Car breakdowns can be a frustrating experience for drivers and they often occur at the most inconvenient times.
Based on our data as leading car breakdown cover providers, we’ll delve into the 10 most common causes of car breakdowns, exploring what triggers these issues and why they happen.
1. Flat or Faulty Batteries
One of the primary reasons for breakdowns is a flat or faulty battery and it can occur due to the battery being old, extreme weather conditions, or leaving lights on without the engine running.
Batteries have a limited lifespan, and adverse weather, particularly cold temperatures, can significantly impact their performance. Therefore, leaving electrical components on when the engine is off drains the battery, leading to breakdowns.
2. Tyre Issues
Punctures, blowouts, or general wear and tear on tyres are common culprits for breakdowns. Sharp objects on the road can puncture tyres, and underinflated or worn-out tyres are more prone to failure. Therefore, regular maintenance, including checking tyre pressure, can prevent such issues and further improve your safety while driving on the road.
3. Alternator Problems
Alternators are responsible for charging the battery and powering the electrical system but when they fail, it’ll stop charging the battery and result in it becoming flat.
4. Starter Motor Failure
The starter motor is crucial for initiating the engine’s combustion process and if it fails, you’ll be unable to start your car. Unfortunately, it’s a component that rarely gives any telltale signs of it being broken and wear and tear, electrical issues, or a faulty ignition switch can cause starter motor failure.
5. Engine Overheating
If your car has overheated due to inadequate coolant levels or a malfunctioning cooling system, it’ll need to be recovered. Attempting to drive a car that’s running too hot can lead to much more expensive damage and it’s simply not worth your while.
6. Faulty Fuel System
Running out of fuel, contaminated fuel or issues with the fuel pump and injectors is another common cause of breakdowns. Often there are telltale signs before you breakdown such as misfires, difficulty in starting the car and a “chuffing” noise coming from the engine (from the injectors leaking).
7. Ignition Coil Failure
The ignition coil is vital for spark plug function, and failure can result in the engine misfiring or stalling. They are often changed as part of a major service and they aren’t too expensive to replace.
8. Issues With The Electrical System
Problems with the engine’s wiring harness, fuses or other electrical components may also cause a breakdown. For example, if your stop-start function has stopped or the button to start your car isn’t working, you’ll be left stranded. The complexity of modern car electronics makes them susceptible to far more electrical issues than most older cars.
9. Clutch Cable Snapping
Clutch cables can snap due to wear, poor adjustment, or manufacturing defects. Unfortunately, if your clutch cable does snap, you’ll certainly be left stranded and depending on the model of the car, it can be an expensive part to replace due to the amount of labour required.
10. Broken Fan Belts
Fan belts play a crucial role in the engine’s cooling system and as mentioned above, if they wear out, crack or break, it won’t be able to cool the car and result in the car overheating.
The Importance of Breakdown Cover
Car breakdown cover is a crucial investment as it offers a swift lifeline during unexpected vehicle issues that can occur (as discussed above). Beyond the assurance of 24/7 nationwide support, it significantly reduces the financial burden associated with emergency services and repairs. In moments of distress, having breakdown cover means quick and professional assistance, minimizing downtime and stress. It’s a cost-efficient safeguard that ensures drivers can swiftly get back on the road, emphasizing peace of mind through its accessibility, timely resolutions, and the assurance that help is just a phone call away, regardless of the time or location.
Although your car may have a great car warranty, in the event of a breakdown, you just want your car recovered as soon as possible so that you are no longer at the side of the road.