Car troubles have a way of ruining even the worst days, especially when they leave you stranded on the side of the road. It's understandable to look for ways to avoid calling for help or to at least limp your car home and dodge the cost of a tow. Unfortunately, trying to solve roadside emergencies alone can sometimes have costly or even dangerous consequences.

If you find yourself stuck on the side of the road, be sure to stop and carefully evaluate your situation. If you find yourself with one of these three problems, it may be a better idea to call for assistance than to try to tackle it alone.

1. Overheating

Modern vehicles should never overheat under normal circumstances. If your car's temperature needle starts climbing dangerously high, it means you have a significant problem with your cooling system or an internal engine issue. In many cases, the cause of overheating is a relatively cheap and simple fix, such as a cracked coolant hose or a leaking gasket.

However, trying to get your car just a few more miles down the road can lead to disaster. Since manufacturers typically build modern engines from aluminum, even short periods of overheating can cause thousands of dollars of damage. When you find yourself in this particular type of hot water, it's best to shut your car off immediately and call for a tow.

2. Flat Tires

Few problems will force you to the side of the road as quickly as a flat tire. Even if you don't suffer a catastrophic blowout, a flat is still hazardous to drive on. Not only will you have difficulty controlling your car, but you may also ruin an otherwise salvageable tire. In many cases, you can repair a flat as long as you avoid causing more damage by continuing to drive on it.

You should also never try to change a tire on the side of the road. Not only are emergency jacks somewhat dangerous, but trying to jack a car on an uneven road surface close to moving traffic can easily lead to tragedy. Instead of trying to handle this yourself, call for assistance to bring your vehicle to a tire shop or at least the relative safety of a nearby parking lot.

3. Dead Batteries

A dead battery might not seem like an emergency, but you might want to wait before asking a stranger for a quick jump. Incorrectly jump-starting a car can potentially damage your vehicle or the donor vehicle, and it may not even solve your problem. If you have another issue with your charging system, you may only get a few miles down the road before your car dies again.

Roadside assistance drivers use battery chargers that can more safely get you driving again. More importantly, they'll test your battery to ensure that it's holding a charge, making this option far safer and more reliable.

For more information on when to call roadside assistance, contact a professional near you.