Take a look at some common situations that roadside assistance can rescue you from.
Practicing safe driving means preparing for the unexpected. But even the most resourceful among us need help every once in a while, especially on the road.
When you’re trying to catch a flight or you’re driving across town for an important meeting, car trouble is the last kind of trouble you want.
Luckily, roadside assistance in Ontario exists, and it’s a gift when your car breaks down and you’re feeling helpless.
Here are several sticky – and pretty common – situations where roadside assistance in Ontario can come to the rescue.
When your tires decide to call it quits
Kicking your tire and calling it a quitter won’t get you anywhere anytime soon. If you don’t have a spare – or have no clue how to install one – a Canadian roadside assistance number in your contact list is a blessing.
How to safely manage a flat tire situation
If you hear a loud bang followed by a whooshing sound, it’s a sign that your tires have popped. First and foremost, keep calm. While the natural inclination is to slam on the brakes, keep driving straight and let the vehicle slow itself down. Above all, don’t try to suddenly turn the vehicle before the car has slowed down; if you do, your car will likely spin out of control. Once you’ve slowed down, move over to the shoulder of the road.
How to prevent a flat tire
- Monitor your car’s air pressure in case of small leaks or heat damage in the summer
- Don’t overload your car (refer to your vehicle’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating for guidance)
- Avoid potholes
When your battery kicks the bucket
Even if you’ve got jumper cables handy, unless there are other cars around to give you a boost, you’ll need 24-hour roadside assistance to get you back on the road.
How to prevent your car battery from dying
- Make sure you don’t leave your car running overnight
- Start your engine periodically if it’s parked for over a month (if you’re travelling, ask a trusted friend)
- Test your car battery twice a year
When you lock yourself out of your car
Calling roadside assistance is the difference between calmly hopping back in your car or smashing your own car windows in frustration when you lock yourself out.
Okay, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but it’s likely how you’ll feel as you glare through the window at your keys.
How to prevent locking yourself out of your car
- Keep a spare key in your bag or office desk
- Switch to keyless car locks if possible
- Wear a lanyard (if it doesn’t offend your sense of style)
When your car won’t tell you what’s wrong
Sometimes, your car breaks down and you’re not entirely sure why. Instead of resting your head against the hood and whispering, “Please, please just tell me what’s wrong,” avoid the breakdown and call roadside assistance to bail you out.
How to prevent miscellaneous mechanical problems
- Use your owner’s manual to conduct vehicle inspections
- Respect warning light indicators
- Check oil levels
What to expect from roadside assistance programs
You never know when you’ll need to ring for help. Even prepared drivers with a car emergency kit stashed away in their trunk could need extra assistance. And if you’ve locked yourself out, there’s no getting to that kit in the first place!
There are some membership-based services that require a subscription fee while others, like Onlia Roadside Assistance, deliver on-demand service.
While roadside assistance can bail you out of a number of situations, keep in mind that there are a few scenarios where it can’t. For instance, if your vehicle is unattended, unplated, or uninsured, you’ll be denied service. It’s always a good idea to check out a Canadian roadside assistance provider’s terms and conditions in advance.
Ideally, you’ll very rarely need roadside assistance. Prevention is key. The goal is to give your car the love it deserves so you can get where you need to be, when you need!