Ever saw a driver on the road with the car hood open and a “Why me?” look and prayed that it never happens to you? Below, we look at the top reasons behind car breakdowns and what you can do to reduce the risk of it happening to you.
1. Dead or Low Battery
The biggest reason behind car breakdowns is a flat battery. Check your battery every month, and every week in winters to reduce the risk of your car breaking down.
Common reasons why your battery could fail include:
- Bad cell in battery results in poorly charged or dead battery
- Battery terminals are corroded and are preventing the battery from charging
- Older batteries, which tend to be more worn out
- Lights, radio etc left on
- Alternator not charging the battery
2. Flat Tire or Tire Blowout
Things to look out for:
- Tread Wear: Check the treads on your tyres weekly.
- Tyre pressure: Always maintain the manufacturer recommended tyre pressure as incorrect tyre pressure can lead to extra strain on the tyres and affect handling.
- Damage to tyres: This can be caused by hitting something or running over something sharp.
- Foreign objects: Check for nails, screws etc.
3. Electrical Faults
It’s hard to do anything by yourself if your car breaks down due to an electrical fault. So, make sure you get your car checked out when the first symptoms of a problem show up, e.g. if you start to get an intermittent fault or starting your car becomes a problem.
4. Transmission Issues
Most people fail to have their transmissions serviced and fluids changed. This causes increased stress and wear and tear on transmissions leading to premature failure and expensive repair costs. Always ensure that you get your car’s transmission checked when you send it for servicing.
5. Running Out of Fuel
You’ll be surprised to know that a number of cars breakdown on the roads because they run out of fuel. Keep an eye on your fuel gauge and if the low fuel indicator comes on, make sure you stop for a refill at a petrol pump as soon as you can.
6. Engine Overheating
There could be a number of reasons behind an engine overheating:
- Stuck Thermostat: If your upper radiator hose isn’t warming up once your car starts, then it’s probably your thermostat. Word of Advice: Never open your radiator cap when your engine is hot or you could be severely burned.
- Leak in the Vehicle’s cooling system: This is easy to diagnose as the radiator will be low on fluid and there will probably be a pool of coolant on the floor of your garage.
- Faulty Water Pump: The water pump is a vital part of your cooling system since it is responsible for circulating coolant through your engine. With a faulty water pump your vehicle will not run for more than a few minutes without overheating.
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