6 Practical Things to Do When Your Car Suddenly Breaks Down

Car breakdowns can be quite stressful to deal with, especially when it happens in the middle of nowhere or when you’re on a tight schedule.

In this article, I’ll share 5 practical things to do when your car suddenly breaks down.

Pull Over to the Side of the Road

The first thing to do when your car suddenly breaks down is to pull over to the side of the road. It’s important to pull over to a safe area, and not just any area. You should find a wide shoulder, where there are no cars coming, animals, or large potholes.

Once you’ve done that, turn on your hazard lights so that other drivers can see you. This will also make you more visible in inclement weather such as fog and rain.

Note Your Location

If you’re stranded in an unfamiliar area, it’s a good idea to know where you are and how to get back to your place of residence.

Since your car has broken down, it could be a while before you get a chance to leave. You’ll want to make sure you remember where you’re at. If you don’t know where you are, you could get lost trying to find your way back.

You can use your phone’s or your car’s GPS to get your location information. If it’s too far away from your area, you can use the address to get a general location. You can also ask a passerby or check a roadside marker to get more details about your location.

Check the Cause of Breakdown

The next thing to do when your car suddenly breaks down is to figure out why it happened. This can be difficult if you’re in a place that’s not well-lit. However, it’s still possible to do this while staying safe, even if there are no street lights or reflective surfaces to help you out.

To do this, you have to get out of your car and check the engine. You can check the oil, transmission, and tires to see if there’s anything wrong with them. If they’re fine, you can move on to checking other parts of your car.

Put on the Parking Brake

Most cars don’t have a parking brake engaged when you’re driving. Instead, your car uses the brakes for the wheels. When you’re driving and you turn off your engine, the wheels may start to roll. If that happens, your car can move and cause damage to the vehicle or property.

To avoid this, put on your parking brake when you’re stranded with your car. In fact, it’s a good idea to have your parking brake on even if your car is working properly.

Alert Other Motorists

You can ask other motorists for assistance. They may be able to drive you to a nearby location where you can get help. You can do this by using your hazard lights. If you don’t have them on, flash your headlights on and off. This will let other motorists know that you need help and that they need to slow down.

Call For Help

If you have a cell phone, call the police or a roadside assistance service. They can either come to pick you up or send a tow truck to come to get your car. The tow truck driver can help you determine the cause of the breakdown and then decide how best to handle it.

Other roadside assistance includes fuel delivery, lockout services and even jump-starts.


Breakdowns are frustrating, especially when they happen while you’re on the road. Being stranded is even worse, especially when you don’t know where you are or how to get back. With these good safety precautions and roadside assistance, you can avoid being stranded even if your car breaks down.

Tow Atlanta offers 24-hour towing in Atlanta, GA so you can always get a tow quickly if you’re stuck on the side of the road. We provide reliable roadside assistance, so you will never have to worry about being stranded. Let us help you get back on the road. Contact us today to get your vehicle towed!

Tow Atlanta was voted Atlanta’s Best Towing Service for 2017, 2018, and again for 2019. We’re ranked by the American Insurance Association in the top 1% of all towing companies operating in the United States,

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