Road safety advice

Tiny
OLIVER1992
  • MEMBER
  • 2010 FORD EXPEDITION
  • 7.2L
  • V6
  • TURBO
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 23 MILES
What should you do if your car breaks down and you're on the highway?
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Thursday, May 14th, 2015 AT 9:53 PM

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Tiny
CATAFINA
  • MEMBER
Wait for help and at the same call your insurance
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Thursday, May 14th, 2015 AT 10:23 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
There's a whole pile of variables to consider. Are you close to home and do you have a cell phone? Call for help. Can the car be safely repaired quickly on the side of the road, like replacing a flat tire? If the tire is already destroyed, drive slowly to an off-ramp so you're away from traffic. Did you blow a radiator hose and the engine started to overheat? Most engines will cool down within 10 to 20 minutes enough that you can start it and drive for a mile or two, then stop it and let it cool down again. I've already nursed a car 33 miles like that by coasting down hills with the engine off and starting the engine just enough to go up the next hill. If the overheating is caused by a broken belt, about half the cars today have water pumps still run by the belt as in the past. Many do not. If the belt breaks you'll also lose power steering and the generator. You'd be surprised at how many people incorrectly think the car can not be steered without the engine running or with a broken power steering belt. It always can be steered; it will just be considerably harder the slower you're going. More importantly, if the generator isn't running, or if it simply fails while you're driving, you can go about a half hour before the battery will be dead. The time you can drive depends on how many things you can turn off, like head lights, radio, and the heater fan.

If you're on a divided highway you're supposed to stay with the car and not walk on the shoulder. If you can climb over the fence, you might be able to walk to get help if you know where you are. Most highways are patrolled and you're supposed to wait for help. If a good Samaritan stops, ask if they can call for help, I've stopped to help a lot of people and most of them are very trusting. I always stop in front of them so they can see my license plate. If you don't like the looks of someone who stops, just open the window enough to tell them you have help coming already, ... And thank them.

If you want to get more specific with details about the situation, I can give you a better answer.
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Thursday, May 14th, 2015 AT 10:25 PM

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