You probably drive thousands of miles each year. With all this driving, a mishap could potentially leave you stranded. Depending on your situation, anything from a jump starter or a car jack can be a life savior. Know what to do when you end up stopped to stay safe and get back on the road quickly.
Where To Safely Park on the Side of the Road
When you have to park in a hurry due to car trouble, make sure to pull as far off the road as possible. That ensures you are safely away from traffic. When applicable, exit your car from the passager side to avoid traffic. During the night, parking in a well-lit area is helpful to maintain awareness of your surroundings and for working on your car. Knowing how to jump start a car means you won’t get stranded if your battery dies while you’re parked.
How To Safely Change Your Tire
If you need a tire replacement, avoid parking on unstable surfaces such as hills, dirt, and grass. Also, be sure to turn on your hazard lights to caution oncoming traffic before you begin changing the tire:
- Use tire chokes on your wheels to prevent the car from accidentally rolling. Then loosen the lug nuts with a lug wrench, but do not remove them yet.
- Place the car jack according to the manual, then lift the tire about 6 inches off the ground. Remember never to place yourself under the car.
- Remove all loosened lug nuts. Then remove the defective tire from the lug studs.
- Slide your spare tire onto the lug studs. With your hand, twist the lug nuts back onto the studs.
- Lower the car down slowly with the jack. Then use your lug wrench to tighten the lug nuts back onto the studs completely.
How To Safely Jump Start a Car
You can use either a jump starter or cables to jump your car battery. To use the former, connect the colored wires to the corresponding battery terminal, press the power button, then start your engine.
To use jumper cables, be sure the stalled car and the jumper car are close enough for the cables to reach both car batteries, then follow these steps:
- Connect the first end of the red cable to the red terminal of the stalled battery.
- Then connect the second end of the red cable to the red terminal of the jumper car.
- Next, connect the first end of the black cable to the jumper car battery.
- For the last connecter of the black cable, connect it to an unpainted metal surface under the hood of the stalled car. (Do not connect the last black cable to the black terminal of the stalled battery. Doing so could cause dangerous sparks, though these instances are rare.)
- When the cables are connected, start the engine of the jumper car and wait for approximately two or three minutes. Then attempt to start the stalled car.
Prepare for Your Next Trip
Before hitting the road on your next big adventure, be sure to have the tools to protect yourself from mishaps. Stop by your local auto repair shop or shop online. Stocking up with things like a jumper starter and an air pump can make a big difference.