Top 10 Causes of Vehicle Breakdown

The top ten causes of vehicle breakdown in the UK and how to avoid them:

  1. Unable to start the vehicle due to flat or faulty battery. – Ensure that clamps and connections are secure. At each service check that the terminals have been cleaned and ensure they are protected from corrosion with a good layer of petroleum jelly or grease. If you regularly use your car for short journeys only then a regular recharge is recommended
  2. Flat tyres and/or damaged wheels. – Ensure tyres are kept properly inflated, check the tread depth regularly and check tyres and wheel rims for damage after any contact with kerbs. To be prepared in case you get a flat tyre, ensure that your spare tyre is suitable for use, that the jack and wheel removal tools are all present and correct and finally make sure your locking wheel nut key is kept in the car.
  3. Empty fuel tank or wrong fuel in tank. – This can be a very expensive mistake to make, particularly if you drive multiple cars make sure you’re sure which car takes petrol and which takes diesel!  Draining the tank of the wrong fuel isn’t cheap and can actual cause damage which would add even more expense!
  4. Faulty alternator – Be vigilant and get your car to a garage at the first sign of dim lights and constant battery problems so that it can be fixed before it causes a lot of damage.
  5. Keys stolen, lost or locked in car – Whilst most breakdown companies will be able to retrieve keys locked in your car make sure you have a spare set of keys available should yours go missing as otherwise you may have to wait for up to 2 or 3 days until you main dealer can replace them.
  6. Starter motor – Ensure this is checked at your garage during regular service and maintenance and replace if necessary.
  7. Distributer cap – Replace the cap at manufacturers recommended intervals.
  8. Spark plugs – Make sure that the spark plugs are replaced at the recommended service intervals.
  9. High tension (HT) leads and connections – Ensure these are checked at your garage during regular services and replace them if necessary.
  10. Clutch cables – Keep this in good condition, replace when there are the first signs of wear.