. Doing research beforehand will give you a more thorough understanding of the way a car works. Again, you don’t have to be a mechanic. A basic understanding will serve you well. Recognizing what the problem is will save time if you’re calling a breakdown company. It’ll also allow you to decide whether the issue needs professional attention. Do a little research into what can go wrong so you’re more prepared should anything happen. Be aware of any different engine problems you might have to deal with.
CAN YOU SOLVE THE PROBLEM?
Once you know what’s wrong, judge how serious the situation is. Again, a little prior knowledge will help you know whether you can solve the issue yourself. Breakdown companies aren’t cheap, and many problems are easily solved. Be sensible here. If you’re unsure what to do, leave the job to the professionals. Check your engine oil levels and your car battery. You should learn, too, how to change a tire. That way, you can solve any flat tire problems yourself. Take note that if you do use your spare tire, you’ll need to replace it in case anything like that happens again.
CALL A BREAKDOWN COMPANY
If you’ve done all the above and can’t diagnose the problem, call the professionals. Breakdown companies will get to you as soon as possible. There are subscription breakdown services that can get to you even sooner if you’re a member. It’s worth looking into this so that you know you’re covered. There are also companies that offer tow truck hire. These can be a real help to get you out of any sticky situations. They may not be able to solve the problem, but they can get you to somewhere safe, or even take you to a garage.
If you stay calm and collected, you can solve any breakdown disaster. The more knowledge you have of your car, the better position you’ll be in to fix any problems. Don’t skimp on your research. You’ll appreciate your knowledge when the time comes to use it!