A car breakdown is hugely inconvenient and having your vehicle towed and repaired can be expensive if major components have failed. That is why it is important to have your vehicle regularly serviced so that wear and tear can be detected early and major complications avoided.
Unfortunately, car breakdowns still happen. This article outlines the common causes and the early warning signs so that you can get your vehicle to the mechanic before it fails.
This is the leading cause of car breakdowns. Batteries usually only last about three years before they start to lose the ability to hold sufficient charge to start your vehicle. If you notice any dimming of your lights or difficulty turning the engine over (slow, halting cranking when you turn the key), your battery could be on the way out. It should be tested regularly at every service as well.
Your vehicle has overheated
If your coolant levels are not maintained, it can cause your car to overheat and potentially cause damage to important components. If you have leaking pipes or a failing radiator, your vehicle won’t be able to keep itself cool and this could become a constant problem. If you find that you are constantly having to refill the coolant and/or there is green liquid pooling underneath your engine bay, you could have problems with your radiator or the pipes that connect it to the engine.
Punctures happen and sometimes there is nothing we can do about that, except having a reliable spare tyre in the rear of the vehicle. Otherwise, you need to regularly check the air pressure of your tyres and the tread. They should be rotated every service so the tread wear is even and replaced when the tread is too low. Your car manual will tell you the pressure your tyres should be and the indicators to show the tread is too low.
Major engine issues
If your engine fails, it is generally bad news. It can cost thousands to repair and in some instances, the vehicle will be a write-off. This can happen to newer cars as well as old ones, but it is usually user fault. The leading cause of engine failure is a lack of lubrication, AKA oil. You should check your oil levels every time you fuel up and top up as required. Your oil should be drained and replaced with fresh oil every service as well.
Most modern vehicles have an automatic transmission that can be easily forgotten about by drivers. They can fail the same way manual gearboxes can, so you should look out for telltale signs. If your vehicle is not smoothly changing gears, making clunking or grinding noises between gear changes is noisy when in neutral or you have difficulty moving the gear stick, it is time for an inspection. If you are driving a manual vehicle, any changes to the pressure of your clutch could be an indicator of transmission issues as well.
It is not as uncommon as you might think for motorists to put diesel into a petrol car or vice versa. If you have done this, do not start the car or attempt to drive it. Call us for an emergency breakdown service immediately to prevent further damage. It is possible to get contaminated fuel from a petrol station as well from tanks that have had water or other materials leak into them. If your vehicle runs roughly after fueling up, stop the car and call us immediately on 0408 171 392.