If you’re a new driver, you might think that getting your license is the most challenging part of being behind the wheel. But once you pass those exams and obtain your driving permit, many things can go wrong on the road. There are plenty of scenarios where you’ll want to be prepared for any emergency or potential problem with your car—and we’ve got some advice on how to prepare for them! 

Every driver should know how to:

  1. Change a flat tire.
  2. Jumpstart a car.
  3. Drive a stick shift.
  4. Get out of a sandy spot.
  5. Get out of a vehicle that’s being submerged in the water.

Below, we’ll guide you through each of these five critical skills. We’ll include advice from our skilled auto mechanics and videos you can bookmark in an emergency. 

How To Change a Flat Tire

A flat tire is the most common reason for calling a tow truck, so it’s essential to know how to change one. Here’s a helpful video so you can visualize this process:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joBmbh0AGSQ&t=3s 

To summarize, after you pull over to a safe place with your hazards, you’ll follow these steps. After pulling over in a safe place, making sure there’s plenty of room for the passerby, and turning on your hazards (and, of course, turning off your vehicle), we’d suggest looking for your tools before beginning the process. Remove the spare tire from its compartment in your trunk and see what you have in your emergency kit.

If you don’t have a spare tire or don’t remember where it is, check your owner’s manual for directions on accessing yours if there is ever an emergency like this! Doing this first is essential because the following steps from the video will have been useless if you don’t have a spare tire. 

How To Jumpstart a Car

If changing a flat tire is the number one reason people call tow trucks or need support from emergency roadside assistance, jumpstarting a car has to be number two. 

First, ensure your battery is dead before attempting any jumpstart or charging process. This can be done by trying to turn over the engine with the key in either position (i.e., whether it’s “on” or “off”). If it doesn’t turn over when you try this, then there may be something wrong with your starter motor instead of your battery; in this case, please bring it into a shop for repairs as soon as possible!

To jumpstart your car, follow the steps in this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iI1o2hNy2hE 

This would be a great video to have saved, as no matter how many times you jumpstart a car, it’s always a good idea to check the proper steps before moving forward. An emergency jumpstart is also why it’s essential to have jumper cables ready in your vehicle! 

How To Drive Stick Shift

This may seem like the odd one out on the list. However, driving a stick shift may have never made it to your need-to-know list. However, knowing how to drive a stick shift is essential. You never know when there will be an emergency, and the only vehicle available is a stick shift. 

Driving a stick shift can be intimidating at first, but with practice and patience, you’ll be driving like a pro in no time! Don’t worry if you don’t know how to drive a standard transmission. There’s no shame in asking for help from someone who does (if you don’t have an experienced driver in your family, see if any of your friends or a local driving school will give you some lessons). Even if you can drive a stick shift on your own, having someone around will make it easier for them to provide feedback and spot any bad habits that could lead to accidents.

What To Do If Stuck On a Sandy Beach

In Washington, many of us love our beach trips, hiking trips, and camping trips. With that being unsaid, it’s not unlikely that your vehicle can get stuck on a sandy beach. 

If you’re stuck on a sandy beach, chances are that you’re in an area that’s not heavily populated with other people (and if it is, they probably won’t be able to help). In that case, your best option is to call for help and wait until someone arrives to pull you out. For this problem, it’s almost always best to give someone a call rather than get yourself out.

  • Don’t try to drive out of it. Even if there were other cars around and they could tow you out, driving while stuck in the sand can cause severe damage to your vehicle’s engine—not just because of the sand itself but also because of how much heat can build up as you try unsuccessfully to push yourself free.
  • Don’t try digging yourself out or pushing yourself free with another car or object like a shovel or large stick. This only makes things worse by putting more stress on your tires and causing them even more damage than they already have from being stuck in the first place!

For this reason, you should always have an emergency kit in your trunk that includes water, blankets, a phone charger, and possibly a tiny battery generator if your phone dies. 

What To Do If Your Car Gets Submerged in Water

If your vehicle is beginning to become submerged in water, you must get out of it as soon as possible. Don’t wait until the hood of your car is already under water. There’s no point in staying in a sinking vehicle because no amount of maneuvering will get you out. Check out this video for a look at what you need to do if your vehicle becomes submerged:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUD53NZ03zM

Ten times out of ten, you are more important than your vehicle. Get yourself to safety as soon as possible. You can get a new car, but there will never be a new YOU!

Come see us at B&B for tips, tricks, and repairs. 

If you are in a situation with your car that is dangerous or unfamiliar, call for help. Don’t try to fix it yourself if you’re unsure what to do unless you’re confident in your ability. 

We’d love you to stop in and discuss emergency preparedness for your new driver. We can review what you’ll need in an emergency repair kit, check your vehicle’s safety, and help ease your mind. See us here at B&B Auto Repair, where we’re happy to help prepare you for life’s surprises. Located at 299 S National Ave, Bremerton, WA 98312, we are open from 8 AM to 5 PM Monday through Friday. For best service, call us to schedule an appointment. You can always depend on the B&B Auto Repair team for top-notch service and repairs.