If in the course of your journey, you have engine trouble and you have to stop, turn on immediately the warning lights of your car (alarm) and try to reach the nearest parking or service station at any cost.
If you cannot do that, park your car outside the road surface and far from the beginning of a road bend or immediately after it.
Quickly place your reflective triangle at a distance of at least 100 metres away from your car if you are on the motorway or a high speed road. Attention: At night-time before you leave your car to place the reflective triangle on the road, put on your fluorescent jacket or if you do not have such jacket were some light-coloured clothes.
If you notice interruptions in your engine.
Check the engine ignition system, which is very sensitive to humidity. So, during the winter months, heavy rain or water on the road may cause interruptions in the engine or even may stop it entirely. If this happens, open the bonnet of your car and use anti-humidity spay on the sparks, the spark cables, the ignition coil and internally the cap of the distributor.You should remove the spark cables from the sparks one by one and after spraying them you should put them immediately back in place. In this way you will not mix them up. If you do not have anti-humidity spray, you can use diesel.
If engine temperature continues to be low the performance of your engine and the heater will be low. This can happen due to some problem in the thermostat, or because the temperature of the environment is very low.To solve this problem, you shall have to cover part of the radiator, reducing in this way the surface that is freezing. You can do this with a piece of cardboard, or with a plastic bag, placing it in front of the grill.You will find the extent of the radiator surface that you will need to cover, by trial and error. Start from ¼ and continue your trip, regularly monitoring the temperature gauge. In this way you will find out if the surface of the radiator you have covered is enough to solve the problem.
Don’t go anywhere without anti-freeze
If you do not have anti-freeze in the engine cooling system and you cannot replenish it, use alcohol. Bear in mind that the engine may break down without anti-freeze.
You can also add alcohol to the window-wiper bottle so that water inside may not freeze.
If the fan-belt or the generator-belt is cut
and you do not have a spare one, you can use a nylon stocking, or your own belt. Even without a belt, you may travel a few kilometres, if the belt moves only the generator and not the water pump!
If you do not have spare fuses
During the winter as a result of a short-circuit due to humidity, or over-loading because of prolonged use of the electric systems – lights, window wipers, heater, heated windows etc, fuses blow more frequently. If you do not have spare fuses in the car, you may use wire from a cable, always remembering that a single wire is equal to 2A (amperes).
If one of your window wipers breaks down, try to find a thick piece of wire and tie it with the one that is still working.
If while trying to open your car you find out that the lock has frozen, then use your lighter to warm the key. Put it in the lock and wait a bit for the ice to melt. Do not exercise pressure on the key, if you see that the lock does not open. Just warm the key again.
If you happen to change a tyre and you lose the wheel bolts in the mud or in the snow, you may… borrow from the other tyres. Take out one of each tyre and put them on the tyre you are changing.
You should not forget that:
The road holding capacity and the control of your car are less on a wet road and minimal on snow or ice. So the distance you need to stop your car is double the normal when it rains and ten times more when there is ice!
Do not start unless you have full visibility and all your passengers are in the car. Often the windows are misted over by breathing. Bad visibility prevents the driver from seeing on time a danger that might be lurking and may make the driver assess prevailing conditions in a wrong way.
Be careful when braking. When you need to apply the brakes, press the pedal as smoothly as possibly, if your car does not have ABS. The traction between the road and the tyre wheel is less on a wet surface. While traction between the claw and the disk of the brakes remains almost the same. There are more chances of a “blocking” of the wheels when the surface is wet, than when it is dry. Blocking of the wheels may render the car rudderless.
Of course if your car has ABS, you can press the pedal as hard as you like, because there is no chance that the wheels may block.
Remember that if you turn the wheel with a greater speed and the car does not turn, even if you depress the pedal, the solution is to reduce slightly the turning of the wheel.
The greater the speed on a wet road, the higher the chances of wet-skidding.
You can calculate the safety margin on a wet road surface as four seconds, applying the following method: The moment your vehicle passes some point of reference (say a pole) say loudly “a thousand hundred and one”, “a thousand hundred and two”, “a thousand hundred and three”, “a thousand hundred and four”. When you finish this phrase you have passed the safety margin.