How To Cope In Stressful Breakdown Situations

Do you know what to do in a breakdown situation? See suggestions below as well how to manage the stress that goes along with breaking down.
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Published: Friday, April 7th 2017
General
The AA-Populus Motoring Panel asked over 23 450 respondents what their most stressful breakdown situation was. The number one stress, with over 56% of respondents, was breaking down on the way to the airport and missing a flight. Breaking down in bad weather was the second biggest concern, with 43% of respondents agreeing this was a stress scenario they hoped to avoid. When driving abroad, we are aware of the worry of either learning to drive on the other side of the road or not knowing where you are going or how national highways, like the Autobahn, work. A total of 31% said that driving abroad was a stressful breakdown scenario which is understandable if you do not know who to call for help.

What To Do In a Stressful Breakdown Situation

breakdown, engine, problem, checking oil

Engine Problems

Locate the problem. It may be a problem with the high-tension leads, clutch cables, or a spark plug issue. If you are unsure of the problem, call a towing service, or a friend who will be able to repair it.
CLICK BELOW to read our guide to troubleshooting your broken down car.

Damaged Or Flat Tyre

If you drive over a stone or pothole and damage your tyre, it is important to park safely on the shoulder of the road, or as far away from moving vehicles as possible. To change a tyre you will need; a spare tyre, a jack to keep the car stable while you replace the wheel, and a lug wrench to remove the lug nuts. You can also find a wedge of wood to stabilise the jack either in front or behind the tyres, so the vehicle doesn't roll while you change the tyre.
CLICK BELOW to read our 10 easy steps to change a tyre.

Flat Or Faulty Battery

If your battery is flat, or keeps draining, phone a friend or roadside assistance to give your a battery a jump start. Place both vehicles in Park or Neutral and shut off the ignition in both cars. Attach one of the red clips to the positive terminal of your battery. It will have “POS” or “+” on it, and is bigger than the negative terminal. Attach the other red clip to the positive terminal of the other car. Place one of the black clips on the negative terminal on the other battery. Attach the last black clip to an unpainted metal surface on your car that isn’t near the battery. Make sure to connect jumper cables in the proper order. Start the working vehicle and let the engine run for a few minutes before trying to start your vehicle. If it won’t start, make sure that the cables are properly connected and have the good Samaritan run his or her engine for five minutes. Then try to start your car again. If it still won’t start, your battery may be beyond help. If your faulty battery does eventually start, make sure you get it checked out at a battery specialist.
CLICK BELOW to read a more comprehensive guide on how to jump-start your car.  

How Mentally-Strong People Handle Stressful Situations

Breaking down in the middle of nowhere may seem like your worst nightmare. If it is, here are some habits of mentally-strong people that help in stressful situations:
  1. They don't see things as worse than what they are - People who are bad at dealing with stress regard every problem as a reason why the world could end tomorrow. If you find yourself in a stressful, breakdown situation, accept reality as it is and figure out your next move. If you remove the element of stress, the truth is, you'll know what to do.
  2. They are better at accepting reality - Instead of stressing and being in denial as to what has just happened, deal with the situation effectively.
  3. They interpret stressful situations as opportunities to learn - Breakdowns are unfortunate, but can be a sharp reality check of what you do and do not have at your disposal during an emergency. Remember to always carry the tools to get you out of common breakdown situations. These include tools for replacing a damaged tyre, jumper cables to jump start your car, and a fuel can for when you run out of fuel far from a fueling station.