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What To Do When You Suffer From A Breakdown

No matter how well you keep your car, or how good a driver you are, breakdowns can always happen. And, when they do, it can be a stressful event that can cause plenty of panic. The trick, of course, is to have a gameplan in place for when the inevitable happens. In this guide, we’re going to take you through everything you need to do to get through any breakdown scenario. Let’s get started with some of the basics.

Be proactive not reactive

Of course, the best way to avoid a breakdown is to take care of your car properly. Make sure that you are servicing your vehicle at least once a year – twice for older cars. An MOT will tell you if your vehicle is roadworthy – but only the legal bare minimum. An MOT will not pick up one of the multitudes of problems that exist in cars that can often develop into something more serious. Only a service will do that – so keep in touch with your local mechanic and visit them with some regularity. There are things you can do with your vehicle, too. Change the oil under the manufacturer’s guidelines, and keep your tyres inflated to the right pressure. Also, keep your car clean – it will help prevent rust and keep you motivated to look after your wheels.

The breakdown

So, as we have already said, breakdowns can happen even for careful owners. The big question is – what should you do when it occurs to you? The first thing on your mind should be safety. As soon as you can, put on your hazard lights to let other drivers know you have a problem. If your car is slowing down, try and navigate to the side of the road – although it might not be possible. If it is safe to get out of the car, do so – and make sure that all the passengers get out safely, too. Other cars should stop behind you, so get out as soon as soon as you can. One thing to be aware of is that your vehicle is now a danger to be in, and many people have been seriously injured after staying in a broken down car. Wait at the side of the road, beyond any barriers – regardless of the weather.

Getting help

If you are on a busy or dangerous road, you should call the police. The area will be dangerous, and your car will be a risk for other drivers. The police may need to set up bollards, and will be essential in keeping you safe. However, it is still going to be your responsibility to call for help. What that help is, of course, is down to your problem. A blown out tyre can be solved by a mobile tyre fitting service. Out of fuel? Your breakdown cover should get someone to you quickly. If you are without a phone, it’s a case of walking to the nearest emergency telephone – they will give you everything you need.

Getting home

What happens if your car is caput? Well, it all depends on how much you pay for your breakdown cover. Tow trucks won’t come cheap, so expect to pay a lot of money if you don’t have any cover at all. Your best bet is to get to the nearest convenient place and leave your car there for the time being. A taxi cab to your end destination will be much cheaper than getting a tow all the way. You should be prepared to wait, too – which can cause problems if you have children. However, most breakdown and towing services will break their backs to get to you as quickly as possible when you have young children.

The aftermath

Once you are back home, there is still a lot to do. You will need to arrange for your car to be fixed if it hasn’t been already. Of course, if it’s a write-off, then you will need to consider getting a new one – which isn’t going to be cheap. One thing you will do is consider why you didn’t pay out that little extra for a better insurance policy. Or, why you kept those breakdown payments to a bare minimum. Breaking down on any road – especially on a motorway miles from home – is an expensive business. So, it’s worth checking out your cover now, before anything happens.

Have you ever had a terrible experience when you have broken down on a busy road? Let us know about it and join in on the conversation!

Image Credit: Graham Richardson

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If you’re learning how to drive, you might be overwhelmed by all the rules and regulations you’re expected to know.

The good news is that it’s easier than you think to become a responsible motorist.

Here are just a few tips for driving safely.

Understand Your Car’s Controls

This should be done before you put the slightest bit of pressure on the pedal. Where are your seat, door and window controls? What do all the gauges on the dashboard mean? How do you start and stop your windshield wipers? You might need to recall this information in a split second while actually on the road, so practice all the controls in a stationary car until you’ve got them down.

Maintain 360° Visibility

You’ve probably heard the advice to stay 2-3 car lengths behind the next vehicle; this will ensure that you have plenty of time to react if they suddenly swerve, brake or do something else unexpected. Keep in mind, however, that drivers next to you can be just as dangerous as drivers in front of you. It isn’t enough to just watch the road straight head; you should be scanning the road from all angles at periodic intervals.

Be Careful Around Big Rigs

New drivers are usually still getting used to concepts like blind spots and lane-changing etiquette. This can make it tough to know what to do around tractor trailers, sometimes leading to accidents. A specialist with Scherline And Associates says injuries from truck accidents can be especially devastating and often include paralysis, spinal injuries, and head injuries. This is why it’s important to stay vigilant when sharing the road with large trucks.

Limit Distractions

“Don’t text and drive,” is an obvious adage, but “Don’t drive around one-handed with a can of soda,” should be one too. The same goes for “Don’t try to find something in the glove compartment while driving,” and “Don’t take your eyes off the road while plugging in your smartphone to charge.” Distractions come in many different forms, and they can all be deadly.

