If you don’t happen to drive the newest vehicle or you are simply very cautious when it comes to breaking down because you travel many miles on out back terrain, then there are things you can do to reduce your worry. Cars are supposedly built to the best of the manufacturers ability, but sometimes even new cars can become problematic after their first year.
Breakdowns can happen to anyone at anytime, anywhere, it’s those who are prepared for it that recover the quickest from the setback. All it requires is some preparation in advance so if that unfortunate day arrives, you can minimise the affect it has on your day.
The best way to prevent a breakdown from happening is to service your vehicle when required and take general care of it whenever you can. Leaving repairs until it's too late or not attending to something right away can be the difference between a $100 bill and a $1,000 bill. The following tips will have different relevancy to different drivers, e.g. city drivers may not have the same requirements as outback drivers.
First and foremost if you get stranded too far away from civilisation and it’s a hot day, then it’s imperative you stay hydrated. A car will survive the heat so focus on yourself as a first precaution. It’s a good idea to keep a bottle of BPA free bottled water in a cool place in your car as a back up in case you need it.
If you are driving and your car starts showing signs of the engine over heating, then you must stop immediately to prevent damage to it. After having let the engine cool for 15 minutes, it’s a good idea to check the engines coolant tank to see if levels are normal. It is always a good idea to keep a spare bottle of coolant in the boot of the car in case you need to refill on the go.
As mentioned in the previous tip, if the engine is overheating then it’s important to stop and allow the car to cool down. If you find nothing is wrong with the coolant levels then the next step is to check the oil levels. However, DO NOT attempt to remove the oil lid or radiator lid immediately after stopping as boiling liquid can burst out and scald your hands. Always approach with caution and cover the lid with a cloth or towel and remove the lid through the towel to prevent injury.
If you have a spare tyre in your car then you can instantly save money here too. There is no need to pay hundreds of dollars to have someone come out to your location to change it because you have all the tools in the boot of the car to complete this task. If you have never attempted this before and are unfamiliar with the types of tools you need to pull out of the boot, then here is a very helpful video to guide you through the process and potentially save you hundreds of dollars.
Have you ever been too lazy to refill your tank and wanted to get home without having to get out the car because the needle has only just gone onto the red? Well, like thousands of other motorists you could also find yourself sitting on the side of the road purely because you neglected to refuel your car when it was running low. Keeping 5-10 litres of spare fuel in an approved fuel canister can save you a ton of embarrassment, not including the cost of calling out a company to you.
Leaving the lights or the radio on can lead to your car’s battery being drained beyond the point of being able to re-start the engine. A flat battery is an easy problem to fix if you have another car readily available to offer its battery for you to connect yours to. Jump leads are an inexpensive way of keeping you on the road without having to spend money on call outs. A spare pack can be picked up at most garages and large supermarkets for under $20.
As old school as a map sounds it can still be very useful to have in the car if for whatever reason your mobile phone battery dies or loses signal. Getting lost can be fun for the first hour or so but after that, patience can wear thin and sometimes a small road map can help you get out of the ever seeming circle that you seem to have found yourself driving around in. These items can also be bought at a local petrol station or in town for next to nothing.