What to do if you have a car emergency
In the Real World, things don’t always go to plan, especially when it comes to your car. Research from Liberty Insurance has found that 70% of Irish drivers have been faced with a car emergency. So we’ve got some tips on what to do if you’re faced with any of these situations.
We’ve all been there – you’re just about to hit the road, you turn the key in the ignition, and low and behold, your car won’t start! Looks like you left your headlights on and your battery has died.
Well, the best way to get your car back up and running is to give it a jump-start. All you need for this is a set of jump-leads, and a friendly neighbour or passer-by with a working battery! If you don’t have access to these, call your breakdown assistance provider. Breakdown Assistance from Liberty Insurance comes with homestart as standard, so even if you’re battery goes dead on your doorstep, we’ll be there.
How to avoid: Car batteries usually show signs of age before they simply die. If you notice the battery indicator on the dash "flickering," or your car struggling to start, it's probably time to replace the battery before it leaves you stranded. A mechanic can test the battery and the charging system for you.
If your tyre goes flat or blows out while you're driving, slow down and pull over as soon as you can. The best way to fix this is by changing the tyre with the spare one in your boot. However, 41% of Irish drivers are not confident that they can change tyre, so they call their spouse or partner. Almost a third of drivers (29%) will call their husband or wife if there is a car emergency.
What most people don’t know is that they can call breakdown assistance, and it will have no impact on their no claims bonus.
How to avoid: Get in the habit of visually inspecting your car's tyres at least once a month, and if they seem to be losing air quickly or wearing unevenly, they should be checked out by a mechanic.
The first sign of the engine overheating is the temperature gauge on the dash reading above normal. However, more than half of Irish drivers (55%) continue to drive while a warning light is displayed on their dashboard. Always keep an eye on your car's temperature gauge on the dashboard, because driving a severely overheated engine can do serious damage.
If your engine is overheating, pull over right away and turn the engine off. Allow it to completely cool before attempting to locate the problem – do not open the radiator cap. You can, however, look for signs of a fluid leak under the vehicle as well as search for smaller leaks under the bonnet. Once the engine is cool enough to drive, you should take it to a mechanic for a diagnostic.
If you can't pull over right away, make sure the air conditioning is turned off to reduce stress on the engine. You can also turn on the heater to pull some of the heat out of the engine bay and into the car's cabin. Turning the heat on acts as a radiator to help cool the engine quicker.
Run Out Of Fuel
Nobody wants to be stuck in the middle of a road with no fuel. Always keep an eye on your car's petrol gauge and plot out your trip. If you're driving in an isolated area, know how long you can go before you need fuel, and identify your next fuel stop in advance. If your car's fuel gauge stops working, figure out how many miles you can drive on a full tank and keep track of how far you go after each fill-up.
If you are in the middle of a journey and you run out of fuel, as soon as your car starts slowing down and coasting to a stop, you should try to get to the side of the road. If you're lucky enough to be close to a petrol station, the station might sell you a small plastic can of fuel that you can then fill up and carry back to your car. But the easiest way to get going again is by calling Breakdown Assistance from Liberty Insurance. It’s a 24 hour service, so it doesn’t matter what time you break down, plus it doesn’t affect your no claims bonus.
Liberty Insurance, Ready for the Real world.
Get a quote in just 2 minutes at www.libertyinsurance.ie.
‘Liberty Insurance Home & Motor Emergencies’ research carried out by RED C Research & Marketing of 512 interviews amongst a nationally representative sample of car and/or home insurance owners aged 17-75.
Liberty Insurance Breakdown Assistance includes maximum three call outs per policy year, up to €150. Acceptance criteria, terms and conditions apply. Liberty Insurance dac is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.