In 2016, over 8,000,000 Australian households reported ownership of a car. In fact, around 1,500,000 of those households had three or more vehicles—so it's safe to say that car ownership is at an all-time high. It's perfectly understandable, too. For many people, having a personal vehicle is not just a convenience; it's a vital part of modern life, ensuring that you can get to work, get your kids to school and run your life smoothly without high everyday cab costs. However, owning a car is not all smooth sailing. Like any other complicated machine, they're practically guaranteed to run into difficulties at some stage during their mechanical lives. When they do, it can be frustrating and even cause panic. To avoid this, you should plan for the worst while the going's still good. Here's exactly how to approach that.
Learn the Basics
As a car owner, you should already know the basics of how to take care of your car. Even if somebody else in the household usually does the maintenance for you, knowing how to change a tyre by yourself, for example, could mean the difference between panicking and being able to manage by yourself. It doesn't require strength or brute force; most adults should be physically capable of managing this. Knowing the theory is likely to be useful too. Watch a couple of YouTube videos to get yourself up to speed—and do a practice run, if you're feeling up to it. You should also know how to jump-start the car and how to check the oil level.
Prepare to Be Towed
In most cases, if your car breaks down while you're out and about, you are unlikely to be able to solve the problem yourself. Of course, this is not the case for people who are trained as mechanics and the like—but for almost everyone else, knowing your next step is important. You should have the addresses and phone numbers of local assistance services written down and stored in your vehicle at all times. Know which mechanic you're going to be heading to, and know which towing company to call in order to get you there—or home, if you prefer. Having these numbers on hand means you're not searching frantically for the first business to come up on Google, provided that you have a data signal. It also can't hurt to keep towing equipment in the back of your car in case of emergency.
In short, it's impractical to expect yourself to learn all about your car's inner workings. Even if you know the theory, knowing how to fix your issue likely won't help most of the time, as you'd need specialist tools with you to work on it. Instead, work on having a plan of action that's furnished with details of towing companies and mechanics you can trust. That way, you're covered no matter what the problem turns out to be.