How to Prepare for a Car Breakdown

At some point, most cars are going to have some kind of issue with them that results in them having a breakdown and needing repair. If this happens on your own driveway or outside your home, it’s inconvenient, but it’s not a disaster; at least you can go inside and arrange for alternative transport while you decide what to do about the car that won’t start for whatever reason. 

If, however, you’re away from home and find that your car won’t start or, even worse, you are driving and something starts to fail, what can you do? Whether it’s a blown tyre, running out of petrol, or something unpleasant happening under the bonnet, it can be a panic-inducing time. The key, of course, as with most things, is to be prepared. Here are some ideas that will help you should this ever happen to you. 

flat tyre breakdown

Photo by Denny Müller on Unsplash

Keep an Emergency Kit in the Car 

As soon as you buy a new car, you should make an emergency kit and tuck it away safely in the boot, backseat, or under the seats if your car is usually full of people and things. This emergency kit could be exactly what you need if you breakdown away from home, especially if it’s cold and dark and you don’t exactly know where you are. 

The emergency kit should contain a torch, warm clothes, a blanket, bottled water, non-perishable food, and, if there’s room, a shovel. Essentially, these are the things you’ll need to keep yourself warm and well while you wait for the tow company or rescue service to get to you. 

Know How to Change a Flat Tyre

We’re not expecting everyone to be able to fix their own cars, especially if it’s something electrical or mechanical. However, everyone who drives should be able to change a tyre if the need arises. This is by far the most usual reason for having to stop driving, and if you know how to change a tyre yourself, you’ll save a lot of time, effort, and money by doing so rather than having to call a breakdown service to do it for you. 

Spend some time practicing just how to do this essential task once you get your car. It’s good to know that you have a usable spare tyre and the right tools already in the car (as well as the all-important locking wheel nut) before you set out on any journey. 

Look and Listen for Signs 

If you know what signs to look for and listen for, you’ll be more in tune with your car and more quickly able to spot when something is wrong. Although this might not prevent the breakdown from occurring, it can give you a chance to pull over before the engine entirely cuts out, and to find a safe space to wait for someone to come and help you. 

Some of the signs to watch out for include whining sounds, grinding when you turn the wheel, knocking noises, leaking fluid (the dials on the dashboard will indicate when this is happening), and if the car takes a while to start. 

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