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What to do if Your Car or Truck Breaks Down

I’m on the road and my car’s dying – now what!

A car that won’t go is such a sad sight. Greatness reduced to a spewing or silent hunk of metal. Sometimes, though, the breakdown itself can be downright scary, like if it happens while driving on a busy expressway. Breakdowns can happen to anyone, and the best way to stay safe is to know what to do beforehand.

First and foremost always drive prepared. Make sure your cell phone battery is fully charged, your tank has enough gas, and keep a flashlight in the car in case you break down at night. If you’re driving and something doesn’t seem right, you can prevent a potentially dangerous situation by finding a safe place to investigate the suspected problem, like taking the next exit if on the expressway. It’s better to be overly cautious than try to keep driving. When the breakdown is inevitable, though, carefully pull off the road to the right shoulder as far as possible while still on stable ground. The right shoulder is generally safer than the left, but if you can’t make it and can pull safely to the left do so. Turn on your hazard lights so other drivers know to give you more space. Do whatever you can to ensure your car is visible to traffic. Keep your doors locked and windows rolled up. Once you and everyone in the car are safe, use your cell phone to call for emergency personal. If you don’t have a phone but can walk to one safely, do so, but be extremely cautious. Leave a note in the car stating when and where you are going. In the event a stranger approaches the car, slightly roll down the window and ask them to call the police. Avoid going with the stranger for help. If help is on the way, or you don’t have a way to call for help, pop your trunk and place a piece of white or brightly colored cloth on the top to signal to emergency personnel or tow trucks that you need assistance. Don’t continuously run the engine as doing so might cause you to inhale too much carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide poisoning can be fatal.

If your car dies suddenly, making it impossible to pull off the road, follow the above steps but if being hit by traffic is a concern, safely exit the vehicle and stand out of traffic’s way. Place flares around the car if you can do so safely and do not smell fumes. Remember, if a situation occurs that you’re unprepared for, stay calm so you can make a clear-headed decision. The most important thing in this type of situation is the safety of yourself and passengers, not the well being of the vehicle. Once help has arrived you can worry about getting your car to run again, probably with the help of your mechanic. If this is the case, we can help you get free, no obligation auto repair quotes from local, pre-screened mechanics. Until next time, safe and happy driving from!

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