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Solutions To Consider If Your Car Breaks Down

Jan 22, 2008
Many of us have had the experience of our car breaking down when we've been on our way to work or another destination. It is a dreaded thing and is very frightening if you're in the car alone when it occurs. For those who have never had this experience, there is a good chance that it may happen and if it does, there are things that need to be kept in mind when dealing with a breakdownparticularly on the highway.

Is the car doing anything at all?

Sometimes a car can have a hiccup and simply stop running for a few minutes. Once you pull the car over to the shoulder, sit there for a couple of minutes before doing anything else. Don't panic because it may not be much of anything. Sometimes it may be a minor system issue and the car simply needs to 'reset' itself. Many of us have experienced those times in which the car died for no reason and then started right back up.

However, if you press the on button to your radio and nothing happens, chances are you have a dead car battery. Try to turn the ignition to see if the car turns over at all. If the engine cranks in addition to a clicking sound, then there are a few things that need checked in regards to the battery:

Pop the hood

Check the battery for corrosion at the connection points and make sure the connection is tight. If there is corrosion, clean it and tightly replace the cable connector. If the car still will not start, then the battery is dead.

If you do not have a wireless phone to call someone or call roadside assistance, try to remember if you saw any gas stations close by or any businesses. If there are no places close by for you to use a phone or find someone to jump start your car, place a white piece of paper or white cloth in your window to signify that you are in need of help. The police tend to patrol the highways quite often. If you are in a rural area, then you may need to request assistance from a resident nearby.

Sometimes a good Samaritan will offer you assistance. However, it is important to not let them in your car while you're in it and to not get into their vehicle with them. If they want to take you somewhere, tell them you'd like to stay with your car, but if they would be willing to contact roadside assistance for you, that would be great.

Other issues that can cause your car to break down are mechanical failure, which you can't do anything about, and an empty gas tank. It is surprising how many cars are sitting along the side of the road because they ran out of gas and luckily, an empty gas tank can be diagnosed via the gas gauge. It is important to keep a gas can in the trunk of the car in case you run out of gas and need to walk to a gas station. Also, if someone offers you assistance, do not get into a vehicle with them to go to the gas station. Tell them you would like to stay with your vehicle and request that they call roadside assistance for you. You do not necessarily want to give them your gas can and money for gas because you may never see the gasoline. Just keep these things in mind to diagnose small issues with your vehicle and to keep yourself safe when dealing with a car breakdown.
About the Author
Experiencing car failure can be a very frightening occurrence. It's important to keep yourself and your passenger's safe in such a crisis, and to call for roadside assistance to help you get the car running again.
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