7 top tips for breaking down

From a lightly seasoned veteran

I've had more breakdowns than sexual partners, and whilst I may give off big virgin energy, this is perhaps more down to owning a particularly unreliable car. In the last year I've broken down around 10 times in a range of settings. So without further ado, here are some pointers for those who find themselves stuck at the side of the M25 in the dark with no running lights and no phone.

1. Safety first chaps

Pull as far off the road as possible and carefully get out of the car. Safety comes first, especially if you're on a busy road. Don't get run over, get off the road.

2. PriorPreparationPreventsPissPoorPerformance

Take some basic tools, a spare, jack, flashlight, inflator. Just some basic bits to prevent you from being stranded if you get a flat or any other simple issue. It may not be practical to carry around a full set of tools and spares with you, but just the basics can go a long way.

3. Get a breakdown membership you silly sausage

If you don't have AA or RAC. Just get it, it's £40 ish and it might save you a load of hassle further down the road. They're usually very experienced and have been quick to respond. I've made about 5 RAC callouts in the last year and they usually arrive within 45 minutes. There are times when I'm confident enough to work out whats wrong, but I'm happy to admit I'm far from experienced at roadside repairs and professional help can be a real lifesaver.

4. Keep those eyes from, ahem, wandering

Goes without saying, there are many distractions drivers can face; ringing phones, long legged men walking the pavement... try to keep focused on the road so you can avoid debris or obstacles that might result in a flat or a collision.

5. Charge your damn phone

This is one I'm particularly bad at, phones now are incredibly powerful and can be useful for finding the nearest source of fuel, water or electricity. They also allow you to accurately locate yourself and call breakdown or emergency services if necessary. Don't let yourself get stranded, invest in a portable battery or an in car charger if you don't have one already. If you do get stuck without a phone, try and find an SOS phone. They're at the side of motorways in the UK and come in orange boxes.

6. Do Some preventative maintenance

No breakdowns at all is the nicest place to be. Don't skimp, service your car or get it serviced. Keep it in good working order, this won't be hard to justify if you're fond of it. A simple service and preventative maintenance can go a long way in preventing getting stranded.

7. If it does happen, it's not the end of the world

You might need to get towed and end up with a hefty repair bill, but ultimately breaking down is a part of life. Once it happens there isn't much point fretting about what should/could/would have been. Try to remain calm, get yourself fixed/recovered as safely as possible and take some steps to prevent it from happening again.

Have you been in a breakdown recently? Got any horror stories? Comment below

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Comments (11)

  • Great article! I especially like the subheadings, the "silly sausage" one in particular!😂

      3 months ago
  • Best intro line ever.

      3 months ago
  • Buy an MG - that way you can visit the pub every weekend and have stories to share with your mates about what broke down during the week... if ya make it to the pub, that is

      3 months ago
  • I broke down a few weeks ago due to the fuel filter clogging up but thankfully that has been the only reason I have ever broken down, this has happened twice as the fuel filter clogs every 250miles and the first time my fuel tank vent was clogged causing the fuel tank to effectively pull fuel away from the engine... thankfully both times I was only a few miles from home and I could fix it on the side of the road anyway.

      3 months ago
  • You forgot "pay attention to the road"-- seeing there's an object on your lane and having time to swerve around it will likely save you from a flat tire or two. Also, keeping distance from the car in front of you will give you time to see and respond to any debris on the road.

      3 months ago


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