Breakdowns are never a good thing and understanding the most common causes is one of the smartest possible ways you can protect yourself from them happening to you. Cars are massively complicated machines at the best of times, and things can always go wrong no matter what the vehicle. Identifying the common areas like these is just one of the many things that you can do to make yourself as prepared as can be, and they all have the potential to happen to the best of us.
Car batteries are a tough thing to manage. Although there are good practises to make sure you’re looking after them, that’s not always enough. There can even be problems that you never knew existed if you’re not sure what to look for. All of that adds up to making them one of the most common causes of breakdowns in the UK, and sadly, very few ways to tell if and when it’s going to happen.
The best way to keep your battery in good health is to make sure that it’s getting used. Your alternator will charge your battery just by running your engine, so do this if you need to leave your car standing at all or you’re not getting too much use. If you do see any warning signs like laboured ignition, electrical issues, and anything else electrical that seems like the battery could be struggling.
Despite being one of the biggest essentials of how cars actually work, another massive cause of breakdowns in the UK comes from oil issues too. Your car will run low on it from time to time and when that happens, you stand a much higher chance of running into trouble. That’s where things like seizing engines take place and it can be a huge problem for your car.
To prevent it from happening, all you need to do here is keep it checked regularly. Check every month or so if you can to make sure you have enough fluid. Likewise, don’t overfill either as this can cause you problems too, but don’t neglect it.
As well as your oil levels needing to be maintained, it’s also a great idea to make sure your vehicles other fluids are in the best shape possible too. That comes from your coolant a lot of the time (as well as your antifreeze in winter). Without it, your car can easily have massive problems that can take your car off the road completely.
Preventing this breakdown cause just like above. You need to check the levels often and thoroughly. Things will dry up, so top them up as and when you need to do so. It’s never a bad thing to be careful and it can save you a world of trouble.
Tyre and Wheel Issues
Another easy problem to find yourself in a breakdown situation with is your wheel or tyre situation. It’s far too easy for them to go wrong on you and leave you at the roadside unable to move again safely. Whether it’s a puncture a buckle, or anything else that can happen, it’s seriously bad news and a real danger too.
First and foremost is to check your tyres regularly. Don’t drive on bald or cracked tyres and get them changed as and when you need to. They do not last forever and need to be changed more often than any other part of your vehicle. Don’t chance it.
This one comes down solely to you as an individual, and usually, when you’re driving a new car or something that you are not sued to. It’s an accident waiting to happen and putting the wrong kind of fuel in your car has massive repercussions if do it. Make sure you pull over and call for help to get your fuel emptied and refilled correctly.
Preventing this common breakdown cause just comes down to you remembering what you need to do. Concentrate on getting this right, especially when you’re driving a new vehicle. It can happen to the best of us, but that doesn’t make it any less embarrassing when it does happen.
Clutches and Cambelts
Lastly, if you drive a manual vehicle, your clutch is another common problem area if you don’t keep on top of it. Believe it or not, your clutch is actually capable of snapping when it gets too worn down and that can mean really bad news for your gears. Likewise, your cambelt is too if you have been racking up the miles or your car is getting a few years under its belt (sorry).
If you feel any problems when using your clutch, and weakness or even any grinding or squeaking when using it, get it looked it. The same goes for your cambelt too. It could be a range of issues but if it’s your clutch on its way out then it can be an expensive fix. Keep on top of it.
Ultimately, just about all causes of breakdowns are avoidable if you know what to look for. They are all things that need to be kept on top of but are also extremely easy to miss if you’re not sure what they are in the first place or that they need to be checked. On top of that, accidents can still happen too. Do your best to keep yourself prepared and do what you can to look after your car. Happy driving!