Top Reasons for Breakdowns and How to Avoid Them

It’s that time of the year again, the clocks have gone forward, lighter nights are here and we’re all looking forward to getting out on the open road and enjoying what spring has to offer.

At Five Star Autocentre we’re keen to keep you on the road and free from motoring hassle, which is why we thought it’d be a good idea to let you know the common breakdowns we see, and what you can do to avoid them.

The worst thing for any driver is a breakdown. You can guarantee that it always happens at the worst moment possible. But often, breakdowns don’t happen out of the blue and there may have been signs of breakdown before it actually happened.

While some drivers will be able to spot the warning signs, some will be subtler. The best thing you can do is take your car to your local garage for regular maintenance or a vehicle health check.

Let’s take a look at the top reasons why you may experience a breakdown and how Five Star Autocentre can help.

Faults with the Alternator

What does the alternator do? It has the job of charging the battery in your car. This means that if it’s not working as it should, your battery could run flat and you may experience problems like dim headlights. This is normally something that is picked up as a regular service, but if you suspect there is a problem, give us a call at Five Star Autocentre, as this is something we’ll happily help with.

A Flat Battery

One of the most popular reasons why cars break down is because their battery is dead. If you can’t get your engine started, it may be because you’ve drained the battery already. This is easily done by using functions when the engine isn’t running.

To get your car started in a hurry, you can use jump cables. It’s best to keep some of these in your vehicle for emergencies.

If this doesn’t work, it might mean that you need to replace your battery. Once you’ve got your vehicle started, give Five Star Autocentre a call to ensure you don’t have an ongoing fault that’ll leave you stranded again.

An Overheated Engine

It’s never recommended that you drive when your engine is overheating. Normally, there is a reason for this. It may be that your engine needs more coolant or there’s a leak somewhere. Either way, a skilled technician is going to be able to identify what the problem is and how to fix it.

So if you see the temperature gauge in the red, it’s time to give us a call.

Damaged Tyres

Do you check your tyre pressure and tread depth? If the answer to this is no, you could suffer from a flat tyre. A lot of drivers neglect their wheels and this is what can cause problems.

The best way you can avoid flat tyres is to book your vehicle in for a vehicle health check. We’ll be able to advise you when you need to replace your tyres as well as spot any other immediate issue that might cause a breakdown.

Issues with the Starter Motor

If you’ve got a problem starting your car this could be down to the starter motor or even the immobiliser system.

This means your car will have to see a mechanic to be repaired. In this situation it would be advisable to make an appointment for a diagnostic evaluation to ensure the root cause of the fault is identified. This will avoid unnecessary costs, and is something we will happily help with. Usually, you can avoid problems by having your car serviced regularly as we check the starting and charging system on even the smallest service.

Using the Wrong Fuel

While you may be embarrassed about filling up your car with the wrong fuel, it happens quite a lot. The most important thing is that you don’t drive or start your engine. The best course of action is to seek immediate attention from a technician to fix the problem. You’ll need to have your system flushed as soon as possible so that your car isn’t damaged by this fuel.

An Ignition System Problem

You always want the ignition system in your car to be in the best condition it can be. For example, if your vehicle has faulty ignition coils, this could lead to misfires and eventually a breakdown. This is not what you want when you’ve got places to go. Coils that are worn down will affect the ignition spark and mean that it’s not enough to ignite the mixture in the cylinder. Our skilled diagnostic technicians can take a look at this for you and identify the problem as soon as possible.

Brake Trouble

If you’re experiencing trouble with your brakes, it’s time to call in an expert to take a look. It’s never safe to drive when you’ve got a problem with your brakes. This could be down to worn brake pads that affect their efficiency or that the brake fluid needs changed.

This is something that an experienced technician will be able to inspect and ensure you’re on the road in a vehicle you can trust.

Clutch Cables Have Broken

Every time you change gear, you’re using the clutch linkage in your vehicle. Your system is working hard all the time when you’re driving on different roads and after a while, it can be at risk from wear and tear. If you suddenly notice that the gears are grinding or the clutch feels different, these could be signs that something is wrong and you could break down. Having the car serviced on a regular basis will make sure that problems like this don’t happen and put your car out of action.

Trouble Free Motoring

At Five Star Autocentre,, our aim is to keep you on the road in a car you can trust without breaking down. This is why we have a range of services that offer great value and peace of mind. So whether you need a quick vehicle health check, a service or major overhaul, give us a call as we’re here to help.