We are a nation on wheels. But, what do you do when the wheels fall off
your car? Are you prepared to meet the top seven auto emergencies? When
you are done reading this article you will be able to prepare yourself
and your car for each eventuality. Best of all, it's quick and easy and
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Number 7: The Dead Battery:
Being ready to face
the dead battery means that in your car emergency kit you need to have
jumper cables. Be sure that they are at least six feet long and will
connect to regular and side post terminals.
Number 6: The Flat Tire:
flat tire is quickly fixed by the handy can of Fix-a-flat that you will
place in your car emergency kit. The reason you want two is that there
is a slim chance that one of the pressurized bottles will leak out.
Remember that this is an emergency fix only. Take your car to a
reputable auto repair shop immediately after you get out of the jam.
Number 5: Running Out of Gas:
absolutely must carry gas can in your emergency readiness kit. Nowadays
most cars are very precise about how many miles you have left before
you run out of gas. But, if the sending unit or gage is off, it can
happen. I would not recommend carrying a full gas can in the trunk for
safety reasons. This emergency tied with your car not starting. Just
in case you will want to carry a can of starting fluid to squirt down
the intake, just in case.
Number 4: The Broken Fan Belt:
all the auto emergencies listed, this one is the most challenging to
fix. Many cars only have one belt and it manages to go around every
pulley. You will need to pack a length of rope the same diameter as the
pully depth and long enough to wrap tightly. You will need to study the
decal under the hood for belt routing. You will need an assortment of
wrenches and sockets to finally adjust your homeade belt until it is as
tight as you can make it. Drive away slowly and get the car to a
reputable auto repair shop to install the proper belt as soon as
Number 3: Over Heating:
When your car
overheats it is normally due to a leak in one of the hoses that causes
a loss in coolant. Look for a greenish or orangeish colored puddle. Or
look for steam escaping. If you are lucky it will simply be low. Keep a
gallon of coolant handy in your emergency kit. Also keep a pencil, a
small pencil sharpener, and a roll of duct tape handy. If the problem
is a leak, you can often patch it by breaking the sharp pencil lead off
in the hole and covering it with multiple layers of duct tape. As
always, drive away slowly and get the car to a reputable auto repair
shop as soon as you can.
Number 2: Getting Stuck:
stuck is a horrible feeling. Your first step is to call a tow truck if
you can. If no towtruck is available there are still a few things you
can do. First, keep a small folding camping shovel in your trunk. With
it you can dig under each tire and fill the hole with rocks or branches
to gain traction. Accelerate slowly so the tires don't start spinning.
If they do, set the emergency brake and stop. Add more filler, the
rocks or branches, and continue the process. Be sure your kit includes
a heavy duty towing rope so that if someone stops you can connect to
them. Finally, if you are out camping in the rough an old fashioned
come-along and rope will pull you out.
Number 1: The Accident:
you are in an accident a clear head is your most important tool. Use
your cell phone to call 911 and tell them where you are. Get the first
aid kit out and treat minor injuries. Make a note of symptoms you can
tell the EMT crew as they arrive.