So you're driving along the highway, going about your business, and suddenly, your check engine light comes on. The engine is running choppy. Something isn't right. Maybe there's a billow of smoke, or the engine stops entirely, or your check engine light start flashing - a sure warning sign of a serious problem. You pull over, and quietly panic. What are you going to do?
If you've read this book by Walt Brinker, you'll know exactly what to do. Walt is a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel who was decorated multiple times during his career. While his career is impressive enough, it's his hobby that you'll be more interested in. Over the years, Walt has assisted more than 2,000 people stranded on the roadside. After many years of helping broken-down motorists on the highway, he decided to to write a book to empower others to avoid breakdowns, and know what to do in the case of one.
That's where his book comes in. In Roadside Survival, Walt outlines everything he has learned over the years and over 2,000 roadside assists (all of which he performed free of charge, mind you), in order to help educate and empower you to know exactly what to do if you break down. His book has been used in Law Enforcement education programs, Driver's Education courses, and it was featured in the Midwest Book Review.
I got my copy last month and I have to say that it is a powerful and very useful resource. In fact, I stuck my copy in the glove box, so I can use it as a reference if I break down on the road. Many of us use roadside assistance provided by our auto insurance, and I have that coverage too, but if you've ever used it, you know that it isn't exactly timely, most of the time. With Walt's expertise at your fingertips, you can take control of your own roadside survival, and reduce or eliminate the need to wait for help.
According to the book, tire issues are the most common reason for a breakdown. Flat tires, blowouts, and the like cause most people to pull over. The book gives you all the details on how to deal with tire related problems, as well as other common breakdown issues like an overheating engine, a drained battery or alternator issues, running out of gas, or getting locked out of your vehicle. The book offers simple, common-sense solutions that don't require elaborate tools or any special equipment.
I can safely say that I highly recommend that every Ask Patty reader pick up a copy of Roadside Survival. It's available in paperback or on Kindle as an e-book - get whichever format you can be sure you'll have with you all the time.