No one leaves home in the morning and is expecting for their car to break down, have a flat tire or even getting into an accident. If you decide what to do in the worst-case scenario in advance, it is likely that you will not panic and will be able to deal with the situation in the best possible way. Having a roadside assistance plan if your vehicle isn’t covered anymore by its maker is an excellent idea as it will most likely pay for itself if you need to have your vehicle towed or have your battery boosted.
Have A Complete Emergency Kit
If you already have an emergency kit in your vehicle, make sure it includes your vehicle’s manual, LED flares (instead of the ordinary ones that need to be lit) for warning other drivers in case your vehicle breaks down, a notebook and pen and pencil to record information related to a possible accident such as plates and numbers and other information of other drivers and police at the scene, and a backup cell phone.
Understand What Warning Lights On Your Vehicle Mean
Oil light – This means that your car is low on oil and will most likely overheat and cause serious damage to your engine. If this light is on or starts to flash, stop the car as soon as possible and call roadside assistance. Doing this will save you a lot on repairs if you don’t know how to add oil to get to the nearest repair shop.
Brake light – If your pedal is not working properly, it could have no resistance and go all the way to the floor. If your brake fluid is low or has a leak, this could be the reason for this light. It is also imperative to stop and call roadside assistance so you don’t get into an accident because you could not stop the vehicle.
Airbag light – This light could indicate that the airbags will not activate if you are involved in a collision. You don’t need to stop and get roadside assistance, just make sure you get the car fixed as soon as possible.
Traction control light – If you see this light, your car will need service as soon as possible. Make sure you are careful on curves and in extreme weather as your car’s computer is not working properly to provide better traction.
“Check engine” light – If this light is on, you probably will have no serious issues, but your car will need service as soon as possible. If this light is flashing, be sure to pull over at a safe spot and call roadside assistance.
Charging system light – If this light is on, do not turn off your vehicle. You need to go to a repair shop and get it fixed quickly. If you turn off your vehicle, it is likely that it will not start up again.
ABS light – This a light that means your car needs service, so make sure you are careful in how you drive, especially on curves or slippery driving conditions.
High-temperature light – This probably means there is not enough coolant or there is a hose that is loose or punctured. You must pull over and call roadside assistance. Don’t try to open the reservoir or continue driving.
Jump-Start a Dead Battery
If you have jumper cables, you can connect the same polarity terminals of each vehicle provided the batteries are of the same voltage. This must be done with both vehicles off. Shortly afterward, turn on the assisting vehicle and then the other car should start. Carefully remove the cables and get your battery checked at the next service station.
How to Get out of a Mud or Snow Rut?
Make sure you accelerate slowly in your car’s lowest gear but do not allow the speedometer speed to go above 15 miles per hour. You can do this to go forward and backward to create momentum. This technique is not always easy and calling roadside assistance us always safer.
Changing a Flat Tire
Your car manual will tell you how to do this, but if you are in a dangerous situation, you should call roadside assistance. You can also have a fix a flat kit
What If You Get Into an Accident?
It is always best to have a car accident checklist in your glovebox or some other place that will make it easy for you to follow and not panic if you are in an accident.
- Check yourself and others for injuries. Call 911 immediately if this is the case. Follow instructions of 911 operators and stay calm.
- Identify your location by street signs or other things such as buildings or landmarks so you can inform the police and rescuers where you are.
- In your notebook, take notes of weather conditions, damage to the other vehicle and possible skid marks on the road. Make a sketch of the accident scene and take pictures as well.
- Try to get the contact information of witnesses. This will help back up your account of the accident.
- Never admit to any fault even if you think it was your fault.
- Request for a copy of the police report.
- Call roadside assistance to tow your vehicle and take it to a repair shop.
- Contact your insurance company to register your claim and report of the accident.