There are many things that can go mechanically wrong with your vehicle. Your vehicle is made up of so many mechanical parts, and a problem with just one can prevent it from working properly. In fact, estimates show that the average car has over 30,000 parts. Most of us have been there at some time or another, stranded on the side of the road. You consider all of your options and wonder what the best plan is. Do you call a friend to pick you up and leave your vehicle to be dealt with later? Do you call a mechanic first to come and tow your truck to the nearest auto body shop?
Make sure you are in a safe place
You do not always get to choose where you pull over. Sometimes your car just stops running and you are left where you stalled. If possible, move your car somewhere that is safer. For example, do not leave your vehicle in the middle of the freeway where an oncoming vehicle might not see you. Attempt to move it to the shoulder of the road for safety reasons. If you are unable to move to a safer location, consider calling 911 to monitor you until your towing service has arrived. If this is also not an option, remove yourself from the vehicle and wait on the side of the road. Always consider your safety options and choose the one that is best for you.
Contact your local tow company
The tow driver will need to know where to tow your vehicle to once they arrive, so it is also a good idea to have a local mechanic in mind. If you know of a local mechanic, call them prior to see if they offer towing services. Either way, the tow truck can take some time to arrive, so you at least want to make sure that they are on their way. Request prices and give them your exact location, including any notifiable landmarks that will make it easier to locate you. It will make their job easier and will make it so you do not have to wait as long.
Request a ride
Some tow truck services will also transport you to either the auto body shop or to a local address. It can actually be helpful to get a ride to the auto body shop so that you can discuss diagnostics and repairs, as well as be present during your state auto inspection. You can assist the mechanics in diagnosing the problem by giving them any records of car maintenance and letting them know about any prior hybrid repairs.
Request price quote before accepting service
It is important to request a price quote on services, before agreeing to begin services. If you do not, you will be charged for any diagnostic and service charges, including your state auto inspection costs. Also, it can be helpful to request updates along the process, so that you can price compare with other auto body shops, if needed. As many as 9 out of 10 automatic transmission failures are a result of transmission fluid contamination and overheating. Ensure you know what to expect.
Keep up with preventative maintenance in the future
Most car breakdowns can be avoided by periodically checking vehicle belts and hoses and replacing them when worn. At least one belt was reported as unsatisfactory in nearly one fifty of the vehicles inspected (19%) and 17% of the vehicles requires at least one new hose. Also, keep up with things like inspections of the speedometer, brakes inspections, and regular state auto inspections. It may not entirely prevent breakdowns, but it will reduce the chances of one.
Most people have been in a similar situation, stranded on the side of the road with a smoking vehicle and no clue as to how to proceed. Remember these tips the next time you break down. You need to have a local tow truck on call, as well as a trusted auto body shop. You also need to keep safety tips in mind and remember that preventative maintenance and regular state auto inspections are important in preventing these timely and expensive auto breakdowns.