Car Breakdown Basics: How to Start Your Vehicle

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Are you prepared if your car breaks down? Do you know the steps to take during a car emergency? While the reliability of vehicles has dramatically improved over the past 10 years, cars will inevitably break down because of natural wear and tear. Sometimes it’s not too much of a bother, but if you’re in the middle of a hot Texas summer with a limited budget, a broken-down car could be a huge inconvenience. Survive vehicle failure with these tips.

Know Your Finances

Car repairs can range from $50 to a few thousand dollars. Start a savings account for emergencies such as expensive car repairs. It’s less stressful to break down in the Texas desert if you know you can afford to be towed away. If you’re without monetary luxuries, credit cards or a cash advance can help your situation. Learn how it works and if it would fit best with your income. You can also ask the repair shop or mechanic about any finance options.

Check the Basics

If a vehicle won’t start, there are a few basic things even a mechanical novice can observe. Here are a few of the most common reasons why a car won’t start:

  1. The car is silent when you turn your key: Check the connections to the battery and see if the cable clamps to the battery are loose or corroded. These can cut electricity from the vehicle.
  2. The car clicks but doesn’t start: A clicking sound usually indicates a dead battery or failed wiring to and from the starter.
  3. The engine cranks, but won’t start: Cranking is a sign of fuel inefficiently reaching the engine or a problem with the spark plugs.
  4. The engine starts, but then dies: The fuel injector (in most modern cars) or carburetor needs to be professionally inspected.

Minimize Danger

The most dangerous time for your vehicle to malfunction is when you’re on the road. Depending upon the road itself and surrounding traffic, it can be a perilous and panic-inducing situation. Immediately pull off the road to a safe location. Ideally, you want to be as far away as possible from other cars. Depending on the car and situation, you may just need to escape the flow of traffic. Unless you have road flares or other signaling devices to put out on the road, stay in your vehicle and call for assistance. Turn on your hazard lights and note your surroundings, such as landmarks and signs that will help the tow truck find you.

Having a plan and preparing for the worst can help you safely and calmly handle an unexpected vehicle breakdown. Whether it’s paying for repairs, troubleshooting your vehicle, or finding a safe place to pull over, every motorist should be prepared for car failure.

Prevention is Key

Having a plan and preparing for the worst can help you safely and calmly handle an unexpected vehicle breakdown. Whether it’s paying for repairs, troubleshooting your vehicle, or finding a safe place to pull over, every motorist should be prepared for car failure.

Meanwhile, here are some tips that can help prevent your car from breaking down:

Regular Car Maintenance and Checks. Most drivers ignore this bit primarily because it costs money to conduct regular car maintenance and checks. But the thing is, it can cost you more if you ignore your car manufacturer’s prescription regarding your car’s health check. if you are serious about preventing car breakdowns from happening, take this seriously. Allot a budget solely for your car to keep it in its best possible condition at all times.

Hydrate your Car. Just as how important drinking water is to humans, keeping car fluids up to their adequate levels will ensure that it can function smoothly.

Don’t Overload! Yes, your car is the most convenient way to transfer your belongings and passengers from point A to point B. But don’t abuse it. Even humans will reach their limit if asked to do something well beyond their capabilities. But unlike people, cars don’t pay attention to passion or fighting spirit as humans do, they simply break down. So avoid overloading your car, especially if you’re traveling long distances. Remember that the heavier your load is, the more your car will be weighed down, and the more fuel it will use up – so extra costs for you, too!

Be Attentive and Listen to Your Car. Again, just like humans, your car will make it known if it is not feeling alright. Cool, right? I’ve experienced this several times. I know when something is off with my car if I take time to listen to its engines. You don’t need to be an expert to be able to detect something wrong. If you spend so much time with your car, you get to know its quirks to catch on to the warnings it gives before something gets out of control. So be sure to listen, and take action as necessary. Don’t ignore your intuition! No one knows your car better than you!

VIDEO: What To Do If Your Car Won’t Start

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