At some point or another, no matter how long you have been driving, you’re going to experience your car breaking down. Usually fate would have it be when you’re in the middle of nowhere and it’s pouring with rain!
The best way to prevent a breakdown is to regularly maintain your car and have any repairs done as and when they need doing. It’s also a great idea to have some basic knowledge of what could potentially go wrong. Although certain models of car will be more prone to certain issues, generally it’s the same problems that cause the breakdowns time and time again.
Here are some of the most common reasons for car breakdowns and how to avoid them:
Modern cars have transponder keys which include electronic chips as well as mechanical keys to help stop the car getting stolen. Losing these types of keys means you may have a difficult journey ahead to get a new one. Often you will have to pay an authorised dealer to get a replacement key for you, which can take weeks depending on the type of car you have. It may be the case you have a broken set of keys, which tend to be easier to fix.
The way to stop this happening is by either carrying spare keys around with you, or being
extra careful with your keys. This may sound obvious but carrying keys around becomes a habit we rarely think about, which means mistakes can easily happen.
Cars may break down because the battery has gone flat, this can happen when you keep making short journeys because the battery doesn’t get chance to charge properly. The way to prevent this happening is to either make a long journey every few weeks to charge the battery fully, or charge the battery yourself overnight every couple of weeks. It’s also worth getting the battery and battery terminals checked during every car service.
Putting the wrong type of fuel in your vehicle can can cause you a lot of problems and will require you having to have your entire system flushed out. You may also break down because of an empty fuel tank – this is extremely easy to avoid. Fill up at the start of journeys, always use the right type of fuel for your car, and always fill up before the warning light comes on.
Tyre problems can range enormously and can be easy to fix, or more difficult to sort out. Always ensure your tyres have the correct amount of pressure in them in relation to the load you are carrying (your handbook will provide you with this information). Always pump up tyres regularly. If you scrape a kerb or have impact with a kerb, visit a garage if damage is visible as damage may have caused a slow puncture. Check your tyres over visually, regularly. Look for tyre wear that is uneven as this could indicate that your wheels are not aligned properly. Check your spare tyre regularly, if it is flat or worn it cannot be used if the wheels you are using have any issues. If you do suffer a flat, and the puncture is in the main tread area, and the deflated tyre has not overheated you could use a mobile puncture repairs service which could save you a lot of money compared to paying for a completely new tyre.
Driving In Bad Weather Conditions
Although it is possible to drive safely in adverse weather conditions, sometimes a lack of preparation or lack of caution can cause breakdowns when the weather is bad. To avoid this, avoid travelling where possible if the weather is really bad. Alternatively if you feel your vehicle is able to drive well in the bad weather, ensure you do a full check of it before you set off and leave plenty of time to drive slowly. Never drive in bad weather if the weather is too dangerous to drive in, or if you know your vehicle is incapable of handling the challenges that particular weather type brings.
If you see any signs of wear on your clutch cables, opt to get them repaired as soon as possible. They can weaken and deteriorate over time and may not be suitable for temporary repairs if you have roadside recovery.
Remember, preparation is key. Look after your vehicle and it will look after you.