4 Common Causes of Car Breakdowns and How to Prevent Them

You rely on your car day in and day out, and you certainly don’t want it to leave you stranded along the side of the road. To keep from getting stuck, familiarize yourself with common breakdown causes. That way, you can take steps to prevent inconvenient car troubles.

Dead Battery

If your battery has no power, then your car won’t turn on. Instead, you may hear a “click, click, click” when you turn the key. A battery should last for at least three years. Once it reaches that age, start having it tested regularly, and replace it as soon as your mechanic recommends doing so. Keep in mind that extreme temperatures can make your battery more likely to fail.

Failed Alternator

Sometimes, what at first appears to be a dead battery actually ends up being a faulty alternator. This part usually lasts for around 7 years or 100,000 miles, and then it’s time for a replacement. Unfortunately, alternator failure can easily sneak up on you. However, if you notice that your headlights aren’t keeping a consistent level of brightness or that your radio goes in and out, those could be signs that your alternator is dying. Take your vehicle in for service right away.

Overheated Engine

If your engine is asked to work too hard, it may get too hot. Overheating can happen at any time of year, but it’s more common in summer. You can prevent a serious problem by maintaining the proper coolant level. It’s also important to keep an eye on your temperature gauge as you drive. If it starts to creep into dangerous levels, pull your car over right away. Cranking up the heat inside the car can help cool down the engine. If you see steam, turn off the car and open up the hood until the engine cools down.

Worn-Out Belts

If the belts in your car wear out, you’ll experience diminished power output. If they give out entirely, the engine won’t be able to run. Your car may have a serpentine belt or V belts. Either way, the best way to keep on top of belt maintenance is to have your car regularly inspected by a pro. When your mechanic says it’s time to replace a belt, it’s wise to complete this repair right away.
Proper care and maintenance is essential for any vehicle. If you keep your car in good shape, you should be able to rely on it for a long time to come. While car trailers are great for hauling away broken-down vehicles, it’s better to prevent your car failing in the first place.