Maintain Your Vehicle

Change the oil. Wipe down the windows. Check the tires regularly, and pump or replace them if they’re getting deflated. These are all necessary tasks when you own a car, and even little things can cause big accidents if you ignore them for too long. It’s worth your life to perform periodic maintenance checks on your vehicle.

These are just a few tips for new motorists. Whether you’re a teenager applying for your first license or an adult conquering a long-held fear, these tips will help you lay the groundwork for a future as a safe, responsible driver.

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Automotive Essentials – The Mainstays of Owning a Car

Owning a car means freedom and the open road. It means that you can get from point A to point B without the help of anyone else.

However, owning and maintaining a car are two important elements that go hand in hand.

If you don’t maintain your car, it won’t work properly.

A car that isn’t maintained won’t function in the long run, and it can shorten the life expectancy of your auto. Here are five things you need to ensure is maintained for your auto.

Your Oil Needs to Be Changed

Having your oil changed every 3,000 miles is not a suggestion, but it is a requirement. If you are constantly driving your car without changing the oil; you are damaging your engine. Oil is brown but changes to a black shade when it is dirty. The color change in your oil shows you what debris and impurities it has picked up along the way. Changing the oil is essential.

Your Radiator Must Be Flushed and Filled

One of the most important parts of your radiator working properly is to have it flushed and filled again. If your coolant level drops below the recommended amount, you will have no working heater and your car could overheat. Make sure your coolant is always on the full mark, and once a year have a flush and fill performed. This will remove any impurities and debris from the radiator.

Inspect Belts and Hoses

There are numerous belts and hoses in a car. If a pin-sized hole gets in the coolant line or the brake line; it can mean disaster down the road. A pin size hole can become the size of a quarter in a matter of minutes. If all of your brake fluid leaks out you won’t be driving for long. Have your mechanic check the hoses and belts to ensure everything is in top shape. You also want to make sure you have car insurance for the mere fact that a brake line or belt can snap at any moment. Professionals, like those at Colling Insurance Services, Inc, know that accidents can happen for a variety of reasons. You always want to make sure you have your car checked by a reliable individual for any mechanical or system abnormalities that could cause a problem.  Accidents happen all the time from issues like this.

Rotate Tires

The tires in the front do most of the work in a front-wheel drive car. The tires in the rear do all the work in a rear-wheel drive. Having the tires rotated ensures that all the tires wear evenly. The best time to have them rotated is during an oil change.

Change the Air Filter

Just like the air filter of your HVAC unit, your car’s air filter needs to be changed often. They can become clogged and cause poor gas mileage and a stalling engine. They cost under $5.00 and can literally save your engine.

The feeling of being able to drive is one that is memorable. Having your own wheels is priceless, but you must maintain the car or it will cease to operate.

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If you don’t know much about cars, doing self-maintenance can be intimidating.

Luckily, with all the information available today, taking care of your car is easier than ever.

The following are three tips that can help keep the trickier parts of your car running.

Take Your Car In For Regular Maintenance

A car is similar to a human body when it comes to maintaining its health. Regular check-ups are the best defense against a breakdown. Whether the car is on the assembly line or in your garage, it’s going to need repair eventually.

Even big auto-manufacturing businesses have to hire companies like Industrial Measurement & Control repair services for the right parts. The sooner you can get ahead of your smaller-level repair needs, the less likely your car will fail you.

Your owner’s manual should have a vehicle maintenance schedule inside, and now that late-model cars have service indicator lights, there’s no excuse not to take your car in for expert assistance.

Take The Time To Look At The Tricky Parts

The following are eight things that need to be checked and maintained at least once a week:

  • Oil level
  • Radiator overflow reservoir
  • Brake cylinder reservoir
  • Power steering fluid
  • Hoses and belts
  • Air cleaner
  • Transmission fluid level
  • Tire pressure

If doing these check-ups once a week is too much for you, once a month is acceptable, except when it comes to your tires. Your tires should be checked at least once every other week.

No More Short Trips

When you go out on a trip, stay on the road for longer than 10 minutes. Water is a byproduct of engine combustion. When your engine is operating as it should be, that water turns to vapor and exits the car through your tailpipe.

If your trip is shorter than 10 minutes, there’s a good chance that water will remain inside your car’s engine and exhaust. This causes your engine to rust and your oil to become diluted, which is a recipe for an engine breakdown. The solution is to cut down on those short trips, and if you can’t, change your oil every 2000 to 3000 miles.

Hopefully, you found these car maintenance tips helpful. Remember: you get out of your car what you put into it. Serve your automobile well, and it will return the favor.

