5 common roadside emergencies and how to deal with them

5 common roadside emergencies and how to deal with them

5 common roadside emergencies and how to deal with them [Infographic] by the team at We buy any car

About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of TheSurvivalistBlog.net. He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.


  1. JP in MT says:

    One of the things I am looking into is the solid state battery jump pack. It is small and light. Easy to carry around, unlike the one I have now. I need one that will do a diesel pickup so that does limit the field some.

    Here’s what I have in mind:


    I also carry a portable 12 VDC air compressor. It has come in handy more than once.

  2. Good list for the inexperienced vehicle owner. I’ve found that a 12 volt air compressor is quite handy also.

    • Victor Fox says:

      You bet! I won one as a rebate once and it more than once helped me fiz flats plus is great to inflate balls and baloons lol

    • Sadja49 says:

      got one of those because I had a slow leak on a tire rim. Best thing I have bought for my car. Had it for 5 years and used it over 100 time to keep all my tire at the correct pressure. paid like 18.00 at auto zone, great investment.

    • poorman says:

      Auto Zone just started carrying a 12 volt tire jack that plugs into your cigarette lighter in your car also. I have not tried it out but would be great for changing a tire,installing tire chains ect.

  3. Excellent graphic. I would also add: keep some snacks sealed up in the car. Nuts, sunflower seeds, jerky. I’ve been stuck before on an empty stomach. You think clearer with something to eat.

  4. good topic to cover…. a few flares, tool kit, check 1’s spare, vehicle bug out bag…great thoughts 4 any prepper…. here is where 100mph tape shines!

  5. I always carry oil, spare anti freeze, tranny juice, heet in winter etc w/me….walking home not a huge problem in & of itself, but after grocery shopping not cool or when I gotta b in 5 places @ once unless ice cream melting or steaks thawing or the live lobs complaining…. a quick fix & bak 2 cruising

  6. Centurion_Cornelius says:

    *Overheating Engine? I was south of Richmond, VA, heading north to Michigan, when my truck started to overheat like a volcano. It was 0200 and no one was around. Plenty of 7-11 stores, all night grocery stores open tho.

    Had a plastic gallon jug of water. Stopped and refilled it every 10-20 miles and “drenched” the super-hot radiator. It seemed to keep the motor from melting.

    Made it to Michigan (super late of course) but the motor didn’t fry. Had my mechanic check it out–a stuck “closed” thermostat. He said the engine was ok. Imagine that!

    Moral” now I always keep at least one plastic jug of water on board.

    • Victor Fox says:

      Me too. I had a **** car that always gave me trouble and from there i learnt to always carry water. Also of it’s clean you can drink it yourself. This and a 2l bottle of ethanol . Here it’s a common fuel most cars are flex fueled and also can help as an emergency disinfectant.

  7. I think I’d add duct tape, a few zip ties, a tow rope, a folding camp shovel, a small roll of clear plastic, (Geez, starting to sound like I’m building a serial killer kit), a spare hose clamp, a couple of bungee cords, and a tube of super glue (you know, for when I break a nail working on my car). 🙂

    I’d also put a couple screw drivers or a good quality multi tool in the car. And it wouldn’t hurt to have a small address book with those phone numbers you need but can’t remember written within and enough cash on hand to buy a tank of gas if the plastic is no longer working.

  8. Chuck Findlay says:

    A few things about water and over heating autos.

    In the winter water kept in a jug in an auto will turn to ice and will be useless to you. You can use windshield washer fluid instead of water. It doesn’t freeze till it gets -25 deg. The reason to carry windshield washer fluid over antifreeze is the cost. Antifreeze is $8.00 to $15.00 a gallon, washer fluid is $1.50 a gallon. If you are going to put something that is likely to leak out again, and if you are overheating it will leak out again till it’s repaired right, why use expensive stuff when the $1.50 a gallon stuff works just as well?

    Also to know if it’s safe to take off the radiator cap you can squeeze the heater hose and it it squeezes easily it’s safe to remove without burning yourself badly. If you are unsure how it would feel as far as what is soft and hard you can get a feel for it by trying it when the auto is cold (in the morning before you start it) and again when it has been running for a while. Cold it will squeeze easily and when hot and under pressure the hose will be hard to squeeze.

    WARNING when the auto is hot the hose is going to be hot so be careful.

    Never take a radiator cap off when it’s under pressure as it will erupt in a mini volcano with 230 deg water that will burn you badly. And it will come out faster then you can pull your hand away.

    PS: If you are strapped for money, you can use washer fluid in the place of antifreeze all winter long. It works just as well as antifreeze in most parts of the country. And some washer fluid is good for -40 below zero. I and several people I know have done this in the past. Your auto will not know the difference and it will work just the same. I did it for 3-years after my divorce because I put it in when I had little to no money and forgot about it for years.

    • axelsteve says:

      Also when your auto is getting hot turn on the heater. It will take heat away from the motor if you have coolent or water in it.

