First things first – don’t panic! Your car breaking down is never convenient and can cause some anxiety if you don’t know what has caused it. But keeping calm and safe is the most important thing. This will enable you to deal with finding a solution so you can get back on the road.
Maintaining your car is important, especially when you have young children or are taking a long trip. But even the most reliable cars can suffer a breakdown when you least expect it. Unfortunately, it can happen to anyone, any time!
Following are our car breakdown tips to enable you to be safe, ensure the safety of others and get your car moving again.
In an ideal world, we would all have a basic set of tools and supplies in our car at all times for circumstances such as a breakdown away from home. This might include spanners, spare oil, bottled water and an empty petrol can. Some of these basic tools could see you on your way more quickly if you’re suffering from a dead car battery or an overheated engine.
So before you find yourself stranded, look at investing in these things and keep them conveniently located in a storage box in your boot for those unexpected moments.
Of course, Allianz Roadside Assistance and car insurance phone numbers should also be kept in your glove box so that you always have important contact details handy. Mobile phones can store this information too, but it is possible your mobile may be out of action just when you need it!
When something goes wrong with your car whilst you’re driving, you usually receive some warning. It might be from warning lights on your dash board, strange noises coming from under the bonnet, or loss of power. It may also be sudden, and therefore it’s imperative that you try to move to a safe place off the road, and switch on your hazard lights to warn other cars around you.
Do what you can to move your car out of harm’s way so you’re not going to be close to oncoming traffic. Call for assistance from your car if you know your location so you can be found quickly by the roadside assistance team.
If your car is located in a safe spot and the inside of your car is comfortable to sit and wait, this may be your best option. If you need to leave your car because of temperature conditions or to find a safer location, then make a note of the time that you called for assistance so that you can make sure you aren’t away from the car for too long. If the roadside assistance team turn up and you’re not there, they won’t be able to begin working on your car.
Only exit your car once you’ve checked it’s safe to do so. Besides having the hazard lights on, you might also want to pop the bonnet to show other drivers that you have broken down.
If you have kids or pets in the car, keep them inside until all warning signals are on and you’re sure it’s safe to exit and move to a safe location. If it’s a warm day, take any drinks and snacks with you so they don’t perish in a closed car. Do not under any circumstances leave children or pets locked in the car, as temperatures can rise rapidly and have serious or potentially fatal consequences.
If you find yourself in a remote location with no signal on your mobile phone then you should seek help from other passersby. You should already have your hazard lights on and a raised bonnet to let others see that you have broken down.
Stand close to your car and wave to get the attention of a passing car. To ensure absolute safety, once a car has pulled over, get back in your car and ask them for help. If they have signal on their phone, ask them to call your roadside assistance team or insurance provider.
If they too don’t have any signal, kindly ask them to drive to a more built up area and make the phone call on your behalf. Don’t get into their car.
If under extreme circumstances, there are no passersby and you have to leave your car, leave a visible note on your vehicle that you have broken down and what direction you are walking in to seek assistance along with your phone number in case the signal on your mobile comes back so you can be contacted. Let’s hope none of us find ourselves in this situation!
Stranded in a Car Park
If your car won’t start, and no power is shown at all, the most likely reason is a dead car battery. This can be caused by accidentally leaving your lights on. It’s happened to the best of us! Unfortunately, it usually means it’s late at night, unless you were unlucky enough to have been driving so early in the morning it was still dark.
In this scenario, despite the probability it is night time, you probably aren’t the only car parked in the vicinity so receiving help for this problem shouldn’t be too difficult. Hopefully you have jumper leads in your car (see Being Prepared above). If so, all you need is another willing party to offer you help in the form of their own car battery and 10 minutes of their time. Make sure you follow the vehicle manufacturer recommendations for jump starting to safely get going again and to avoid damage to your car, or contact Allianz Roadside Assistance.
Other possible reasons your car won’t start is due to damaged spark plugs, a problem with your carburetor (a device that blends fuel with air) or fuel supply issues. You might be tempted to try pumping on the accelerator to start your car but this can ‘flood’ your engine with fuel, so only attempt this a couple of times. Your best bet in this situation is to call your roadside assistance team.
We all hope to get to our destinations hassle free, but sometimes luck just isn’t on our side. But with a well prepared set of basic tools and supplies you may avoid some of the extra hassle that can come along with breaking down on the side of the road. By following our safety tips you’ll be in a good position to avoid any additional harm to you or those around you. Keep your car maintained, your roadside assistance and car insurance numbers handy and best of luck on the roads!