Have you ever had your car breakdown? If so, you know how stressful it can be. If you've never experienced it, you may not be prepared the first time it happens. If your car breaks down, it's important that you know how to react. Taking the proper steps will ensure your safely and will help you get your car off the road as quickly as possible. Here are four tips to remember the next time your car breaks down:
Get to safety. The first thing you should do is get your car off the road and out of traffic. If you know in advance that your car is dying, try to get it into a parking lot or at least on the side of the road. If you don't have any advance notice and your car dies suddenly in traffic, simply stop the car and put on your hazard lights. Then, call the police to let them know that your car is blocking traffic. They will arrive and help you get your car to a safer location. If you're in the middle of the road, don't get out of your car until help arrives.
Call your insurance company or an auto club. Even if you weren't in an accident, it still may be helpful to call your insurance company. You may have roadside assistance as part of your coverage. If so, the insurance company can send a truck to you. An auto club like AAA may also be able to help. If you don't have membership, you can often buy the membership in a matter of minutes over the phone. Once you purchase membership, they can get a tow truck out to assist you.
Contact a repair shop. When a tow truck arrives, you'll need to tell the driver where to take the car. It's a good idea to contact several repair shops before you have your car towed there. Describe the problem and tell them the make and model of your car. Make sure they can service your car and issue. Also, get an idea of how quickly they may be able to inspect your car. The last thing you want is to tow your car to a shop only to find out that they can't get to your car in a timely manner. Then you'd have to pay to tow your car to a new shop. A few calls in advance can avoid this.
Get a tow truck. If your insurance company or auto club can't provide a tow truck, you'll need to get one yourself. Your repair shop may be able to recommend a few options. When you call the tow truck, tell them exactly where you are, where you want the car towed, and the make and model of your car. Get an estimate on time until the truck arrives and how much the tow will cost. Also ask about a return mileage assessment. Some towing companies charge for the truck's return trip to the station, but they may not include this in the initial estimate.
A towing service can usually arrive on the scene quickly. Contact a towing service near you the next time your car breaks down.