Tuesday, September 06, 2016
A car breakdown can be pretty annoying, to say the least. You’re in the middle of town after an exhausting shopping trip, you’re ready to get home and your car won’t start.
As annoying as they are, many a car breakdown could be avoided if you take a few simple measures. We will go over them one at a time, In a nutshell, treat your owner’s handbook like the bible and keep the car professionally maintained. In addition, here are our top tips of some basic thing you can do to avoid a car breakdown and keep your machine running like a dream.
Make sure you are aware of the recommended manufacturer service intervals for your car, and get your car serviced with the appropriate service (major or minor) when your manufacturer recommends you should. A car breakdown can easily result if you car is not maintained according to schedule.
Fully functioning dashboard warning lights
With most cars, the key warning lights should all come on when you turn the car’s ignition on. Check your owner’s handbook to see otherwise.
Water and oil levels
You need to check these are at the correct level. Make sure you have the anti-freeze content of the cooling system checked regularly, especially in winter.
If you have an old-style unsealed car battery, check the water levels carefully and top up with distilled water if required. Check battery connections ensuring they are free from corrosion. Also be careful of battery acid as this can corrode the skin. Most modern car batteries are sealed units, so this is less of an issue these days.
Inspect your toolkit
You should be confident using the spare wheel, jack and wheel brace, and they should always be present in your car.
You should check the tread depth (minimum legal requirement is 1.6mm tread depth) and pressure. Check your owner’s handbook for recommended tire pressures. They should also be clearly printed on a plaque, usually inside the driver’s door.
Remote key fob
You will normally need to change the batteries twice a year to maintain optimum performance from your remote car key. Depending on your car, you may still be able to get into and start your car even if the battery has died.
Warning light iIlluminated
Don’t ignore warning lights! Park in a safe place as soon as possible and find out what the light means. Your owner’s handbook will give details. If, for example, you car is overheating and you ignore the warning light this could result in a very costly job to fix the engine.
The leading cause of car breakdown is a dead battery. If you do come to your car and the battery is dead you may still be able to get it started. If the engine tries to turn over but wont start, leave it. Leaving the battery for 20 minutes may just give it enough time to regain enough power to start. It is important to turn off all devices, however, (eg – car radio) and try not to turn it on for those 20 minutes.
If your engine turns over quickly but wont start there could be an excess of fuel in the engine. Try pressing your foot on the accelerator as far as it will go and crank the engine for 15-20 seconds. This should give enough time for the engine to clear.
Diesel engine cold start
Once you turn the ignition on in your vehicle be sure that the glow light has turned off before you start to crank the engine until it starts. This is less of an issue with new diesel cars and mainly confined to older models.
Don’t be immediately alarmed if you find a small pool of water under your car. If your car is fitted with air conditioning, it is probably water from system condensation and is perfectly normal. If your car is not fitted with air conditioning or the water has a blue or green color, it is probably from the radiator or coolant system and it could be a coolant leak. Do not attempt to drive the vehicle and seek professional advice.
Many people lose keys or accidentally lock their keys in the car. If you don’t have a spare set, get one cut and keep it in a safe place (but not in the car). Many modern cars require at least one set of keys to be able to create a spare set, so if you lose both sets of keys you could be in real trouble.
Remember "Luck Favors The Repaired" So follow theses tips and be safe out there on the road.