Cash 1 Blog

Financial Tips & Guides
Here's what to do when your car breaks down

My Car Broke Down, Now What?

Updated on April 20, 2021

 Personal Finance

Americans have a love affair with their cars. Sometimes that affair can go through some rough patches. If you've ever been stranded on the road then you know that it's a real bummer. Staying calm and unemotional is usually the most difficult thing to do. Yelling at your car isn't really going to make anything better, is it? Here are few tips for keeping safe when your vehicle breaks down.

Is Your Car Off The Road?

Activate your emergency signals immediately. When your car breaks down you should try and coast to the side of the road. The further you're away from any curves behind you... the better. When you get to the side of the road, put the car in park, pull the emergency brake, and turn your steering wheel away from the road. This will guarantee that your vehicle won't sneak out into the road by itself.

Do Other Drivers Know That You're In Trouble?

Communicating with other drivers is a number one priority when operating a vehicle. So why wouldn't it be when you're broke down on the road? Next, confirm that your hazards are blinking. If it's at night, turn on your interior lights instead. The blinkers can give the illusion that your car is still moving, which could cause an accident. If you can safely exit your vehicle, use the passenger-side door. Place markers or warning lights about 200 to 300 feet away from your car.

Got Phone?

Most people think that using your phone immediately is a good idea. Getting your car off the road should always be your main concern. When you are safe, you can call friends or family. If you have AAA or another roadside service give them a ring. Calling a tow truck is your most expensive option, use it as a last resort. If you're not off the road and safe from traffic, call the local police.

Are You Staying With Your Car?

If your engine's smoking or you see flames, there is no option. Remain calm and distance yourself from the vehicle. Remember that roadways are very dangerous and about 4,000 pedestrians are killed each year in the U.S. There is much debate about staying in your vehicle if it's not on fire... Use your best judgement. Different weather conditions can be a major factor. We still think that staying in your ride and waiting for assistance is the safest option.

Can You Fix It?

You can still know your car even if it let you down. Checking for loose wires and changing a flat tire are simple fixes if you know what you're doing. Always work on your car from the far side of traffic.

CASH 1 Can Help

You can keep from being financially overwhelmed because CASH 1 Loans has many options to help you pay for car repairs. If you have bad credit and no emergency savings, an Online Loan can help pay for repairs or your tow bill. All you'll need to apply is a valid email address, proof of income, open checking account, government-issued I.D. and you can't be on active duty in the military.

Photograph of author Joseph Priebe

Joseph Priebe

Joseph Priebe takes pride in assisting audiences with his articles to help them make sound financial decisions.

With over ten years of experience writing financial content his goal at CASH 1 has always been creating engaging and easy-to-digest information for anyone searching for immediate or long-term monetary solutions.

When Joseph is not writing about personal finance, you can find him photographing the Southwest United States with his 4x5 Graflex Crown Graphic camera. He is based in Phoenix, Arizona.