What causes a car to break down while driving
How to avoid breakdowns is a simple process of keeping your vehicle maintained properly along with being prepared and observant. This is the responsibility of the operator of the vehicle as well as the owner.
Whilst take steps to avoid a breakdown is sensible, it is also sensible to have protection in the event of an actual breakdown.
Why is avoiding breakdowns harder today than years in the past?
In today’s on-demand self service economy, there is far less interaction with others. This includes stops at the service station for petrol. Today the operator of the vehicle can pay at the pump with a credit card, and they put the petrol nozzle in the vehicle to fill it up with no interaction with anyone at the station.
In the past, an attendant would put the petrol hose in the vehicle to fill it up. While the fuel was going in, they would clean the windscreen. If requested by the driver, they would also check the radiator fluid and oil. Most drivers also had them check the tire pressure and add some if needed.
Why are the simple checks so important?
The simple checks the petrol attendant would do are the same one anyone can repeat and should. The air pressure check will help ensure the tires are all within the proper operating pressure and can prevent the loss of control of the vehicle from a low pressured tire. Tires with low pressure also tend to blow out easier, which will strand most drivers.
Low radiator levels lead to overheating of the engine, and low oil levels can cause the engine to not operate properly or even lock the engine.
All three of these items are easy to do and can help to prevent your vehicle from breaking down on the road. These checks can be accomplished no matter the age of the vehicle or its complexity.
Can an overloaded vehicle be dangerous?
One of the easiest ways to be involved in an accident is to be operating an overloaded vehicle and the driver loses control. This is very common when a heavy load is placed in the rear of the vehicle and or on top.
When on the road, it is imperative you keep control of the vehicle. Because of this, the load must be properly distributed and not excessive. Too much weight on top can cause the vehicle to lose control or even turn over when having to swerve to avoid a collision. If the rear is overloaded, a manoeuvre to avoid a collision could actually cause one, with the operator not being able to control the vehicle and the rear slips in an uncontrolled fashion.
What aren’t my warning lights enough?
Warning lights have been on instrument panels for decades. These visual indicators came about because people did not read their instruments. They have also been dubbed dummy lights, since it is the only way to get the attention of an unobservant vehicle operator.
These lights in the past would go off when the engine was overheating or the oil pressure was low. Today, the modern vehicle is equipped with a check engine light. This is the one do it all dummy light. No matter what sensor spots a problem, this light will come on, notifying the operator they need to find a dealer soon or the vehicle will stop operating. If this is not done, you are in danger of breaking down on the side of the road.
A large amount of problems encountered on the road is due to the reliance most operators have on the people that service their vehicles. The old standard of walking around the vehicle looking at to see if any of the tires look low or checking the oil has been replaced with just getting into the vehicle and driving away. With the reliability of vehicles constantly improving, reliance on ourselves knowing how to avoid breakdowns is waning. This leads to more people needing