Roadside breakdowns can be costly, even when you have insurance to help you with the expenses you incur. Avoiding costly roadside emergencies is largely a matter of common sense and diligence. Simple things like checking oil and coolant and having your car serviced regularly will go a long way towards reducing the chance of your getting a breakdown.
However, there are a few additional ways to keep the wheels turning and to reduce your costs if things do go wrong. Try these tips.
1. Keep a Tire Inflator in Your Car
Tire inflators don’t cost a lot and having one could make the difference between needing a tow and being able to limp to the next service station. However, do remember that a tire with a slow leak can be dangerous and drive slowly.
Monitoring your tire pressure regularly could save you from a blowout or, at the very least, unnecessary wear on your tires. Keep your tire pressure as specified to get the most out of their performance and lifespan and remember to change to winter tires when the ice and snow set in.
2. Have a Large Can of Water
While it’s to be hoped that your car won’t overheat with any regularity, having a large can of water handy in the trunk could be a huge help if it does. If nothing else, you may be able to determine the source of any coolant leaks or get a crucial few extra miles out of your car. Remember to let your car cool down before adding fresh coolant.
3. Have Your Car Checked Before Long Trips
A good mechanic can be your best buddy when it comes to preventing major car trouble. A pre-trip check should include some basics like checking for loose belts and replacing or tightening them and checking for any signs of wear that could be of concern. If it’s nearly time for a full service anyway, go for the full package.
4. Don’t Go for Knock-Off Parts
Choosing cheap generic auto parts can be very tempting, but they could turn out to be an expensive choice if they’re substandard – and they very often are. Although the price of simple components from your carmaker’s local agents can be eye-watering, you can be assured that they’re made to spec and can (usually) be relied on. When parts fail, there’s often a knock-on effect, so go for the right components and stand a chance of big savings in the long run.
5. Regular Long Trips? AAA Membership Could Pay
If long trips are part of your regular routine, consider getting AAA membership. It could end up saving you a fortune in towing and roadside assistance. But before you dive in, check your warranty and existing insurance to be sure the perks will be worth it.
If you already have a full warranty and comprehensive insurance, you’re probably covered for all the eventualities the AAA covers.
Drive Smart. Get There Safely
In closing, don’t forget to take care of yourself when you’re on the road. Take frequent breaks and don’t drive when you’re overtired. Apart from making your trip more comfortable, you’ll reduce your chances of getting involved in an accident. Your first priority is not “getting there,” it’s arriving safely.