Top 10 reasons for a car breakdown

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Infographic – Top 10 reasons why car breakdowns happen

What are the reasons for a car to break down?

You can never be sure when your car may have a problem. True, the older the vehicle, the more causes for a breakdown but newer cars are just as capable of developing a fault.

What are the top ten reasons for a car breaking down?. Most of them, you will see, could happen to any driver and car.

1. Flat or faulty battery – 30%

  • Driving a lot of short journeys with a fair amount of stopping and starting you could eventually drain the battery. To avoid getting a flat battery, take the car for a decent long run in the daylight – preferably without using lights, wipers and heating. The longer drive will give the battery the opportunity to recharge.

2. Lost keys – 10%

  • You car keys will more than likely have a microchip, designed to help prevent the car being stolen. Keep two sets of car keys and leave one in a separate place, you’ll need to visit an authorised dealer if you do lose your keys.

3. Flat tyre or damaged wheel – 5%

  • Don’t forget to check your tyre pressures, and look out for any damage to the walls of the tyre on a regular basis. Checking may prevent a puncture.

4. Distributor cap – 3%

  • The distributor cap covers the distributor that routes high voltage to the spark plugs. If the cap is damaged then in damp conditions, it may have a short circuit, stopping the spark from reaching the spark plug.

5. Alternator faults – 3%

  • The alternator recharges the battery using power from the engine and also provides power to the car’s electrical components. The alternator could become faulty or have a bad connection.

6. Fuel issues – 3%

  • Running out of petrol is avoidable, as is putting the wrong fuel in the car. If the wrong fuel goes in the tank, don’t start the engine! The error need not escalate to pandemic engine damage.

7. Clutch cables – 3%

  • The clutch cable operates each time you change gear. Eventually, the cable will fail.

8. Spark plugs – 3%

  • Spark plugs produce an electrical spark that ignites the fuel and air in the engine, causing the pistons to move up and down. They do wear out and need changing when your car has its regular servicing.

9. HT (high tension) leads – 3%

  • HT leads carry the spark from the ignition system to the spark plugs; they will eventually wear out and fail without warning.

10. Starter motor – 3%

  • The starter motor uses electricity from the battery to turn and start the engine when the car ignition is switched on. If it fails, the car won’t start, and you will be stranded.

(Percentages are approximate and taken from the RAC Foundation)

Winter is the worst time for your car to break down

What to do if you are unlucky and your car breaks down in winter.