Unit 21 :
Car Trouble



To test your patience in terms of travelling.

car trouble

What will you do if your car suddenly break out in the middle of the road?

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Repeat the following words and phrases with your teacher and use them in a sentence.

  •  freeway(n)
  • pull over(v)
  • pop(v)
  • hood(n)
  • barely(adv)
  • overheat(adj)
  • radiator(n)
  • transmission(n)
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Read the story aloud with your teacher.

I was driving down the Santa Monica freeway yesterday, headed towards downtown, when all of a sudden I see my engine light come on. Needless to say, that’s not the sort of thing one likes to see. So I immediately pull over to the side of the road and park on the shoulder. I pop the hood and look to see what the problem might be. I’m not a mechanic. I barely know how to change the oil and the wiper fluid‚ but perhaps something would pop out at me.

The car didn’t overheat, since there was no steam coming out of the radiator. I checked the battery cables, and the battery was definitely not dead. I didn’t know quite what else to do, so I pulled out my cell phone and called AAA for a tow to the nearest repair shop. I started worrying about all the things it could be‚Äîthe fuel pump, the transmission, the electrical system. Who knows? I just had new brakes put in a month ago, so I knew it couldn’t be that.

The tow truck finally arrived and we went to a nearby mechanic. He checked everything, and then told me that he had found the problem: the engine light sensor was broken! I now had to take it into the dealer to get it fixed. Well, at least it didn’t end up costing me an arm and a leg.

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Let’s practice

Answer the questions based on what you’ve read.

 1. Where is the author going?

2. What happened to her?

3. How did he/ she solved the problem?

4. Did she/ he solved it alone?

5. Who helped her/ him?

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Share your  ideas with your teacher. 

  1. Is road side assistance common in your country?
  2. Can you change a flat tire?
  3. Do you know anything about fixing a car?
  4. Who taught you to drive? Was it pleasant or unpleasant?
  5. Have you ever broken down and been stuck on the side of the road? Who helped you?