Emergency Auto Repair

No matter how well you care for your car, you could end up on the side of the road with a car in need of repair. It is best to prepare in advance so that you can make emergency auto repairs. This will keep you from having to pay for a tow truck. Here is how to make some common emergency repairs.

Flat Tire

This is probably the most common emergency that you will experience while driving. Even if your tires are new, you could still run over a nail or a piece of glass. To fix a flat tire, you will need a car jack and a lug wrench. Raise the car with a car jack, remove the hubcap, and then take off the lug nuts with a lug wrench. Also, you can use a hammer to tap the lug nuts to loosen them. Once the lug nuts are off, you can remove the damaged tire and put on the new one. Tighten up the lug nuts again, replace the hubcap, and lower the car to the ground.

Dead Battery

It is easy to jump-start your car if you have a dead battery. Batteries can go dead because they need to be replaced or because the headlights or dome light was left on. Just use jumper cables to get a jump-start from another running car. Also, you can buy a spare battery.

Radiator Trouble

If steam starts to pour from the hood of the car or the engine temperature gauge starts elevating, there could be a problem with the radiator. The most common problem is a leak somewhere in the radiator or the hoses leading to it. After you pull over, be careful when you open the hood because it may be hot. If you see a hole in one of the hoses, you can do a temporary repair with duct tape. Just put a piece of tape over the hole, then wrap it around the hose. Put some water in the radiator to keep it from overheating. Replace the hose professionally as soon as possible.

Stay Safe

If your car breaks down, try to get it as far away from the road as possible. Do not try to make any repairs until you are not in danger of being hit by another car. If your car is obstructing traffic, call the police and a tow truck. The police will direct traffic around you and keep you safe until the tow truck arrives.

Prepare in Advance

Make sure to be prepared for a roadside emergency. You should keep a spare tire, basic tools, jumper cables, and duct tape in your car. It is also a good idea to have a poncho, first aid kit, flashlight, work gloves, and a gas can. Extra water, food, and a blanket are also helpful in case you get stuck in your car for a while. You can use the water for your radiator or drink it.

You should also keep a spare car key in your purse or wallet. This can save you hundreds of dollars if you lock yourself out of your car. In most areas, police will not respond to lockout calls, so you will have to call a locksmith if you lock yourself out. Just plan ahead and remember the simple advice above. That way you will be prepared for most emergencies.