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What to Do When Your Car Breaks Down

No car is impervious to breaking down. Whether it’s a simple flat tire, a head gasket failure, or a blown transmission, trouble can strike at any time, leaving you stranded alongside the road. And though you can’t entirely prevent it from happening, there are some steps you can take to ensure that you are prepared.

As your local Folsom auto repair shop, we at Shannon Family Automotive strive to keep you safe and keep your vehicles in optimal condition. In this blog, we would like to share with you some helpful tips and suggestions to improve your preparedness for an auto failure. Read on to learn more.


You never know when or where you’ll be when something goes wrong. Having an emergency kit equipped with a flashlight, warning triangles, flares, and other emergency necessities will allow you to properly alert other drivers, thereby keeping you and everyone else on the road safer. It may also include some tools and equipment to possibly remedy your situation.


As soon as you realize your car is malfunctioning, immediately look for a safe place to pull over—ideally the curb. Take notice of any mile markers or road signs so that you are able to accurately report your location. If the emergency occurs at night, try coasting to a well-lit place. But remember the main priority is to be as far away from traffic as possible.


Consider what went wrong with the car. Did something go wrong with the steering? Was there a noise? Is their smoke coming from under the hood? These answers will help when trying to contact help and when informing auto repair professionals what went wrong.


Be sure to turn on your flashers, and if possible, set out any flares or reflective warning triangles. You will also want to raise your vehicle’s hood. This will alert other people of your problem and draw more attention to your car. Remember that oncoming drivers are traveling at high rates of speed and are not likely expecting to come across a broke down vehicle, so be sure to avoid getting too close to the driving lanes.


After you have done all of the above and you are sure that you and all your passengers are in a safe location, notify an emergency roadside service or tow service of your situation. If they are unable to resolve your problem, have them tow your vehicle to our Folsom auto repair center. We’ll get you back up and running.


Though this isn’t something you’ll do after your car breaks down, it is something you can do to prevent it from happening. Regularly scheduled maintenances are crucial to keeping your car in optimal condition. During these routine car tune-ups, auto mechanics will inspect your vehicle and possibly catch potential problems that could leave you stranded on the side of the road. Check out our tune-up checklist to get an idea of what’s included. Click here to schedule a routine tune-up at Shannon Family Automotive.

Though we hope it doesn’t happen, if you find yourself facing an auto mechanical failure while driving down the road, keep these tips in mind. Contact us for all your auto service needs! From starter repair to suspension repair, our family-owned Honda and Toyota repair shop offers a wide range of auto services and repairs. Schedule your appointment today!

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