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What to Do if Your Car Breaks Down

Even a new and well-maintained car can break down, so it's important to know what to do if you find yourself on the side of the road. Here are 4 tips for dealing with a broken down car.

Step 1: Relax. If your vehicle begins to malfunction when you're driving, get to a safe location. Turn on your emergency flashers or use flares to warn oncoming traffic.

Step 2: Call someone. Alert a friend or family member to where you are and what happened; you may need a lift home. Call your roadside assistance service. Titan's Auto Assist® Roadside Assistance, for instance, offers three tiers of service for towing, disabled vehicle and lock out help, emergency travel support and car rental. Your Titan agent can tell you more.

Step 3: Try to figure out what's wrong. 
Common things to check for:

  • Out of gas? Fuel gauges can malfunction or you may simply be out of gas. If your engine hesitates before turning off, you could be low on fuel. If that's the cause of your vehicle breakdown, call for help.
  • Dead battery? Determine whether the battery is dead or you have an electrical problem by turning on the headlights or turn signals.
  • Flat tire? If you're able to safely change the tire yourself, use your car jack and related tools to replace the flat with your spare tire. Otherwise, call your roadside assistance service for help.
  • Is the problem more complicated? If your fuel is good and your lights work, it may be time to call a tow truck. Odds are you're looking at a problem best handled by a trained mechanic.


Although a broken down car is inconvenient, you can deal with the situation and be on your way if you know what to do if your car breaks down. It's smart to prepare for a vehicle breakdown by being familiar with changing a tire, as well as carrying road flares, jumper cables, a first-aid kit and making sure your cell phone is charged.

The provided information and safety suggestions were obtained from sources believed to be reliable and is intended for informational purposes only. Titan and its affiliates assume no liability in connection with providing it or your use of it. Your circumstances may not warrant or require some or all of the safety suggestions, and there may be additional available safety procedures that are not referenced on this webpage.

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Titan Insurance, design, superhero and Savings without the Sacrifice are service marks of THI Holdings (Delaware), Inc. Nationwide Insurance is a service mark of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. Price based on March 2010 analysis of available national data for liability-only policies. Subject to underwriting guidelines, review and approval.


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