Spotting the signs of common car breakdown issues may help you to implement a temporary fix while on the road or maintain your car so you can avoid them in the future.
Sometimes the problems can begin before you’ve even left home. A flat battery is one of the most common problems and effects people in the winter more than in the summer. If your car is completely dead or is struggling to turn over you can be pretty sure the battery is to blame. Luckily, it’s an easy fix and in most cases, just requires a new battery to be swapped in. Depending on the type and size of the battery, it can be relatively cheap too compared to other breakdown problems.
A slow puncture or a flat tyre can be incredibly annoying and isn’t something you can resolve yourself. You will need to use the spare until you can get the tyre replaced at a garage. Common causes for this type of breakdown are hitting a pot hole, running over a sharp object or simply tyre wear. Sometimes if you’re tracking if off it can cause uneven tyre wear so, it’s important to check the whole tyre for signs of gauges or cords.
The alternator is used to charge up your car battery so is an important component to keeping your car running. An alternator fault may be slightly more difficult to diagnose than a flat battery or tyre but the typical warning signs are dim headlights, slow wipers, higher than normal engine temperature and the ignition light illuminating the dashboard.
An alternator fault is a serious problem so you will need to stop immediately if you notice any of the warning signs. If you can’t get your car started or you are away from home you will need to call roadside assistance or Motors Recovery to help fix the problem or get your car to the nearest garage.
One of the most common and easily avoidable car breakdown issues is putting the wrong fuel in your car. Around 133,000 people have this problem every year. It might be that you’ve got a new car that uses a different fuel type or you’re driving a hire car or a friend’s car. Whatever the reason, it can be quite a serious and expensive mistake if you don’t act immediately. Top tips in case this does happen to you are:
- Turn the engine off/don’t turn the engine on
- Do not drive anywhere
- Call roadside assistance as soon as possible
- Wait for them to pump out the incorrect fuel
Just like the alternator, the clutch is a very important part in manual vehicles. It’s one of the most used components and is put under a lot of stress every time you drive. Again, it can be difficult to diagnose this problem yourself, but if you feel any difference in the way the clutch feels you should pull over as assess the situation. It could be that it hasn’t yet snapped, and you can limp to a garage. If it feels like it has gone, you will need someone to help temporarily fix it or take you to a garage where it can be fixed properly.