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The first and most important thing to remember when you are confronted by a “checkpoint” or a police roadblock is that your rights are not diminished in any way by the roadblock itself or the reason for it.

You need to know your rights and exercise them fully whenever possible.

Your Right to be Secure

Under the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, absent probable cause, no police officer may search you, your vehicle or your belongings without permission. If asked, you should always refuse to authorize a search. In most cases, the officer will abandon the idea if you assert your rights directly and refuse to budge.

Recognize Lawful Orders

Failure to follow the lawful orders of a police officer can get you cited or arrested. Know when and where to be firm and when to be reasonable. There is no point in starting a fight if it isn’t necessary.

Exiting the Vehicle

If you are asked to step out of the car, secure the brake and transmission, turn the vehicle off, roll up the windows, step out and then lock the vehicle before you close the door. Put the keys in your pocket. This does several things. One, if the keys are in your pocket, they can’t be retrieved without a lawful search of your person. Second, in order to get in to the car, the officer will have to “break in” which is likely to be frowned on by the courts. Third, a locked car can’t be casually searched easily.

Be Careful About Questions

Police officers have a variety of ruses they can use to snare you in conversation. Questions like “do you know why I stopped you” and so forth are designed to elicit grounds to detain you. By and large, you should politely refuse to engage in conversation. The officer is not your friend. They are looking for a reason to cite or arrest you. 90% of the time that reason will come right out of your mouth.

Leave Early

As early in the conversation as is reasonable, you should ask the officer if you are being detained. If you are being detained, the officer must have legal grounds to do so. If not, the officer cannot force you to remain at the scene of either a traffic stop or a roadblock. Ask for your license and belongings back and leave at your earliest convenience (with their permission).

If You Are Cited

Under no circumstances say anything to the officer about your case. Simply sign the ticket and leave. If you announce you plan to fight the ticket, the chances of the officer showing up for the hearing will be much higher. Let them forget about it, then show up unannounced. Chances are good the officer will fail to appear, and that gets you a dismissed ticket.

If You Are Arrested

Do what your attorney will advise you to do: exercise your right to remain silent and immediately ask for a lawyer. Do not answer any questions under any circumstances. Do as you’re told and wait for your DUI lawyer Lee Webb in Athens or another attorney in your particular locale. If you respond to an interrogation, the chances of you incriminating yourself increase dramatically.

Police roadblocks don’t have to be difficult. Know your rights, keep your cool and pay attention. The more you know about the process, the more likely you’ll be able to just drive on.

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New, Used, Or Leased… Which Is Right For You?

Buying a car can be daunting, even for those with experience. With so much advice available online, it can be hard to figure out just who to listen to.

Nobody out there is going to look out for your best interests, so it’s important that you know what to look out for yourself.

The last thing you want is to find you’ve gotten yourself involved with a bad deal. All you can do is make sure you know what you’re getting into.  There are three main ways to purchase a car, and for you convenience, we’re going to look at them here. Don’t worry, we won’t tell you what to do.

However, with the knowledge you pick up in this article, hopefully you’ll be able to make an informed decision that best suits you. Here are the pros and cons of each three methods:

New

Owning a brand new car is a pipedream for most of us. After all, it can be an incredibly expensive venture. If you’ve got the money, though, why not? There are many benefits to buying new. You don’t have to worry about the miles on the clock, or the state of mechanics. Everything is brand new and unspoiled – but it is reflected in the price. You may also get unrivaled manufacturer warranties for further peace of mind. If buying a new car outright is possible for you, then it could work out well. However, without an abundance of cash at your disposal, you most likely won’t be able to afford it.

Used

Buying a used car is by far the most popular option, but there are risks attached to it. Generally speaking, it’s the cheapest way to buy a car, and the industry is not as shady as it used to be. Buying used can have a wealth of benefits, and not just in the price. Specialized used car dealerships now include guarantees on their sales, which was unheard of even ten years ago. However, there are things you should be on the lookout for. Always thoroughly inspect any used cars before handing over the money or signing the documents. Faults that you don’t pick up on will come back to haunt you later. However, even if the car needs work doing, it still works out cheaper than buying new usually.

Leased

The final option, and less used, for buying a new car is to get it on finance. If you can’t afford to pay for a car outright, this could be the option for you. Be aware, though, that the long-term costs will likely be higher as a result of accruing interest on the monthly repayments. There are various finance options available depending on your credit score. You can find used car financing at GMT West and companies like it.

As long as you’re careful and thorough, you should find the process of buying a new car easy. After all, it’s supposed to be an enjoyable experience! Don’t allow yourself to be put under pressure and walk away from any deal that doesn’t sit right with you.

Image Credit: Flickr

 

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