When you break down suddenly you probably want to get out of the situation as quick as possible. If you have some knowledge and a bit of confidence there are some simple repairs you might attempt yourself. But breaking down is no normal situation and there is always a risk when you step out of the car for repairs; always stick to your limits! If the circumstances aren’t right, don’t take an unnecessary risk – call a tow company, it could even safe a live.
Is it safe to change a tire?
One of the most common causes of breakdowns are flat tires. Changing a flat tire is quite straightforwards and is commonly attempted by car owners but this should always be when the conditions are right. If the conditions are not right do NOT attempt to change your tire.
- Avoid changing your car tire:
- On intersections and highways
- At night or where there is limited viability
- When other drivers cannot clearly see you
If you break down on a quiet residential street then it should be safe and possible for you to change a tire, but remember that even AAA mechanics put their lives at risk when they change a tire on a busy roadside; it’s just not worth the risk – in these situations call for a tow instead.
Is the road safe?
It shouldn’t just be tire changes that you need to take caution over. Any kind of repair on your vehicle should only be attempted if the conditions are safe. Ask yourself: Is the road adequately lit? Can other drivers see you? How busy is it?
Bad weather? Call for help.
Even if the repair can be done you should think very carefully in bad weather conditions. Any kind of extreme weather such as heavy rain, strong winds or snow storms can make repairs difficult; it can also put you at risk from other drivers too – especially if they can’t see you.
Somewhere unfamiliar? Call for help
Breaking down somewhere unfamiliar can be an added distress that is not helpful when attempting car repairs yourself. If you are far away from home there are added pressures such as “where is the nearest garage”, “how can someone get to me”. There are added variables that can impact on your ability to get repairs done yourself. In these situations it’s probably best to call for a tow truck.