The Most Common Causes of Car Breakdowns: Avoid Making These Mistakes (Part One)

There is nothing worse than breaking down in your car, especially as it always seems to happen at the worst possible time. It always seems to happen when we are dressed up, or on our way somewhere important, or generally running a little late.

Cars don’t seem to break down as much as they did in the past, but it’s still a massive inconvenience when it happens. The most frustrating thing is that a lot of the time, it can easily be avoided.

As a company who specialises in helping out motorists who have put the wrong fuel in their cars, such as petrol in a diesel car, we encounter a lot of people who have experienced a car breakdown. However, using the wrong fuel is just one of many reasons why a breakdown has occurred.

Below we have put together some of the top reasons for why cars breakdown – so you can try and avoid them happening to you.

Flat Battery

If you use your car to make short trips on a regular basis, you could be running down your battery a lot quicker. A huge number of car problems are caused by terminals and clamp connections or loss of voltage – which is from constantly using your car for short journeys without recharging.

You should check that terminals have been cleaned regularly, making sure that they are protected from corrosion with a layer of petroleum jelly or grease.

If your battery is over three years old, you should have it checked out every few months to make sure it’s fully charged.

A good thing is that your battery is unlikely to die whilst driving; it’s only when attempting to restart your car that problems will arise.

A Flat Tire

There is nothing scarier than feeling your tire blow whilst you are driving. The most important thing to remember is that you shouldn’t panic – keep your wheel steady and slowly make your way to the side of the road.

To avoid this happening, you should look out for the following things.

  • Tire pressure – You can check your tire pressure at most garages for little cost. It’s important that your tires are not under inflated, as this puts extra strain on the tire wall and will cause a failure.
  • Tread wear – Check this weekly – legally it should be at a minimum of 1.6mm.
  • Tire damage – Check your tires every week for any damages. Damage can be caused by running over anything sharp, or by them suffering a hard impact.

Wrong Fuel

It’s surprising how many people still put the wrong fuel in their cars. In fact, the AA believes that around 150,000 people make this same mistake ever year.

Whilst it can feel like a complete disaster, there are certain steps that you can take to avoid too much damage being done to your car.

  • Do not turn on the ignition. Keeping it turned off will stop the wrong fuel from being drawn up into the engine and causing a lot of damage.
  • Work out how much you have put in. If you think you have put in less than 10% of the wrong fuel, it should be safe to fill up on the right fuel and carry on as normal.
  • Call professional help – If you think you have put in more than the 10%, it’s important that you call for help. A missfulled car will need to be drained by a qualified mechanic.

These are just a few of the reasons for why people breakdown. We will revisit this series soon, looking at even more reasons for why there is a huge amount of car breakdowns every day.

We hope that this post will help you avoid making these mistakes in the future. However, these things can happen and it helps to be prepared.

Here at Wrong Fuel, we are able to drain unwanted fuel from your car in a way that can ensure no damage is done. You can contact us anytime on 0800 634 9827, so we recommend keeping our number on hand just in case.