A breakdown is never pleasant for anyone, as it means facing some repair bills from your mechanic. However, before you think about that, you need to know exactly what to do when your car does break down, and what to avoid. This will keep you safe during a breakdown and will also ensure you don't do any more damage to your car.
Don't try to force your car to keep moving
The first thing you should do when your car starts to break down is get off the road; never try to force it to keep moving, even if you see an exit ramp or other turnoff ahead. Trying to force your car can mean damaging the engine, brakes, transmission, or other parts that are probably breaking down and keeping your car from operating. It's always best to shut the car off as quickly as possible during a breakdown, so get to safety and stop driving.
It's also good to avoid trying to start the car again no matter the reason for it to stop working. Don't assume you just need to let it cool off and can then drive it home or to a shop, as this might mean added damage and very expensive repairs. Depending on if it was the brakes or steering or other such part that broke down, this can also compromise your safety when on the road.
Don't open the hood if there's smoke
If the engine is smoking, don't open the hood of your car. That smoke could be very hot and very dangerous. It could also easily billow up and into your face, causing burns to your skin and eyes and even your breathing passages. Let the smoke subside and if the hood still feels very hot, keep it closed and cooling off for several more minutes.
Look and listen
Your mechanic may be able to immediately spot the trouble with your car, but it can also be good to note the signs of trouble your car was having during the breakdown. If you note a hissing noise, this usually means the radiator has a leak. If you hear grinding, determine if it's near one tire. This may mean a brake pad has slipped out of place. Check for fluid drips under the car and try to note their color; a greenish tinge means coolant, whereas brown fluid usually means oil. These observations can help your mechanic know where to start looking for trouble. This can also help your tow truck driver; for example, if one wheel is grinding, they may need to put your car on a flatbed truck rather than actually towing it behind the truck.
For more tips on how to stay safe while waiting for a tow truck, contact a company like Timber City Motors.