As it so happens, car breakdowns are a regular occurrence. This is generally a frustrating experience, but when it happens suddenly in the middle of the road, it can be quite harrowing! In such cases, drivers usually panic and fail to handle the situation right. This can be extremely dangerous, especially if you are on a busy highway. Read on to know what you should do if your car suddenly breaks down in the middle of the road.
- Prepare to Pull Over
It is very important to remember that you should stay calm, so you can assess your situation properly, decide on how you are going to pull over, and what should be done next. Sometimes pulling over is not that easy, you might be on a mountain road with many blind turns or a narrow road surrounded by traffic. Always remember that panicking will not help, on the contrary, it will affect your judgment, traffic flow, and people around you negatively. You need to switch the hazard lights on to indicate to other car drivers that you are in distress. Using hand signals while trying to get to the shoulder of the road is also a good idea. In case you have to block a lane, turn on the hazard lights and park the car the way you usually do, engage the parking brake, switch off the ignition, and call for help.
- Push Your Car to a Safe Spot
If the traffic around you is slow enough, you can exit the vehicle and push your car to a safe location, as it can be done in some areas of Houston. If you are unable to do so on your own, don’t hesitate to ask someone for help. When everyone is ready to push, release the parking and foot brakes, put the transmission on neutral, and steer the car while the others push it. After you park your car in a safe place, call for roadside assistance so that you can get the help you need. If you do not have a membership with the AAA, then towing Houston TX mechanics recommend that you seek the help of uniformed towing service providers. These professionals are available 24/7 and will charge you less than other towing companies. Make sure you stay safe till help arrives.
- Diagnose the Problem
If you know your way around engines, then try to make a basic assessment about the state of your car, as you might be able to fix it on your own. Start by checking for a loose battery cable or a blown fuse, but other than that, it is useless to try and fix it. Most probably, you will need spare parts and complicated tools, so it is better to wait for help. Do not touch the radiator, tubes & hoses near it or the engine until they cool off.
Check under the hood to see if the battery terminals are properly connected. If the battery terminals are intact, then check the fuse box. The fuses are usually located under the hood in a box near the battery, and if one of the fuses is blown out, you will find additional fuses in the cabin of the vehicle on the driver’s side. If the engine starts but makes a weird noise, then the problem might be with the spark plugs. However, if you do not have a ratchet and a spark-plug wrench with you in the car, then there is not much that you can do to fix this problem. So it is best to wait for help.
- Never Stand in the Way of Passing Vehicles
Never work on your car while you are on the side of the road that is exposed to traffic, as you will be at risk of being hit by any passing vehicle. If possible, drive farther off the road to a safe place and reach to fix your car from the front or the side that is away from traffic. Never change your tires unless you are on the side of the road and the tire is on the side that is away from traffic. In this way, you get to stay safe while you’re solving this problem.
A car breakdown can happen to anyone, so you must be ready to deal with the situation properly should it arise. Make sure that you always have the essential automotive tools in your car, and whatever you do, don’t attempt to fix your car on a busy road. Unless the car is smoking or on fire, the safer option is to stay in your car until help or towing services arrive. The steps mentioned above should help you get off the road safely and as quickly as possible. Remember that staying calm is key so you can react properly and ensure your safety.