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5 Most Common Causes for Car Breakdowns and How to Avoid Them

Car breakdowns can happen unexpectedly, turning a smooth journey into a roadside ordeal. Understanding the common causes and implementing preventive tips can be your ticket to a hassle-free drive. Let’s explore the mysteries of car breakdowns and equip you with foolproof strategies to keep your wheels rolling.

Stressed man beside open bonnet, facing common car breakdown issues. Discovering preventive tips for a smooth ride.

Common Causes of Car Breakdowns:

Uncover the reasons behind common breakdowns, from battery issues to tyre troubles. Learn practical tips for proactive maintenance, ensuring a hassle-free journey with fewer unexpected setbacks.

01. Flat or Failing Battery:

Your car’s heartbeat, the battery, can often decide if your journey will be smooth or stalled. Understanding why batteries fail and taking simple precautions can keep you confident on the road.
Why it Happens:
  • Continuous use, short trips, and electronic devices can drain the battery over time.
  • Faulty components, connectors, or an ageing battery contribute to failures.
How to Avoid:
  • Turn off lights and interior electrics before switching off the ignition.
  • Opt for longer trips occasionally to extend the battery’s lifespan.
  • Regularly service your car to detect and address battery-related issues.
Related Article:
  • If you find yourself with a flat battery, learn how to jump-start your car battery. Reviving a vehicle with a flat battery demands know-how and caution.

02. Tyre Problems:

Your tyres are the only link between your car and the road. Understanding the reasons behind tyre troubles and adopting preventative measures ensures a safer and uninterrupted drive.

Why it Happens:
  • Some vehicles no longer come with a spare tyre as standard, increasing vulnerability.
  • Irregular maintenance and lack of attention to tyre conditions contribute to breakdowns.
How to Avoid:
  • Regularly check tyre tread, and pressure, and look for uneven wear.
  • Carry a spare tyre if your vehicle allows, especially if it doesn’t come as standard.
  • Ensure tyres are properly inflated and aligned to prevent blowouts.
Related Article:
  • Discover more about maintaining optimal tyre conditions and when it’s time to change them in our guide on when to change car tyres. This guide empowers you to prioritize safety and boost your vehicle’s tyre performance.

03. Broken Clutch:

The clutch can cause major headaches when it malfunctions. Discover why clutches break and how routine care can keep your manual transmission in top-notch condition.

Why it Happens:
  • Lack of lubrication, wear and tear, and irregular servicing contribute to clutch faults.
  • Early signs, like a ‘sticky’ feeling or unusual sounds, are often ignored.
How to Avoid:
  • Regularly lubricate the clutch and include it in your annual servicing routine.
  • Pay attention to early signs of clutch issues, such as changes in feel or sounds.
  • Promptly address any ‘sticky’ sensations or abnormalities in clutch performance.

04. Alternator Faults:

The alternator can turn a joyride into a nightmare when it falters. Learn why alternators fail and how to safeguard your car’s power source.

Why it Happens:
  • Weak electrical output, dashboard warning lights, and unusual noises indicate issues.
  • Ignoring early indicators can result in engine cutoffs and expensive repairs.
How to Avoid:
  • Promptly address weak electrical output, dashboard warning lights, or strange noises.
  • Regularly service your car to detect and address alternator issues early.
  • Preventative action ensures a well-functioning alternator and a healthy battery.

05. Starter Motor Issues:

The starter motor is pivotal for kickstarting your car’s engine smoothly. Yet, glitches in this vital component can lead to frustrating breakdowns. Let’s uncover the common reasons behind starter motor issues and discover preventive steps for a hassle-free ignition.

Why it Happens:

  • If turning the key results in nothing happening, the starter motor might be faulty.
  • Loud clicking noises often indicate wiring or connector issues.
  • Lack of maintenance and ignoring early signs contribute to starter motor failures.
 

How to Avoid:

  • Regularly check for loud clicking noises or any abnormalities when starting the car.
  • Call an expert promptly if you experience starter motor issues for diagnosis and repair.
  • Include starter motor checks in your routine maintenance for early issue detection.
Steam rising from under the car bonnet as a hand works inside. Hot day breakdown? Learn essential tips for prevention.

Extra Tips for Hot Days

Beat the summer heat with essential tips for your car. From checking coolant levels to addressing moisture buildup, prioritize engine health. Prepare your vehicle for summer road trips and stay refreshed during potential breakdowns with practical advice, ensuring stress-free summer journeys.

01. Coolant Check:

Hot temperatures can strain your engine, making coolant levels crucial. Ensure a smooth ride by following these steps:

  • Park on level ground before checking coolant levels.
  • Allow the engine to cool, then fill the coolant to the max.
  • Regular top-ups are essential to prevent overheating.

02. Fight Moisture:

Excessive heat combined with inactivity, may lead to moisture buildup in your car. Counteract this issue with simple preventative measures:

  • Run your car for 15 minutes weekly to evaporate excess moisture.
  • Keep your vehicle in top shape, even during summer lulls.

03. Oil Matters:

High temperatures can put additional stress on your engine. Prioritize a trouble-free summer journey with these oil-related tips:

  • Check oil levels before embarking on long summer journeys.
  • Follow your car manual’s guide to ensure the oil reservoir is adequately filled.

04. Journey Prep:

Planning a summer road trip? Ensure your vehicle is up for the adventure by taking these precautionary steps:

  • Conduct a quick garage check before hitting the road.
  • Address any potential issues to keep breakdown risks at bay.

05. Stay Refreshed:

Long delays during summer breakdowns can be stressful. Stay prepared with these tips:

  • Keep water and snacks in your car for hydration and sustenance.
  • Opt for reusable flasks – an eco-friendly way to keep your water cool.

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