How to avoid a car breakdown: Top tips

Car 3 min read

30 Jul 2020

Whatever the weather and wherever you might be driving to, it’s always a good idea to check that all is in order with your car before you make your journey. Breaking down is one of the most irritating problems drivers can face, so, to help you avoid this unbearable situation, we’ve put together six top tips which could help you prevent a car breakdown.  

 

Keep your engine oil topped up 

Engine oil is vital for keeping your car working properly. If your engine oil light comes on, make sure to pull over as soon as possible and check the oil level. Driving without the necessary level of oil under the proper amount of pressure can result in extensive damage to your engine so it is best to check at regular intervals to make sure the level hasn’t gone too low.  

 

Never miss a service 

The thought of going to a garage to be faced with a hefty bill might be daunting but safety comes first. To ensure you get a fair price on servicing, it is worth shopping around and getting some quotes from garages in your area. Regular services and keeping your NCT up to date will help you avoid a break down.  

 

Drive properly 

Your driving habits have a direct impact on the health of your car and the parts which are essential for driving. Revving your car engine in cold weather can create a rapid temperature change within your engine and damage components. 
 

Try to avoid hard stops and hard starts because your brake pads and rotors will wear down. Instead, apply the brakes smoothly when coming to a halt. You should also avoid riding your clutch as this will wear down the bearings which are essential for keeping your clutch working. 

 

Remove unnecessary weight  

If your car is packed full, you’re carrying extra weight which can have a negative impact on your car. Every time you turn a corner, brake and accelerate, your car is having to work even harder to do what you want. Your suspension and brakes will also be under more pressure while the fuel economy of your car will be significantly reduced. So the advice is to clean out your car and remove anything that may be adding unnecessary weight. 

 

Don’t ignore warning lights or strange noises  

Ignoring a problem won’t make it go away. As soon as you hear a strange noise coming from your car or notice a difference in the way it drives, take your car to a garage and explain exactly what the issue is. Doing this will help you avoid bigger and costlier problems further down the road. 

 

Check the tyres  

It is the tyres that keep your car moving so looking after them is essential. From tyre depth to its pressure, keeping all of it in check is a must. You should check the tread depth (minimum legal requirement is 1.6mm tread depth) and pressure. Check your owner’s handbook for recommended tyre pressures. They should also be clearly printed on a plaque, usually inside the driver’s door. Also, always keep an extra tyre or tyre puncture repair kit in your car with the essential tools so that you can change your flat tyre.