What Every First-Time Car Owner Should Know About Breakdowns And Towing

Buying your first car is an exciting time full of a new sense of freedom and endless possibilities. While you're out there enjoying the open road, it's important to make sure that you know what to do when your ticket to independence suddenly breaks down. Here are some tips to help you face that first breakdown, and the first towing call, with ease.

Always Watch for Landmarks

One of the most important things you can do in the event of a breakdown actually starts well before the breakdown even happens. When you're driving, if you're in an unfamiliar area, you'll want to keep a mental tally of any easily-recognizable landmarks along the way. This can help you to determine where you are and provide more efficient directions to the tow company.

Know the Signs of Trouble

If you can identify the source of the problem, you'll be able to effectively determine if it actually needs to be towed. In most cases, if you're just out of gas or you have a flat, you can resolve the issue at the roadside. Most towing companies also provide emergency roadside service with delivery of a small amount of gas or a flat tire change.

Otherwise, if the issue is a more serious mechanical failure, such as a drive shaft or transmission problem, you'll need that tow truck anyway. The more information you can provide the tow truck dispatcher, the better equipped the truck will be when it arrives.

Make Your Car Seen

With a tow truck driver on the way, such as from Jenwar Towing & Recovery, you want to be sure that he or she can see your car clearly. Turn on the emergency flashers and open your hood. If you have a bright-colored scarf or other fabric, tie it to the radio antenna.

If it's dark outside, you might want to light an emergency flare along the roadside for visibility. Then, stay with your car, but stay far enough away from the road that you aren't at risk of injury. Don't stay IN your car unless you're sure it's safe from traffic.

Know Where You're Going

Finally, have a destination for your car. The tow truck driver isn't necessarily going to be able to tell you where you can have it towed to. Many major retailers will allow you to park a broken-down car in their parking lots overnight, so that is an option for you if your towing coverage is limited or you plan to get the car back on the road yourself.

If you have a mechanic, the tow company can take the car there. If not, most towing services are dispatched from automotive repair centers. If you call a local shop for the tow truck, ask if you can have your car towed there for repairs. The more proactive you are from the start, the faster you can resolve the issue.

Emergencies happen on the road every day. How well-prepared you are to handle them will tell how easy the process is for you when your car breaks down. Don't let your first roadside emergency be a disaster. With the tips here, you'll be well-prepared for that first time your car leaves you stranded and in need of help.