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Dealing with a Breakdown

Breakdowns can be a major inconvenience. Fortunately though, you can often solve the problem yourself. The following tips will help you out with some of the basics. In all cases though, be sure to first consult your owner's manual. And if in doubt, call your breakdown service.

Changing a Tire

If a tire should blow on your car whilst you're driving, make sure you stop in an acceptable place, not in traffic or on the shoulder of a busy freeway. With the parking break on, grab the spare tire, a lug wrench and a jack. Insert the jack in the point closest to the blown tire and lift until the wheel is risen but still in contact with the road. Remove the hubcap and loosen the lug nuts without removing them. Now jack the car up further, removing the lug nuts completely as well as the tire and wheel assembly. Finally, put the spare on, lower the car so the wheel touches the ground, and tighten the nuts.

How to Jump Start

Car batteries can go dead for all sorts of reasons and one way to get back on the road is to jump start. When doing so, but sure to follow all safety procedures carefully and correctly. Park your car a few yards opposite another, ensuring that both cars are switched off, with the engine in neutral. Carefully use the red jump lead to connect the positive terminal of the other car to the positive terminal of your flat battery. Then use the black lead to connect the negative terminal of the other car to somewhere on your engine or chassis. You must ensure that the earthing point is away from the battery and fuel system. Now wait a couple of minutes before starting the engine of the other car. After it has run for a minute, turn on your car engine and allow it to run for ten minutes. Turn off both engines, disconnect the leads in order, and you'll be back on the road.

Breaking Down Abroad

Of course, there are many car problems which simply cannot be fixed on the spot by the driver, no matter how good a mechanic they might be. This is not so much a problem when you break down on home turf. However, breaking down abroad is a massive pain in the neck, and can potentially ruin your holiday. So to ensure that you're not left stranded in a foreign country, it is highly advisable that you consider getting breakdown cover for the country you plan to visit. Some companies will even offer breakdown cover for whole continents, such as Europe. If you are interested in such a policy, you can visit here.

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