If My Car Breaks Down - What Do I Do?
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Nobody likes sudden surprises, especially a nasty jolt like when
your car breaks down.
If your car breaks down, here are some of the steps you should
take to get back on the road safely and with as little stress
involved as possible.
First, you'll probably have to get your car towed. If you're leasing
the car, you may have some benefits built into your car loan agreement
such as free towing - ditto if you're an AAA member.
Now, you'll have to get your car fixed. Again, if you're leasing
the car from a car dealership with its own repair facilities,
your car loan agreement might cover those repair costs dependent
on the source of the break down and whether it's covered in your
agreement. If you need to find an independent auto repair facility,
use the internet as a powerful tool to find reputable facilities
in your neighborhood. You should be able to easily find consumer
reviews for most local auto repair places - which is an important
consideration. Places like Yelp can help, and also just plugging
in the name of auto repair facility, the city and the word "review"
should generate results for you. While you're at it, if you've
gotten a repair quote from your mechanic, research those prices
too. It's bad enough that your car has suddenly broken down; the
last thing you want is for that situation to be exploited by an
unscrupulous car mechanic, so make sure to do your due diligence
Of course, you'll still need a car to get around in if your car
breaks down. Again, look at your car loan agreement if applicable.
Many car dealerships offer car loaner programs which offer auto
repair deals, and free car rental services, or car loaner services
in the event of a breakdown. While your car is in the shop getting
repaired, having a free car loan is more than convenient. At the
car dealerships, you'll be able to use the free car loaner for
as long as your car is being repaired. Other related car loaner
benefits could include door to door pickup, and delivery to the
auto shop, and typically a car loaner is similar in make and model
to your own car.
To recap, if your car breaks down, don't panic. Have it towed
to either a local car repair facility or your car dealership's
repair shop, and take advantage of the internet to pull up reviews
on local car repair shops. Also, take advantage of any free towing
resources (AAA, etc) you might have or any free car loaner programs
that might be part of your car loan agreement as applicable. And
in case your car loan agreement doesn't include a free car loaner
program, ask what your upgrade possibilities might be. As mentioned,
the inconvenience and frustration in having to deal with a car
that breaks down unexpectedly can be annoying to say the least.
Having the piece of mind associated with knowing that you won't
have to worry about any of your transportation needs during your
vehicle's repair is priceless, so even if you need to buy into
a car loaner program (which should be at a nominal charge anyway),
it might be worth the small added expense to do so.
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