No matter how new your vehicle is or how well it runs, eventually, it will break down on the side of the road. Maybe you run off the road to avoid an animal. Maybe your gas gauge breaks and you come to a standstill on an empty highway. A broken belt, faulty starter, or any other mechanical mishap can leave you stranded.
To save yourself time, stress, and money, make sure you’re prepared before you break down. Here’s what you need to know.
Maintain Your Vehicle
You can’t prevent all breakdowns, but you can prevent some by keeping your car maintained and getting it serviced regularly. A little maintenance can go a long way to keeping you from being stranded on the side of the road.
- Get regular oil changes.
- Have your fluid levels checked.
- Rotate your tires and have them checked for wear and tear, nails, and leaks.
- Have your battery checked and replace when needed.
- Don’t ignore “check engine” or other mysterious lights on your dashboard.
Don’t find yourself stuck on the side of the road because of a preventable problem. When this happens, an inexpensive fix often becomes a costly one.
Put Together an Emergency Kit
An emergency kit for your vehicle is meant to help you handle whatever life throws at you during a break down. From flat tires to bad weather, your kit will make sure you have what you need until help arrives or until you get your vehicle running again. Consider the weather of where you travel the most (like flooding rains, freezing snow, and ice), and what you may need if you have to wait hours for someone to come get you.
Include these things in your emergency kit:
- First aid kit for minor injuries
- Jumper cables
- Tire changing equipment
- Flashlights and extra batteries
- Wrench and pliers
- Ice scraper
- Rain ponchos and blankets
- Bottled water and non-perishable food items/snacks
- Spare tire
- Phone charger cable
- Road flares
- Empty, refillable gas can
Sign Up for Roadside Assistance
An emergency kit will help you survive the elements and fix small problems. But some breakdowns are simply too big for you to fix. Your vehicle might get stuck in a ditch. Your battery may die in the middle of the highway. Flat tires, locked doors, and major problems with your engine or transmission can easily sideline you.
Signing up for roadside assistance as part of your auto insurance can be a big life-saver. You have access to multiple services to help you get your vehicle and yourself to safety:
- Flat tire
- Fuel delivery — up to a certain amount
- Extrication — in case you get stuck somewhere
Roadside assistance is often only available when you purchase comprehensive auto coverage. This means you add on collision and comprehensive coverage to your liability insurance. With roadside assistance, you have help anywhere, at any time of day.
Ready to add roadside assistance to your auto insurance policy? Contact Charlotte Insurance today for more information and a free quote. We hope you never have a breakdown, but if you do, we’ll make sure you’ve got all the help you need.