tips

What to do When Your Vehicle Breaks Down

When your vehicle breaks down in traffic is embarrassing, inconvenient, and unsafe. One way to prevent vehicle breakdowns is to ensure you stick to your manufacturer’s recommended preventative maintenance schedule. When you keep your car, truck, or SUV in tiptop shape, it thanks you by running efficiently at all times. Still, should you have a roadside emergency, Trinity Automotive suggests the following to keep you and your vehicle safe while you wait for help.

Alert Oncoming Traffic

Turn on your hazards at the first sign of trouble, even if you’re still driving. If you can, pull over to safety right away. If you’re on a highway, pull over to the shoulder; if you’re on city streets, pull into a parking lot. If your vehicle stops running and you cannot get it started, stay put and keep your hazard lights flashing to alert oncoming traffic. Keep them flashing until such time as help arrives to tow your vehicle.

Secure Your Automobile

No matter where you are, whether in a safe space or in the middle of the road, pull or press your emergency brake to engage it. You want to make sure your vehicle doesn’t roll, so shift into park (if you can) and secure it with the emergency brake. If you are parked on the shoulder or side of the road, turn your wheels away from the road, as well, to make certain your vehicle doesn’t roll into traffic.

Check Around You

Check around you and only exit your vehicle if it is safe to do so or if you must due to fire. It’s only safe to exit your vehicle if there is no traffic on the exit side, if you are in a well-lit place at night, and if you have plenty of space to walk around your car without the risk of being hit by oncoming traffic. If you can exit your automobile, do so and place flares or triangles behind your vehicle leading up to it.

Open Your Hood

Even though your hazard lights are on, open your hood to help oncoming traffic see there is a disabled vehicle. The only time you should not open your hood is if you see steam and liquid spewing out from underneath it. Steam and liquid are scalding radiator fluid, and you could burn yourself if you open the hood. Smoke could mean fire, so grab a fire extinguisher before you open the hood.

Call for Help

Finally, grab your cell phone and call for help. Call your roadside assistance if you have a subscription to a service or if it’s included in your automobile insurance package. If you don’t have roadside assistance, call a local towing company. Finally, call the authorities and emergency services if you’re stranded due to an accident, your vehicle is on fire, or there is some other emergency associated with your stall.

Trinity Automotive offers its White Bear Lake, MN, customers roadside assistance. Call us today for more information.

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