Drive-Thru Car Problems: What Do You Do?

Vehicles do tend to die on you at the worst possible times. Going on vacation is almost daring them to give out. However, you can run into trouble anywhere. Probably one of the worst times your car can choose to die or develop issues is while you are in the drive-through at a fast food joint. Obviously, this situation is less than ideal, but, if you keep your cool, you can survive even if you delay everyone's lunchtime.


Cars will overheat, particularly in the middle of July or August. If you are trapped in a drive-through lane for an extended period of time during a broiling day, your car may not be able to handle it. Anytime you are forced to idle in hot conditions, keep an eye on your car's temperature gauge. If you see it head into dangerous territory, turn off the air conditioner. You will swelter, but your engine may cool off enough to keep it safe until you can get through the line. If your engine doesn't respond, try turning on the heater. This is a particularly brutal option, but running the heater can divert heat away from your engine and protect it from harm.  Always carry coolant in your vehicle's trunk, so once you finally get your food, you can pull into the parking lot and top off the fluid level. If that does not do the trick, stay put and call for roadside service.

Engine Dies

If your engine dies, and you are somewhere between window one and window two, you could be in a sticky situation. Obviously, checking your fuel level is your first move. If you are out of gas, roll down your window and communicate with the staff if they can hear you. If they cannot, slowly open the door, waving a cloth to alert people behind you. Carefully go get your emergency gas can. If you don't have such an item, approach the staff member at a window and ask for help. If your battery dies, grab your jumper cables and see if the person directly behind or ahead of you will jump start your car.  If you cannot get your car moving, you will need to arrange for someone to push you out of the line. The staff should help you with this task because they will want to get you out of the way as soon as possible. Get the car to the spot reserved for people who are waiting for their fries or chicken nuggets. These areas are near the drive-thru lane, and your car will be safe in one until the tow truck arrives.  

In the very worst circumstances, you may have to sit in the line as cars pile up behind you while you wait for a tow truck to save you. Although all the horns and angry people may feel intimidating, you really can't do much about it except stay calm. Remember that you can always get stranded really close to home, so carry all the auto basics with you so you can do super quick fixes anywhere.

For more information, contact a towing service, like Martinez Towing.