How to Avoid a Breakdown During a Road Trip

Lower gas prices mean that many families are hitting the road again or planning their upcoming summer road trips. However, While road trips can result in much-needed family time and great memories, they can may also result in being stranded due to a breakdown. The good news is that many breakdowns can be avoided with the proper maintenance and pre-trip preparation. We want your next trip to go as smoothly and safely as possible. So, we have compiled this list of tips to prevent a breakdown from ruining your next vacation. On a side note, did you know that you can add roadside assistance to most auto insurance policies?

Tires 101 to Prevent a Car Breakdown

Car breakdowns - Stack of new car tiresTire failure causes over a million calls per year to roadside assistance clubs. Following a few precautions can prevent many of these. First, always inflate tires to the manufacturer’s suggested PSI level before leaving. The PSI number is located on the door frame of most vehicles and in the owner’s manual. While inflating tires, owners should inspect them for any cracks, tears or bubbles, which indicate a problem. Have these replaced immediately to prevent a flat. Additionally, use care when loading the vehicle. Overloaded vehicles put extra stress on tires, which can overheat and blowout on the road. Refer to the owner’s manual for the maximum weight and use care when packing all that camping equipment.

Prepare a Repair Kit

Car breakdowns - car repair tool kit
Many roadside emergencies can be quickly remedied with the right tools, but only if drivers think to bring them along. Before leaving, driver should put together a quick repair kit including a socket wrench, several screwdrivers, some duct tape and a quart of oil.

Cars Need Rest Too

Car breakdowns - Van looking over cliff

Vehicles often breakdown when they are pushed beyond their normal limits, which often occurs on long road trips. Avoid driving vehicles at high rates of speed all day long. When driving 85 miles an hour, the increased wind resistance causes engines to work much harder than when driving at 55 or 65. Vary the driving speed to lessen the detrimental effects on your engine. Likewise, those embarking on a multi-day trip should schedule a stopover along the way. Spending the night gives the vehicle a rest. While this means that it takes longer to get to the destination, it also means that there is no unexpected delay due to a car breakdown.

A car breakdown can turn a road trip into a nightmare, especially if drivers are unprepared. By following these recommended “rules of the road”, drivers can focus on making memories instead of repairs.

Speak with an Insurance Specialist at (888) 772-4247 and tell them about your plans and concerns. They can guide you through the steps of making sure you have the protection you need, especially when you’re far from home.


The information in this article was obtained from various sources. This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements, nor is it intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. The definitions, terms and coverage in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and the language contained therein will govern such policy. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.

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