My car has broken down… What do I do?!

car breakdown Tips

Always be Prepared for a Breakdown

Whether you have a flat tyre, dead battery, overheated engine or engine failure, it’s important to be prepared in case the inconvenient and potentially dangerous happens – the dreaded car breakdown. Here are our top tips to help get you out of a sticky situation (or prevent you from getting into one in the first place!)


Maintain Your Car

Keep your car in tip top shape to avoid trouble down or on the road.  Maintain your car regularly and always check that:

  • All the belts and hoses have no sign of deterioration
  • All the lights are in working order
  • You’ve replaced your tires if the thread wear is low
  • Air pressure is good in all the tires – including the spare
  • That all fluids are properly filled between the maximum and minimum line.

Emergency Car Breakdown Kit

Have the right materials on hand to save you time and money in case of a car breakdown. Aside from making sure you always have a fully charged, strapped down and easy to reach phone to call emergency services, we’ve outlined the important things to have on hand.


Essential incase you break down at night. Another great option is a head-lamp so that both hands are free to find anything you need and to be able to work on the problem at hand.

Spare tire, lug wrench, and car jack

These materials should come with the car. Always remember to replace your spare tire once it’s been used. Check our handy breakdown guide.

Heavy Duty Jumper Cable

We’ve all left our car lights on accidentally when we’ve been in a rush. A good jumper lead is essential, and can save you and other drivers a lot of trouble, especially when alternators and old batteries (when not replaced every three years) have a habit of failing unexpectedly. Aside from that, jumper leads can also double as a temporary tow rope! Handy!

Heavy Duty Tow Rope

Sometimes the jumper leads don’t cut it for a tow rope. Slipping into a ditch off the side of the road isn’t a common occurrence – but it does happen! A heavy length of rope to give to a driver passing by can get you out of a sticky situation, but if you don’t feel comfortable dealing with this yourself, help is just a phone call away.

Safety Kit 

To keep yourself safe during in the event of a car breakdown, it’s useful to have reflective warning triangles on hand. Other basic things you can pack include work gloves to protect your hands and a first-aid kit. Survival supplies such as water, food (it’s amazing how far a few muesli bars can go), blankets and a poncho can make a big difference to your comfort if you’re waiting for a roadside rescue. A car escape tool (such as a hammer) is also worth having on hand. Just make sure you strap it down close to you so it doesn’t go flying during a collision.

Play it Safe by the Roadside

If your car breaks down on the highway, getting to a safe location and maximising visibility is key.

Keep these rules in mind while dealing with the breakdown. Stay on the paved area, try to pull as far away from the main road as possible, preferably a flat area so you can safely jack up the car if you’ve blown-out a tyre.

  • Turn on your hazard lights and use flares, cones or reflective triangles to warn traffic away from your car.
  • Turn your wheel away from the roadway so that it doesn’t accidentally roll into oncoming traffic.
  • Exit the car from the door opposite the roadway.
  • Make sure pets and children are secured safely in the car or if the car is in a dangerous location, get them to a safe area well away from the road.

There you have it. Keep these things in mind and no car breakdown will ever catch you off guard! Head off on the road feeling prepared and don’t forget to have Marshall Batteries number on speed dial. We’re here for you, rain hail or shine.

If you find yourself in a sticky situation on the roadside, call Marshall Batteries for roadside assistance, a jump start, a new battery or even a fuel top up! 1300 627 742

Need more handy info?
Have a look at our other Breakdown Assistance resources
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