There’s this thing about girls. They want to drive their own car, but when the car conks out? Well, they just hope somebody would come to bail them out. Don’t look at me… But seriously, I have gathered some tips of what to do when your car conks out on the road.
O.K., so you got a flat tire. Should you change your tire? Ladies, this depends on the situation, type of car, your physical strength, and the tools you have on hand. If you are on a dark and deserted road, ride out your flat tire until the nearest gas station or a populated, well-lit area. Nothing but the tire will be damaged if you drive slowly. If it is safe to change your tire, prepare the tire wrench and jack. My dad uses a hydraulic jack and recommends it for girls. It is a lot easier and lighter than the regular jacks. Using the tire wrench, loosen up the nuts of the wheel, but not all the way. Place the jack in a sturdy place underneath your car, and lift. Unscrew the nuts completely, remove the flat tire, and put in the new one. Once you’re done, screw the nuts back on. (Believe me, it does not seem as easy as the way I wrote it…)
Weak or Dead Battery
Have a jumper cable in the trunk so that you can jumpstart your car. If you have no family member or friend living or working in the area, flag down a taxicab. Pay the taxi driver around P200 to P500 to jumpstart your car. It is a small amount compared to the towing truck that will charge you around P1,500. Don’t lean over the battery or smoke near it. If the battery looks damaged (the casing is bulging or cracked), it might be because of incorrect jumpstarting. Don’t attempt to go further. To jumpstart:
- Connect the jumper cables to both cars correctly. Red clamp goes with red; black clamp goes with black.
- Try to start up the car with the dead battery. If this doesn’t work, start the engine of the live car to charge your car for a few minutes before trying again.
- When the car starts, keep it running. Carefully disconnect the jumper cables starting with the clamp you put on last. Don’t let the clamps touch each other or any part of the car.
Don’t open your radiator right away. The pressure of the radiator is really high, so there is a great chance that water will burst out and burn you!
Here’s what you should do:
- Turn off your engine.
- Open the hood to get rid of the heat trapped inside.
- If your engine is still hot, wait for ten to 15 minutes before restarting the engine. Pour water into the radiator slowly until it’s filled up.
Have presence of mind. The car will slow down and stop eventually (but if you have the steep long winding roads like we have in Baguio City, I won’t know how I will have presence of mind…just a thought.)
For automatic vehicles:
- Keep your steering wheel straight and steady. Don’t, under any circumstances, attempt to turn right or left.
- Pull up the handbrake.
For manual vehicles:
- Pull your engine brake down gradually through the gears.