  9. Interesting that the British Motor Club tells inexperienced tire changers to raise the vehicle before working on the lug nuts. Anyone with experience would loosen them all 1/2 turn while the ground is still holding the tire still. Dealing with stuck nuts with a hand wrench while the wheel is in the air is nearly impossible.

    Also, they don”t mention setting the parking brake or chocking the wheels.before jacking up the vehicle. If you only put an automatic transmission in park, or a manual in low gear, and then lift one of the driving wheels, the differential will allow the other driving wheel to turn, possibly tipping the vehicle off of the jack.

    • Victor Fox says:

      Noticed that too.

      Another item to carry is a head lamp. Some time ago, I had a rear wheel tyre blown, and was abou 11:oopm, I was in the road, from a 30mile trip, and alone. Guess what? I thanked God I carried that ugly thing. Simply stuck it in my head and changed the problem tyre.

      Imagine doing that in complete darkness, trying to hold the torch and doing the rest?

    • Chuck Findlay says:

      Setting the parking brake on most older autos that have an automatic transmission is a bad idea that could cost you an expensive to truck ride and a repair job.

      Pretty much everyone that has an auto transmission never uses a parking break because it’s not needed. What happens is that an unused break cable and parts rust and if you never pull the cable for years and then pull it when you have a flat tire it will likely lock the wheels and make the auto unable to be moved as the rear wheels will have the brakes locked on.

      Auto writers don’t know this because they only test new autos, not 10-year old ones.

      • poorman says:

        I have worked on cars and been it the automotive field for 25 years Chuck and while what you say COULD happen saying it is likely to is just plain wrong. I personally have NEVER seen it happen and have change literally hundreds of tires on the roadside while driving tow truck.

  10. My bad – they did mention setting the handbrake. I was skimming the article too fast.

  11. Bill Jones says:

    Why is the crescent wrench labeled as a socket wrench?

    • Chuck Findlay says:

      Because the person that made the chart is a computer person, not a tool person and they don’t have a tool guy check their work.

      Another thing that is wrong in the chart is that it says to connect both jumper clamps to the battery. That will cause a small spark and if there is any off-gassing (batteries give off hydrogen gas that is explosive, can you say Hindenburg?) it can cause a spark and an explosion of acid. I have seen this happen once when I worked at a gas station back in my high school days.

      The right way to connect jumpers to a car is to connect the positive (red) to both batteries then connect the black (negative) clamp to a metal point on the engine that is away from the battery. And once the auto is running remove the negative clamp first. Eye site is a precious thing and battery acid in your face could harm it.

      Another thing it doesn’t mention to have is a spare tire. At first this seems not needed to mention, but many new GM autos in the USA don’t come with them any more. You need to buy one as an extra cost. $40,000 for a truck and they can’t put a spare tire in it? And GM is wondering why people buy non-GM autos!

  12. I’m British.

    The AA (Automobile Association) run one of the three principle breakdown rescue companies in the UK. They, and the RAC (Royal Automobile Club) are very knowledgable about road conditions and usage. They still provide additional signage for events,

    Salem (previous comments) also skipped the point in picture 2; they place the jack under the car, then loosen the bolts/nuts. If anything, check the jack is vertical after loosening the bolts (the car moving under the effort of loosening tight bolts) before moving to picture 3, where they then jack the car up, and then remove bolts/nuts.

    I agree about headl-amp, that’s proved it’s worth on a dark night. Ditto hi-vis vest, when I had to divert traffic around my stranded car, and warning triangle, although a friend (broken down) had another motorist drive over his warning triangle, and when they finally realised the car in front wasn’t going anywhere, reversed over it, before driving over it once more as they moved past the broken down car.

    There are AA size battery powered flashing lamps (orange lens) available, which can take cars driving over them. Sorry don’t have a link for the US. UK traffic police have some pretty fancy units with blue lens, but not available to the public (blue is emergency services only).

    I also agree about keeping snacks and (potable) water in the car (which I do); I also keep a change of essential clothing (if forced into a hotel for the night), wind-up torch/radio, foil blanket and beach blanket (the combination if stuck in snow), hand cleanser, hand towel (=emergency body towel) small amout of cash and credit card (no. recorded elsewhere in case the car is stolen) etc. I didn’t know the term “Bug-out bag” when I christened my idea the “out bag” – out of luck, out of money etc.

  13. my bug out/get home bags address many of the above recommendations….many thanks 4 reminding me, as it’s too ez too become complacent…. a compressor, tool kit, duct & electrical tape, flashlight w/batteries I’ve replaced every 6 months, t-bar lug wrench, tire iron, flasher, etc. x delivered for a living, I repaired the plug on her mars lite & keep 1 in each vehicle, flares, yeah the list is endless, but I ice fish, too…. I can always take off the extra layer(s), but can’t put on what I’ve left @ home…happy trails!

Before commenting, please read my Comments Policy - thanks!