Ricochet News

What should you do when your vehicle breaks down?

Nov 6, 2017
What should you do when your vehicle breaks down?

Many people spend plenty of time on the roads and have become dependent on their cars as it gives them the freedom to explore their world. People do many things in their car – they make calls, eat, listen to music and sometimes even catch up on personal hygiene.

However, vehicles often have underlying defects which we may not be aware of. Such defects can include a faulty battery; damaged tyres and wheels; worn brakes or even a faulty fuel gauge.

While some might not be able to afford to get their cars repaired immediately and take the risk of driving faulty cars, others ignore the fact that their cars need maintenance.

If defects and repairs on a car have been identified and are not repaired, it puts drivers at risk. You wouldn’t want to find yourself in the situation where you were aware of an issue but find yourself getting stranded on the side of the road alone, in a deserted area at night.

Tracker South Africa would like to provide motorists with the following handy tips on how to avoid a car break down and how to manage the situation carefully in the event of a break down.

Vehicle maintenance

  • Service your vehicle when you’ve reached the mileage or annual service interval and make sure you always use a reputable mechanic. The mechanic should also ensure that the battery terminals are clean and protected from corrosion.
  • Make sure you test your tracking device to ensure that it is functioning optimally. If you have a Radio Frequency (RF) unit ask your tracking company to test it or test your unit via your app in the case of a GPS / GSM unit.
  • Check your oil, water and tyre pressure regularly.
  • If you find any faults in your car, get them fixed as soon as possible to avoid getting stuck, especially when travelling long distances.
  • In case of a tyre puncture, ensure you have a spare tyre and the necessary tools to replace the tyre stored in your car.

Personal safety

  • Ensure that you have all the key contact numbers, such as SAPS, your tracking service, insurance and tow operator, saved on your phone and written and stored in your car.
  • Don’t run out of fuel. Make sure you fill up when the petrol light comes on. People often tend to overestimate how much fuel is left.
  • Make sure your cell phone is charged and you have a portable charger on hand.
  • Plan your journey in advance by ensuring you have the correct directions to your destination. Make sure you enter the destination in your GPS or chosen app before heading off on your journey to avoid distractions en route.
  • Be cautious when driving on the roads. Avoid driving over foreign or suspicious looking objects, rocks or packets as these could damage your vehicle, leading to a breakdown.

During the breakdown

  • Switch on your hazard lights.
  • Put your warning triangle on the road about 50 metres behind your car.
  • Call for road side assistance immediately. Do not accept help from strangers.
  • If you’re stranded in a deserted area, let your family know and call on your security company or Tracker Guard if you are a subscriber for protection.
  • If it is safe to do so, i.e. your car is safely on the verge of the road, stay inside and keep all your doors locked and your windows closed.

“As part of Trackers commitment to care and protect its customers, the company advises motorists to be vigilant and make sure their vehicle is in good working order. With the festive season approaching we suggest that all motorists make sure that their vehicle is in working order before embarking on their holiday trip,” says Nandi Canning, Communications Manager at Tracker South Africa.