What to do if you breakdown

Driver Safety, Driving Awareness, Services

Breakdown - SMC

Breakdown cover is included in our full maintenance contracts. By choosing to partner with the AA we are able to deliver a uniform experience for all of our customers, regardless of make and age of the vehicle. Because of this, we do not utilise any manufacturers ‘free’ roadside assistance.

AA cover includes; home breakdowns, onward transport, free courtesy car for up to 48 hours and free European cover for travelling abroad.

in partnership with The AA breakdownIf you are unfortunate enough to find yourself stranded on the roadside, don’t panic everything will be taken care of before you know it. All you need to do is simply contact the AA through the number given in your Z-Cards. This can be found attached to the windscreen near the passenger side.

Inform the AA of your whereabouts and they should be with you within the hour. The AA aims to reach all call outs in 45 minutes.

If you find yourself on the side of the motorway try to provide details of landmarks that you can see nearby. For example a large building, signpost or a LED variable message sign. This makes locating you a lot easier. If possible look out for Driver Location Signs which indicate your location and direction of travel.

While you are waiting for the AA to arrive it is important that you keep yourself out of danger. Once you have pulled over to the hard shoulder, turn on your hazard lights and lock your wheels over to the left. Now exit the vehicle on the left-hand side and make your way over to a safe refuge area. This is normally behind a barrier or up a side bank, put on reflective jackets if you have them.

If you do not have a charged mobile phone on your person then you will need to follow the road signs to find the nearest emergency telephone.

How to avoid a breakdown

The majority of breakdowns can be avoided through proper vehicle maintenance. The AA suggests that you use the FLOWER system to ensure that you have taken all the necessary procedures to avoid a breakdown.

F – Fuel
Keep an eye on your fuel gauge. Plan your route properly and don’t wait until the reserve light comes on to fill up, especially if you are unfamiliar with the area.

L – Lightsflower - the aa breakdown
Make sure that all of your exterior lights are working before you set off. They need to be clean and bright.

O – Oil
Before setting off make sure that you have a sufficient amount of oil in your tank. Running a vehicle with a low level of oil can lead to engine damage.

W – Water
Just like your oil levels, it is important to ensure that your water and coolant levels are sufficient. A large number of breakdowns are due to overheating. If you are travelling long distances it is likely that your windscreen will become dirty. Remember to fill up your washers fluid before setting off.

E – Electrics
Battery-related problems are the highest cause of breakdowns. A healthy battery should measure around 12-13 volts on a multimeter. An average car battery will last between five to seven years.

R – Rubber
Tyre depth and pressure are very important. Tyres that are incorrectly inflated are prone to wear out faster and effect fuel efficiency. More advice on tyre safety is available here.

For more information visit theaa.com or download the AA app. Our advisors are always on hand to offer assistance on 01159 466 466 or [email protected].

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