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Dealing With Car Trouble On The Road

Updated on May 13, 2010

Right at the first signs before total car failure, you hear a weird noise and you wonder what is going on but you keep on rolling,...and then all of a sudden...kerplunk...the car breaks down. Car trouble on the road could be anybody´s nightmare, unexpected breakdowns on the open road are frustrating and can be challenging and at times dangerous.

Avoiding car trouble first of all takes a bit of inspecting your car regularly and simple maintenance. Get your car checked before you set out on a long journey by a mechanic if you don´t know anything about car mechanics. If your Insurance policy includes breakdown towing, if necessary call them up and make sure the tow is coming to your rescue soon.

If you do know or you are willing to learn then the most possible sources of trouble could be with the battery, hoses, tires, belts and fluids.

A necessary guide in car maintenance

Inspecting them regularly will avoid future hassle.

Be certain you have emergency equipment, such as flashlights, flares just to mark your position, a reflective jacket to wear when you’re working around the car, a triangle, basic mechanic tools, and always make sure that your spare tire is inflated.

  • A lot of people forget about the spare and throughout time when it is not used or checked it will lose pressure, and you got a flat spare of no use.
  • At the first sign of trouble, pull off the road, activate your emergency lights and then assess the problem. Fix the things you can and know yourself.
  • Highways and roads are frequently patrolled by police agents, and depending on the amount of traffic. Back roads may be a bit more difficult to get help.
  • Don’t leave your car abandoned because your car could be exposed to theft and vandalism. Assess your position and situation if you have to leave your car.
  • If your car is overheating turn the heater on and open the windows to dissipate the heat accumulated on the system.
  • If your car has air conditioning then do not turn it on. It would only make things worse. Air co when turned on in this case would just over burden your engine making it heat up even faster, then just turn the dial on to maximum heat if you can and let the hot air flow out your windows.
  • You may be able to let it cool down and then proceed slowly to a gas station if you know one is close by.
  • If you are in real trouble you could wait for some help. Mind that in winter you are vulnerable to the cold. Raise your hood or your trunk lid as a distress signal for help.
  • Display the reflecting triangle 30 meters behind your parked car. Run the engine if possible, only 15 minutes out of every hour for heat and keep a window a little open to protect you against carbon monoxide fumes that can eventually lead to poisoning.
  • Keep the car doors locked if you are a woman traveling alone, and keep the windows rolled up while waiting for help.
  • This gives you a protective advantage point for analyzing strangers who come up to the car when help arrives, and look out for those helping people who think they know all about car problems but are really not mechanically knowledge.
  • Explain your car problem clearly as it happened so a service station can send a mechanic or a tow truck and concentrate on the trouble.


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      Shannon Paulk 7 years ago

      Nothing like being stranded on the side of the road with your hood up. It's a good idea to check you vehicle at least once a week. A regular once over can help you detect issues with your car before it breaks down on you.