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What To Do If… 3 hacks for common car troubles
Some cars seem to refuse to start only when we have a very important meeting, or it’s pouring with rain and all the taxis seem to be in JB.
Storms come. Just like the sun rises. You can’t always predict a storm and you can’t always control it. What you can do is stay calm. And, as with anything, the more you prepare, the better chance you have of shaping the outcome.
Being prepared is half the victory
You and your car bravely navigate traffic, weather and pedestrians every day. Most days, that’s OK. You get from A to B without any drama. But what about those other days?
“There's nothing like breaking down at the side of the road and realizing the spare tyre in your trunk has a flat from the last time it happened. (True story.)” Melanie Pinola, lifehacker.com
How do you avoid a small drama becoming a large and potentially expensive crisis? The experts at Budget Direct Insurance have the answers to the top three car troubles.
What to do if…
- Your car has a flat tyre
Keep a spare tyre in the boot, and check it once in a while to make sure it’s in good condition. If you are happy to change the tyre yourself, you’ll also want a tyre jack + tyre iron. Here’s quick advice on how to change a tyre. If your wheels have a security key, keep that handy.
- The battery dies
It’s great when a neighbour lets you know you left your lights on, but sometimes you wake up to a dead battery and a car that refuses to play ball. If you have 24-hour roadside cover, you may choose to get your car towed to your favourite workshop. In any event, it’s worth investing the $30 it costs to keep jumper cables in your car. Here’s how to how to jump-start a car, remember to check your car’s manual first.
Alternatively, you can keep an emergency battery booster so you don't have to rely on the first car driver with a kind heart to help you out. Once you are back on the road, get to your nearest garage to get the battery checked asap.
- Your car aquaplanes
There are days during the rainy season when the PIE can look more like a lake than a busy expressway. On those days, you need to start by slowing down to about a third of the speed you would normally drive. Also, disengage cruise control as this decreases the risk of the car suddenly accelerating.
If you hit a build up of water, your car can lose traction. Don’t panic. Resist the temptation to brake hard or accelerate suddenly.
“Since hydroplaning is a loss of traction to the front tires sudden braking slows the front tires but locks the rear tires which can cause a spin out. Also sudden acceleration could pull the vehicle straight ahead which could be dangerous if the vehicle is pointed toward the edge of the roadway.” defensivedriving.com
If your car has:
- Front wheel drive with or without ABS and traction control OR
- Rear wheel drive with ABS and traction control
Keep your foot lightly on the accelerator, look for the best open space and gently steer in that direction.
If your car has:
Rear wheel drive without ABS and traction control
Ease off the accelerator and gently steer in the direction of an open space.
You can prevent loss of control by slowing down on slick roads and by
replacing tyres once they are worn. An easy way to check?
“Check wear by using a 50 cents coin and fitting it into the tyre tread. If you can see the shield of the Singapore emblem, you have to change your tyre. Failure to do so will cause your car to have insufficient traction.” carro.sg
Regular checks and maintenance are sure-fire ways to ensure that you and your car have a great future together.