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Automotive Emergencies: Part 2

    We all know how important it is to have a basic knowledge of first aid in an emergency, but how many of you know first aid for an automotive emergency? This is part two of a three part series that will help you be prepared should you suffer a automotive break down.
» Part 1: Emergency Stops
» Part 2: Emergency Stops
» Part 3: Emergency Stops
» Part 4: Car Doesn't Work
» Part 5: Change A Flat Tire
» Part 6: Other Problems

When The Car Doesn't Work

As I have said before, check your owner's manual to see what maintenance is needed on your vehicle before it needs repairs. Maintenance is much cheaper than repairs. By not taking care of your vehicle and ignoring warning signs such as pulling or drifting, noises or mysterious problems that seem to fix themselves will result in a costly repair and leave you stuck. There are three main types of problems you will run into.

  1. Starting Problems. Most starting problems are a result of a battery in poor condition. Most of the time these problems are solved with a jump-start or battery charge. If neither of these cures gets the car started, you will need a mechanic to look at it to determine the problem.

  2. Moving Problems. These are problems such as hesitation, loss of power or idle problems. An experienced mechanic is the best person to handle these problems. Overheating could be due to low coolant level or vehicle overloading.

    Turning on the A/C could help lower the temperature as well as turning the heater on high speed and full hot. In these cases you should check and top off the coolant or lighten the load and, if you are towing a trailer, dropping the trailer off. If this doesn't help, you will need a mechanic.

    A professional mechanic should always inspect transmission problems for repair or adjustment. If you can still drive the vehicle, drive slowly and carefully to the nearest repair shop. If it won't move at all, call a tow truck.

  3. Stopping Problems. If the brakes grab, squeal, drag or don't hold, they should be checked and repaired at a repair shop. If the problem is due to bad or worn out tires, they should be replaced before damage to other, more expensive parts of the car, can occur.

Tips on Tires

There will be instructions on using the jack on the underside of the trunk lid or under the spare tire cover, so when changing a tire these are the first places to look. You should carry a piece of plywood 24" x 24" x 1" to place under the jack in case there is no hard surface where you get a flat tire.

Never use a brick or any kind of patio block since there is the possibility of breaking under the weight of the vehicle. Once the vehicle is up, do not get under the car for any reason!

» Part 1       » Part 2       » Part 3       » Part 4
Part 5       » Part 6
Additional Information provided courtesy of and Warranty Direct
© 2000-2007 Vincent T. Ciulla

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