Four Ways to be Prepared on the Road
Walt Brinker is helping others avoid vehicle breakdownsBy Rue Reynold
Walt Brinker, a member of South River EMC, is a veteran in Eastover with an extensive history of roadside assistance experience. He has provided over 2,000 assists, been featured on national and local media, and has authored the book “Roadside Survival” in an effort to empower as many as possible to avoid vehicle breakdowns. Walt also teaches Roadside Survival at Fayetteville Technical Community College.
He discusses many vehicle-related problems in his book, from the most common and frequent issues to those that are not so likely to happen, but drivers should know about just in case. Here are four of Walt’s many tips to help you get back on the road when the unexpected happens.
Always have access to your spare tire
A flat tire or blowout can happen at any time, including freezing or blistering weather, so be prepared with a spare. If something prevents you from accessing your spare, such as a defective lock key or jammed hatchback, don’t wait to get the problem fixed. Make it a top priority. No access is the same as not having a spare tire. Some cars are also sold without spares, so thoroughly examine any car you’re considering before buying and taking a drive.
Carry a 12-volt air compressor
Even if a tire is not in use, it will likely lose 1 to 2 PSI (pounds per square inch) each month. PSI refers to the minimum amount of air pressure needed to support your vehicle at its maximum load, and it’s common to find spare tires — which require 60 PSI to function properly — with low pressure. Keep a portable air compressor to help in a pinch.
Have a 12-volt portable jump starter battery
Car batteries tend to die when you least expect it, and common causes are often those that don’t appear harmful, such as leaving your interior lights on or using the sound system while your car is parked or off. Your battery will drain even faster during extreme temperatures, so have a jumper battery pack on hand to revive your dead vehicle.
Maintain your tires regularly
Many issues associated with tires develop due to a lack of maintenance. Getting your tires inspected and rotated around every 5,000 miles will give you a real-time analysis of the health and durability of your tires and allow the wheels to be balanced. Regular maintenance helps avoid issues while tending to your tires, such as rusted rims that prevents you from changing a tire.
On the road