Guest post by Umesh Joshi
What do you have on your car maintenance checklist, and is it detailed enough to prevent a car breakdown? If you do not maintain your vehicle well enough, the chances of the car breaking down will only be increased.
Not all maintenance requires the help of a mechanic to avoid vehicle failure if that is your excuse. Basic checks like changing the engine oil, or even checking your fuel gauge at the right time, can help you prevent a breakdown.
If you already have a checklist, good for you. The next concern should be if the items on your list are sufficient.
Without further ado, here is a simple checklist that can help you prepare ahead of a breakdown.
1. Have An Online And Offline Road Map
Should a breakdown happen, a map can be your way out of trouble. That is because you’ll be able to tell where you are and where to find the nearest help centre. It is always good to keep a map in your vehicle or have the app downloaded on your smartphone, in and out of a breakdown.
2. Have An Updated Breakdown Assistance Cover
Normally, when your vehicle stops working, it can be a moment of tension and anxiety, especially when it happens at night. However, having an updated coverage will help you stay calm, because you will rest assured that help isn’t far away.
3. Have a Red Warning Sign Triangle
Keeping a red warning sign triangle in the boot of your car is good practice because you never can tell when you will need it desperately. Because your vehicle cannot talk, there are chances that you might assume it’s in perfect working condition, at least that’ll be until it eventually breaks down.
A red hazard warning signal will help you caution other motorists, when your car develops a fault on the road. You can place one of the warning triangles in front and another at the back of your vehicle to notify other road users as well. Also, check the boot of your car every now and then, to be sure the safety signal is still there.
4. Always Have Spare Change
One of the best ways to plan ahead for a breakdown is by keeping spare cash in your car or pocket. If you are the type that likes to go out without money, you need to have a rethink.
Yes we know about debit and credit cards, but what happens when your vehicle breaks down in a place you’re not familiar with, where there’s no network as well.
Having some coins with you, at the least, can be sufficient to make a call for assistance, from the nearest payphone.
5. Comfortable Shoes
Wait till you have to walk a long distance in search of assistance, then you will understand why comfortable shoes made it into our checklist.
Keeping comfortable shoes in your car can rescue you from blisters, especially when you have to walk under the harsh weather.
Alongside your comfortable shoe, you can also keep a waterproof jacket in your car. Who knows if the weather might be too cold when your car stops working? At least you will be able to protect yourself while you look for help.
6. Keep Warm Clothing
Yes you should! Keeping warm blankets and clothes can help you stay comfortable. You will be shielded from the cold weather as well, if it happens in the winter months.
7. Have Food Supplies
This is most useful if you are going on a long journey. If you have experienced a car breakdown that took a long time to fix, you most likely might have looked around for something to eat and drink. Which is only normal.
However, you can’t guarantee the quality of meals that will be served where your vehicle broke down. To avoid exposing yourself to any kind of food and water, wouldn’t it be better if you take yours along with you? It’s always the best option.
8. What Should You Do Next?
On the first sign of trouble, it is better to pull over to the highway shoulder, to prevent other cars from colliding with yours. In a situation where that isn’t possible, then you will have to pull over to the hard shoulder, parking very far to the left.
9. Maintain Your Composure
Anxiety and nervousness can cause more harm than good, and you do not want to vent in anger either because it still wouldn’t solve the problem at hand. Instead of letting all of that energy loose, it is better to calmly think of the way out and explore as many of your options as possible.
With a checklist of this type, you can never be caught off guard if your car suddenly stops working. It pays to be prepared!