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Roadside Survival: Low-tech Solutions to Automobile Breakdowns Paperback – March 19, 2014

4.9 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Walt Brinker has provided well over 2,000 free-of-charge roadside assists as a hobby. His hobby has been featured in a magazine article and two newspapers: The Houston Chronicle, and The Fayetteville Observer, which runs his monthly vignettes describing actual assists and how readers can avoid becoming stranded. He has written a short book on this subject after deciding it was time to try to empower as many others as possible to avoid vehicle breakdowns and becoming stranded. He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, in 1966 with a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering, and was commissioned in the U.S. Army as an infantry second lieutenant. His Army career included two combat tours in Vietnam, tactics instructor at the US Army Infantry School, troop duty in Germany and the US, Command and General Staff College, and a tour at the Pentagon on the Army Staff, working to field the Bradley Fighting Vehicle and modernize the Army’s infantry battalions. He retired from the Army as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1990. Military awards include Silver Star, two Bronze Stars for valor, two Bronze Stars for service, Purple Heart, Combat Infantryman Badge, Ranger Tab, Airborne wings, Army Staff Identification Badge, and two awards of the Legion of Merit. He and his wife, Betsy, moved from Texas to Eastover, North Carolina, in 2010 to live close to grandchildren. He worked for L-3 Communications in Fayetteville until July 2012 as a project manager.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 108 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (March 19, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1493786814
  • ISBN-13: 978-1493786817
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #671,433 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Walt Brinker's book should be mandatory reading for both new and experienced drivers. Filled with examples and pictures, it is easy reading which will cause you to ask yourself "why haven't I heard all this before?" The author is a true Good Samaritan, making rounds on the roads of Texas and North Carolina as well as other states he transits, stopping to help those who have neither the knowledge nor the tools to help themselves. He never charges anyone for his service, even to the point of giving them gasoline to get to the next station or driving them to the nearest open tire store to buy a new tire and then return to help install it.
I bought five copies for my own children and grandchildren.
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Format: Paperback
In a Twitter world in which being brief is revered, Walt's book hits the mark. It is not only brief, but packed with practical advice. My 11 year old car had its original spare tire; after reading Walt's book, I realized how dangerous this was and bought a new one. I also now have a block of plywood in my trunk for when my tire needs changing on a soft, wet shoulder. Lots of common sense ideas, but we often need someone else to remind us to put our common sense into action - Walt's book does that. I'd be shocked if every reader doesn't take at least one potentially life-saving action after reading this book. Great job Walt.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Know how to change a tire? What to do if your fan motor belt breaks?What happens if you get stuck in snow? The Roadside Survival Lo tech solns guide will show you how to deal with the problems that can and probably will happen while driving. Not all of us are MacGyvers & some of us are mechanically stupid(ME) I thought I drive back and forth from the country to the city by myself alot and had zero clue how to do anything thing when it comes to the car. This book now resides in the trunk of my car in my roadside emergency kit!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Walt's book was a recent success for me as I purchased 2 copies as Christmas gifts for our two recently licensed grandchildren.
It reads quickly but immediately emphasizes how drivers can do themselves big favors by quickly becoming better prepared for the problems seen everyday on the roadways.

Walt has made this written record of recommendations based on his daily "good deeds assisting motorists he encounters locally". He has always helped out everyone he meets who is experiencing some type of auto breakdown. More importantly, these encounters almost always become "teachable moments" helping illustrate how the owner or driver might have avoided the problem with a bit more preparation before their trip.

Now I can tell the kids b,,"Be sure you check your trunk for the board you may need to place under the jack if you need to change a flat tire".
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Simplistic information. But the author is a good man with a worthy cause. On the other hand, I have stopped being surprised by how stupid most people are about their own risks, and their own complacency in being responsible for managing their own risks. The world is full of fools who feel entitled to being taken care of by others.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Good job, Walt. I was already knowledgeable about the material, but still found it useful. If you ever do a revised edition, here is a suggestion... The tip for out-of-gas situations, where the car has ended up on a tilt and the fuel pump suction in the gas tank is now uncovered, and you say to rock the car to slosh fuel over to the suction, great tip. But you might continue that to tell the reader that after the car now starts, immediately move it back to level ground because gravity never stops working. The car will die again right away as the fuel runs downhill again. This will be obvious to the mechanically inclined like me, but not likely to the average non-mechanical driver.
It was interesting to hear your experiences and how often each type of break-down happened.
It is very generous of you to give your time and expertise to help people. If I help anyone, I would also not expect to be paid, except for any fuel I would provide. People ought to pay for the gas they get. That's only fair to you. I especially hope you don't give free gas to people driving a BMW, Lexus, Mercedes, and the like.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an excellent resource I stumbled on while looking to gather the tools to pursue the same hobby: neighborly roadside assists. This straightforward book is a collection of solutions to common problems and encouragement to prepare for them. But, what I enjoyed most is his passion for helping others.

We live in a self-centered world. When I stop to help a stranded motorist, even those content to wait for AAA, they often say, "Thanks for stopping, you're the only one." Our cities and towns could use a few more intentional neighbors to pursue this or similar hobbies that focus on the well-being of others.

Whether you're looking to be prevent becoming a stranded motorist or to help others, pick up this encouraging book. By the time you finish, you might even find your faith in humanity restored.
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Format: Paperback
Bookworm Speaks!

Roadside Survival: Low-tech Solutions to Automobile Breakdowns

by Walt Brinker

****

Summary: Two hundred million licensed motor vehicle drivers in the United States expose themselves routinely to significant risk while betting that they will not become stranded when they drive.  There are two kinds of drivers: 1) those who have experienced a disabled vehicle (and will again), and 2) those who will for the first time.  Drivers can decrease the chances that they will have a break down and become stranded.  This subject may seem dry and boring – – until you have experienced being stranded and vulnerable to whims of anyone who comes along.  Each year AAA responds to 30 million calls for help from stranded motorists, reflecting only a fraction of the total.  Some folks learn only by experiencing inconvenience, embarrassment, and potentially serious risks.  Others make the proactive choice to learn how to prevent problems and the methods to counteract them should they occur.  This book provides you with the opportunity to avoid the negatives associated with becoming stranded

The Good: Automobiles are such a ubiquitous part of modern society, it is hard to imagine what would happen if they all suddenly stopped working. Like it or not, everyone who uses a car on a regular basis has had their share of problems and breakdowns.

The author goes out of the way to mention that automotive repair is his hobby and he has been doing this for quite some time, so while he may not be a “professional” in the traditional sense of the word, he has a great deal of experience in this manner. This helps to reassure the reader that they are not just being given advice that had been consumed off a webpage and regurgitated into book format.
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