What To Do When Your Car Breaks Down

It’s a situation we all dread, you’re driving along, everything is going fine and suddenly, your car breaks down.

But before you panic and start frantically searching for help, it’s important to take a moment and assess the situation.

Knowing what to do when your car breaks down will help keep you safe and get you back on the road with as little hassle as possible.

Move The Vehicle To A Safe Location

Before you try to do anything, it’s important that you move the vehicle off of the road and out of traffic if possible. If your car won’t start or is having trouble moving, turn on your hazard lights and use reflective triangles or flares to warn other drivers.

Check Under The Hood

Once you can confirm that oncoming traffic can see your broken-down car and will not run into it, you can try to identify the cause of the breakdown.

The first step is to check under the hood of your car. Even if you have no experience with looking under at a car engine bay, don’t worry. Just by lifting up the bonnet, you may see something obvious like a loose spark plug cable or something else that can alert you to the issue.

If you’re able to identify the issue, that is great. Take steps to fix it if you can. But if not, there are still plenty of ways you can get assistance to get your car running again.

In any case, it’s always a good idea to have an emergency kit in your vehicle so that if something does happen, you have the tools on hand that might be necessary for fixing or maintaining your car until help arrives.

Call For Assistance

If checking under the hood doesn’t reveal anything obvious then it’s time to call for assistance.

NRMA Roadside Assistance offers 24/7 HELP throughout Australia including jump starts, flat tire changes, lockout service and more.

Of course, you may choose to call a tow truck or a local mechanic directly depending on where your breakdown is located or if you know the exact issue.

Get To Safety

Once you’ve called someone who can help and they’re on their way, make sure that you get yourself and any passengers in your vehicle safely off of the road until help arrives.

This may mean waiting in a safe area on the footpath or a nearby cafe while waiting for help. Just make sure that wherever you go is well-lit and out of the way of nearby traffic.

If you do plan on leaving your vehicle just make sure to remove any valuables.


If your car breaks down unexpectedly don’t panic. Instead, take stock of what’s happening around you, move the car to a safe location, check under the hood, call for assistance, and get yourself safely off of the road until help arrives.

With these simple steps, getting back on the road will be much easier than expected. Also, don’t forget about keeping an emergency kit in your vehicle for times like this – it may just save your day.

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