Car breakdowns can be a major bummer in any occasions, whether you are on your way to work, going out for a family trip or just driving back home. It is definitely unpleasant to be stuck by the roadside. In worse cases, you might even put yourself and other road users in danger if your car breaks down in the middle of the road!
The thing is, you will never know when your car is going to develop a problem. That being said, there are some common issues that may lead to breaking down on the road. Here are the top 5 causes for car breakdowns!
1. Car battery trouble
Car batteries don’t last forever. They usually become flat and need to be replaced every few years. Common indications of a flat car battery include difficulty in turning the engine on, takes longer than usual to start, car doesn’t start when you turn the key and/ or dashboard displays the red battery warning light while you’re driving.
Regular driving helps to keep your car battery charged. However, short journeys often don’t provide enough power. Charging the battery overnight every so often might help extend its life.
2. Damaged tyres
A flat tyre caused by a puncture is a very common cause of breaking down. Having a flat tyre is hard to prevent as unseen potholes or debris on a road surface may damage your tyres. In such cases, you will have to pull over by the road side and have your tyre checked to see if you need to replace it with the spare tyre.
However, poorly maintained tyres are more likely to have issues. Check your tyres regularly and make sure to inflate them to the right pressure. An uneven wearing of the tyres could also indicate that your wheels aren’t aligned properly, so it’s time to have it sent to the mechanic to get the alignment fixed.
3. Lost and Locked-in keys
If you lose your key or lock it inside your car, you’re going to need help to get back in. Keeping a spare car key at home is a good idea, but little use if you’re far away. That’s why lost or trapped keys are a big cause of breakdowns.
Though it’s harder to lock our keys in the car, it’s not impossible, all thanks to central locking. With alarms and immobilisers getting more sophisticated than ever, many people have to call for help when they can’t get into their own cars. You will either need to visit an authorised dealer or to call someone qualified out to your car to help you get back in!
4. Clogged Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF)
DPF is a part of the exhaust system on diesel engine vehicles. It traps fine particles of soot and burns them off into less-harmful gas through a process called regeneration. The DPF may get blocked up if you often do short journeys.
To prevent a clogged DPF, be sure to do a weekly run up the motorway. In the event of an overload, a warning light will come on the dashboard. When that happens, drive at motorway speeds for a decent period to clear it. Alternatively, you may look up for the full instructions from the vehicle handbook or send it to the nearest mechanic to get it cleared!
5. Fuel Problems
As funny as it may sound, putting the wrong fuel (e.g. diesel into a petrol car and vice versa) happens! When this happens, do not start your engine! Immediately call your mechanic to get help.
To prevent this from happening, be sure to double-check the pump nozzle before you pull the trigger (Green for petrol and Black for diesel). The diesel nozzle is also larger, so it can be harder to mis-fill a petrol car.
Running out of fuel during a journey is another main cause of car breakdowns. It is best not to rely on your car’s display which shows how many more kilometres are left until the tank is completely empty. It’s not always accurate.
Be sure to fill your tank regularly and top up the day before going on a long journey. In case you do run out of fuel, again, call your trusty mechanic to give you a top up if you need a few litres to get moving again.
Don’t have a trusty mechanic yet? Visit the nearest ez inspection centre to get your car checked and inspected! Find one now via www.ezauto.my today!