Your complete guide to roadside assistance services

Sheen Panel Service on 17 April 2019

What's included in roadside assistance?

Roadside assistance is cost effective mechanical help for typical problems that drivers may face while on the road. Depending on the assistance package you choose, roadside assistance can address several common issues:

Types of incidentIssueWill roadside assistance fix?

Breakdown

Minor mechanical fault

Breakdown

Major damage

Battery

Flat or old battery

Battery

Acid damage

Fuel

Empty tank

Fuel

Wrong fuel in tank

Keys

Keys locked in car/left at home

Keys

Keys inaccessible or lost

Towing

Arrange towing service

Towing

Perform a fast tow

Roadside assistance can only attend to minor issues on the road. If you've been in an incident, or suspect that your car has a serious fault, it's better to call for a tow truck. Sheen Panel Service's tow trucks can deliver your car to your desired destination, no matter what the problem is.

Breakdown

Mechanical faults can be hard to diagnose, especially on older cars. If you come across a blinking red light or engine warning, it's best to pull over before you do some major damage. Roadside assistance can take care of minor mechanical faults and issues, including:

  • Broken drive belts

  • Burnt out fuses

  • Damaged or fractured hoses

However, there is a limit to the help roadside assistance can offer. Major mechanical faults, electrical issues and engine failure will need a tow truck and the expertise of a trained mechanic.

Flat battery

Dead batteries are a fact of life on the road. They happen at inconvenient times, in inconvenient places, and are general annoyance. Whether you have just run out of juice, or need an entirely new battery, roadside assistance can help with:

  • Jump-starting a vehicle so that it can be driven

  • Replacing a completely dead battery

  • Removing pollutants and other material around battery couplings

Roadside assistance will not replace a battery that has suffered significant chemical corrosion and poses a danger to the mechanic. 

No fuel

do I need roadside assist

No matter how well you know your car, it can still surprise you. If you've been flirting with that low fuel level for some time, you may need an emergency fuel delivery. Roadside assistance will typically give you a nominated dollar amount of fuel, enough to get you to a petrol station.

If you use the wrong fuel at the bowser, your roadside assistance service will not be able to get you back on the road. They best thing to do is to leave the motor off, have the car towed to a mechanic, and have it drained professionally.

Flat tyre

There's no shame in not knowing how to change a tyre. Cars are heavy, intimidating things, and getting one off the ground is difficult. Even if you do know how, there are certain situations when it's best to leave it to a professional:

  • Steep inclines can make jacking a car nigh on impossible.

  • Dangerous environments like highways need the speed and safety of roadside assistance.

  • If you are dressed nicely, there's no point in getting dirty if a mechanic is just a phone call away.

Always have a spare tyre on hand. Newer cars have a diverse range of wheels and tools needed to change them. If you have a non-generic set of wheels, roadside assistance will not be able to provide you with a new one if your spare is damaged. You will need a tow to your preferred service centre.

Locked out

No matter how advanced your car is, chances are you still need some sort of key to unlock it and drive. Unfortunately, keys have an annoying habit of becoming locked inside the things they are supposed to open. 

  • Roadside mechanics can unlock most vehicles without damaging the car.

  • They can also arrange a lift for you to get a spare set of keys if they aren't too far away.

If your car can't be opened and you don't have a spare set, you might be out of luck. Get your vehicle towed to a safe place and get a replacement key made. It probably won't be cheap.

Towing

should you get roadside assistance

It's been mentioned a few times throughout this article. Roadside assistance is only really good for minor issues. More often than not, breakdowns require major repairs above and beyond the call of a roadside mechanic. Roadside assistance can organise towing for several serious issues, including:

  • Major collisions and property damage

  • Serious electrical, mechanical or structural faults

  • Stalling in a dangerous location, like on a highway or near a train line

If you've been involved in an incident and it seems serious, go with your gut and call a tow truck. Don't wait around for a roadside assistance to make the call for you.

Call Sheen Panel Service

Roadside assistance cannot help with serious issues on the road. If you've been in an incident, instead of waiting around for roadside assistance to get to you, consider calling a tow truck from the outset. It can save you time and money.

Sheen Panel Service has a fleet of tow trucks ready to take your car where it needs to be. Cut out the middle man and get your car seen to sooner. Call us on 1300 REPAIR for towing services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.