When your vehicle unexpectedly breaks down, do you know what to do? What if you cannot reach someone for immediate help?
Here are some tips for you to consider when your vehicle breaks down:
- Keep your car in good condition
Prevention is always better than cure, thus it is much better to prevent vehicle breakdown instead of having to experience it. Bring your car in an auto repair shop for regular check-ups, especially before winter or long-distance travels. Some shops offer winterizing packages to prepare your car for the cold season. This includes change of oil, replacement of windscreen wipers, checking the coolant levels, tire and brake pad examination as well as other services to make sure that your car is in good shape.
- Plan and protect your exit points
In case you’d be stranded for a while, you must know your car well – how and when it is locked and how it is unlocked. You wouldn’t want to be both stranded and locked up, right? While some cars can be unlocked by pressing an unlock switch, others just require a pull on the handle. But in severe, cold weather, your car doors and windows might also freeze and lock you up. To prevent car doors from freezing shut, remove dirt and road debris build up from the door frame, then use a silicone spray lubricant or a water-resistant spray. It can lubricate the rubber seals of your door and prevent ice from locking the doors and windows.
- Keep an extra car key for emergencies
We’ve discussed earlier how you can avoid car door from freezing shut and keeping you locked up inside. But what if the car was locked up and you’re outside? What if the wind blew the car door shut while you’re checking the tires? That would be more troublesome. That is why it is suggested that you keep an extra car key for emergencies. Attach it in a magnetic holder in the car exterior, but make sure it is not easily seen by others. Use it so you can get back in the car, and make sure to return it in its secret location after.
- Stay connected
Nowadays, a mobile phone is a necessity especially on instances like this. If you’re stranded and in need of help, be sure to have your cell phone with you. Always check the signal strength and battery. Bring a power bank or an extra battery in case. If you have internet access, check the location of the nearest service station or towing company that could assist you. If you are in an unfamiliar area you can always use your phone to look up “Towing near me” and it will populate the closest towing companies to you. You can also call a family member or friends to pick you up in case there are no nearby repair shops.
- Be ready for a camp out
If there’s nothing you can do and help wouldn’t come any sooner, make sure you are still prepared. Always keep a complete “camp out kit” in your car for emergency cases like this. This includes warm blankets and clothing, a first aid kit, food supplies and energy bars, water, and flashlights. If you have kids and you usually bring them with you when you travel, bring a few toys, portable video games, board games, and extra batteries. This will keep them entertained if you’ll be waiting for help.