Tips On How to Handle a Car Breakdown in the Middle of Nowhere

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As a fiercely independent, intelligent and strong woman, you have got the vast majority of situations in life well-covered. Not a lot fazes you, and you love going out to see the world and enjoy all kinds of adventures.

At the same time, you know that your smarts and intuition will only take you so far if there is some type of emergency while you are on the road. Now that you are in the midst of planning a major road trip, you want the drive to go as smoothly and safely as possible.

Unfortunately, cars can and do breakdown in the middle of Timbuktu, and you definitely don’t want this to happen to your trusty ride. By knowing what to do in this situation, along with some solid pre-planning, a vehicle malfunction will be a figurative minor bump in the road.

For example, the following tips can help you get through—and hopefully prevent—a breakdown in the middle of nowhere:

1. Get Your Car Repair Ducks in a Row

Let’s make one thing very clear: by planning ahead of time, you are not assuming that you will have car trouble on your upcoming trip. Instead, you are being super smart and well-prepared, so on the off chance that there is a situation, you already have it covered. For instance, do some homework prior to leaving and look into used car service contracts that can help reduce the amount of out of pocket costs you will have to pay, should you need a repair.

Start by looking up the plans at ProtectMyCar.com; the company offers Ambassador Maintenance Plans that cover most vehicles, regardless of the year or number of miles. With this type of policy in place you will get a guaranteed 25 to 50 percent off repairs, guaranteed 24/7 roadside assistance, help with flat tires, and rental car reimbursement—those four features alone should put your road tripping mind at serious ease.

2. Prepare a Car Kit

As the National Safety Council notes, every car should have an emergency supply kit in the trunk. Before you leave on your road trip, channel your inner Girl Scout and prepare an amazing kit that will help you out no matter what you encounter on the drive. The kit should include a properly inflated spare tire, wheel wrench and tripod jack, along with jumper cables, a tool kit, first aid kit, plenty of drinking water, reflective triangles and a fire extinguisher.

You should also keep non-perishable foods in the kit such as dried fruits, whole grain crackers and unsalted nuts, along with a compass, and a car charger for your cell phone. Also consider adding a reflective vest to the box; this way, if you have to walk for help other drivers can easily see you. Finally, add in your emergency phone numbers, the name and number of your auto insurance agent, and a trusted towing company into your phone. Speaking of phones, be sure you have one that is equipped with GPS; if it is not, invest in a GPS unit for your car.

3. Know What to Do if the Car Breaks Down

If you are in the middle of nowhere and you start hearing an odd sound coming from your engine or you get a flat tire, the first thing you should do is pull off the side of the road to a safe spot. If you can make it to an open area as opposed to a sharp turn, please do so. Once you realize there is trouble, put on your hazard lights and keep them on until you are back on the road. Next, use the GPS feature on your phone or in-car device to determine exactly where you are.

This way, when you call a towing company for help, you can give them an accurate description of your location. Call the towing company you have saved in your phone; if you have the aforementioned used car service contract, it will probably be your source for a tow and/or roadside assistance. Open the hood of your car to alert other drivers that you are having an issue and place the reflective triangles in the road around your car. Remain calm, sip some water and enjoy some of your snacks until help arrives.

Have a Great and Safe Time

Chances are good you will enjoy your road trip without any breakdowns or issues. But if you do end up with car trouble in the middle of Route 66 or whatever highways and byways you will be on, you definitely have what it takes to get through it. Do your pre-trip repair planning, get that kit ready and then keep a level head if an emergency does happen. In no time, you’ll be back on the road and heading to your destination.

 

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About Author

Kelly Lewis is the founder of Go! Girl Guides, the Women's Travel Fest and Damesly. She's an optimist, an adventurer, an author and works to help women travel the world.

1 Comment

  1. Thanks for the tips on how to handle a car breakdown in the middle of nowhere. I like your tip to call the towing company that you have saved on your phone. I think it would be smart to make sure that you know a good towing company before you need one to help make the experience less stressful.

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