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6 Steps to Take When Your Car Breaks Down

Everyone dreads the day that their car breaks down.

You never know when it could happen. Even if you get your car checked out regularly by a mechanic, there’s always a chance you could hit a nail or run out of gas. 

In this post, we’re going to give you 6 steps to follow after your car breaks down. It’s important to have a plan in place when the unfortunate event occurs, so let us help you and you’ll avoid panic and desperation.

1. Turn Your Hazard Lights On

No matter what caused your breakdown, you first need to turn on your hazard lights so that the drivers behind you know that your car isn’t moving. Things can get really dangerous when you’re unable to move out of the way and leaving the hazards off can make it even worse.

2. Get Out Of the Way, If Possible

If you can feel the car’s power drifting away, try to pull off the road entirely. If you can’t, try to get onto the shoulder so you’re not stopping traffic. There are not many feelings worse than being at the center of a traffic jam, but sometimes there’s nothing you can do to avoid it.

With your hazard lights on and your car out of harm’s way, you can start to assess the situation.

3. Assess the Situation

Most people aren’t going to be able to figure out what’s wrong with the car by themselves but make note of what you can before you call emergency services. Maybe you didn’t notice the gas gauge going down or maybe you drove over something and you didn’t feel it.

While you can call a friend to bring you a jug of gas or change a tire yourself, most car problems are undetectable by the untrained eye.

4. Call Roadside Assistance

The next step is to call for help. Your local tow truck service will be able to come to pick you up and take you to a shop to have your car looked at and repaired.

5. Get Out and Set-Up Flares

While you’re waiting for your tow, get out of the car and set up your emergency roadside flares. Make sure that there’s no traffic coming before you exit the vehicle and make sure that the car is off and the emergency brake is on.

When setting up flares, it’s recommended to start 2-300 feet behind the disabled vehicle. This gives oncoming traffic adequate notice that your car is up ahead, so they can react accordingly.

6. Wait For the Authorities

Once you’ve taken all of the necessary precautions, all there is left to do is wait for the tow truck or roadside assistance to arrive. Never try to fix something when you aren’t 100% sure how to, or you’ll do more damage.

Just sit in the car or stand outside of it with the hood popped. This lets the other drivers know that the vehicle is broken down and it’ll be a good indicator for roadside assistance when they arrive.

Don’t Panic When The Car Breaks Down

When your car breaks down, the most important thing to remember is not to panic. These sorts of things happen and it is stressful, but when you start panicking is when you start making bad decisions. Stay calm, follow these steps, and wait for help to arrive.

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