What Should You Do if Your Transmission Suddenly Fails on the Road?

No one wants their transmission to fail, but having a transmission fail in the middle of the road can be especially traumatic. What are you supposed to do in that situation? How can you keep yourself and anyone else on the road safe? Some fellow drivers have shared some tips for if you find yourself in this predicament. Keep reading to prepare yourself for a worst-case scenario you will hopefully never face.
Fran Majidi

Fran Majidi

Content Marketing Manager at Smart Financial.

Contact the Police for Assistance

If you have transmission failure, it’s important to get to a safe place. Pull off to the side of the road. If your car breaks down in the middle of the road, turn on your hazard lights and get yourself and your passengers safely out of the car and out of traffic. If your car is blocking traffic where it stalled, contact the police. You want to alert them so they can come and prepare the scene so that oncoming traffic knows that the lane is obstructed. The towing company may take some time to arrive, so it’s important that you contact the police.

Contact roadside assistance immediately to get your car towed to a mechanic that falls within the range allotted by your roadside assistance coverage. Some roadside assistance plans have unlimited distance towing and some even have an app that you can use for immediate service. If you do not have a roadside assistance plan, you’ll have to pay for towing, which can cost a pretty penny. Liability car insurance will not cover towing and neither will comprehensive and collision coverages.

Car insurance will also not pay for repairs to the transmission unless you have mechanical breakdown insurance, also called car repair insurance.

Drive Off the Main Road

If your vehicle experiences sudden transmission failure on the road, do not panic. The worst thing you can do when this occurs is panic and swerve your vehicle. The first thing to do is turn on hazard lights, then proceed to drive the car off the main road into the closest neighborhood or parking lot away from oncoming traffic. At that point, you need to park the vehicle and call your towing service.

Tim Connon

Tim Connon

Tariro Goronga

Tariro Goronga

Ensure the Safety of All Your Vehicle’s Occupants

Suppose your vehicle experiences a sudden transmission failure while on the road. You should take steps to ensure your safety and the safety of the passengers inside the vehicle. Carefully pull over to the side of the road and turn off the vehicle. Once everyone has been secured, contact a qualified transmission mechanic for immediate assistance; it is better to act accordingly. A certified transmission expert can determine the cause of the sudden failure, whether it is a minor issue or something major, and provide you with the best course of action to get your vehicle safely back on the road.

It may be necessary for you to have your car towed to a repair facility where they are equipped to handle transmission repairs. Be sure to have all of your vehicle paperwork on hand, including the make and model and any maintenance records you may have to give the mechanic an accurate picture of what is going on with the car.

Call Emergency Roadside Assistance

If your transmission fails while you’re on the road, you need to pull over immediately. Turn your hazard lights on and pull off the road and onto the shoulder. Be careful to be fully off the road and as far over on the shoulder as possible to avoid being in a collision.

Call your roadside assistance service. If you have emergency roadside assistance through your insurance provider, you can call them. They will instruct you on what to do next. They may arrange a tow for you, or they may instruct you to call a tow company.

If you have a stand-alone roadside assistance policy, call that provider, and the process will work similarly to an insurance companies’ procedures.

Have your car towed to a transmission specialist and arrange for alternate means of transportation. If you’re near home, you may want a friend to pick you up. If you’re out of town, you should consider renting a car from an agency that offers to pick you up.

Brandon Frady

Brandon Frady

Licensed Insurance Agent at Car Insurance Comparison.

This is a crowdsourced article. Contributors' statements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of this website, other people, businesses, or other contributors.