Vehicle breakdown tips

What to do when your vehicle breaks down? There is no one size fits all list of dos and don’ts that applies to every possible scenario. However, our AAA professionals have compiled a list of useful vehicle breakdown tips & recommendations:


1. Note your location

As soon as you know for sure your vehicle is not going to get where you want to go, note any landmarks, street names, intersections, freeway mile markers, and anything else that can helpful the emergency roadside assistance vehicle technician locate you and your vehicle.


2. try AND assess YOUR problem

Did you see any lights on the dash just before the engine stopped, or any smoke from under the hood? Was the car shaking right before it stopped? Information like this can help ensure that you get the right kind of assistance as rapidly as possible.


3. pull off the road

Put on your hazard lights and move to the right of the road as far as possible, and stay in your vehicle if it is safe to do so. If you are not able to pull over to the side of the road, put on the hazard lights and stay in your vehicle. Do not try to push the vehicle to a safer location if it is stopped in traffic, and do not attempt to run across lanes of traffic, especially on the freeway. It is almost impossible to judge how fast vehicles are traveling when all you can see is the front of the oncoming vehicles. Do not stand in front or behind your stopped vehicle. If there is a way for you to safely get yourself or your vehicle to a safer location, do so.


4. alert other motorists

Use your hazards lights, but in case of an electrical failure use anything else that can signal other drivers your vehicle is broken down and not moving. Use flares unless you smell gasoline, and raise your hood and tie a bright colored piece of clothing to the antenna.


5. communicate your situation

Once you are in the safest location you can notify others of your vehicle breakdown. You can call 1-800-222-4357 and be prepared to provide your phone number, location, description of your vehicle and membership number. If you don’t have a cell phone available consider if you can safely walk to get help and if a stranger offers help ask them to call for assistance. Do not get in their car.


6. a safety message

Tell the phone representative If you are concerned for your safety or the safety of others. If your situation is an emergency or in case of an accident and injuries, then call 911 immediately. Police officers will take care of calling for roadside assistance.


7. remain in your vehicle

If you are able to pull away from traffic, it is generally safer to stay with your vehicle until assistance arrives. Do not accept rides from a stranger.


8. what to expect

Make sure the service technician and the vehicle offering assistance are the same as those you requested. Roadside assistance operators can often provide fuel, change a flat tire, or boost your battery along with towing your vehicle to a shop when repairs are needed.



You may ride with the truck, but it is your responsibility to understand what services your level of roadside assistance will cover.

To request roadside assistance online, please visit, call 1-800-222-4357, or download the AAA mobile app.