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Top 6 Reasons Cars Break Down and How to Avoid Them

Has your car ever broken down?

If so, you will know just how frustrating it can be, especially if it leaves you stranded and uncertain how to get moving again. You can take certain steps to avoid breaking down, though, and we take a look at 6 of the most common below – as well as how to avoid them.

Simple Overheating  

Overheating is more common in older cars, when essential tubing starts to fall into disrepair. However, it can still occur in newer models too, though usually only if you have forgotten to actually top-up your oil levels.

You might also need to put fresh coolant into the engine, as this regulates your motor’s operating temperature.

Keep an eye on your coolant level, and never let it run down. Using your air conditioner in high temperatures can also run your coolant down faster, so perhaps try to use air-con when you really need it.

Blown or Flat Tires

One major cause of breakdowns is flat and / or blown tires. This tends to happen whenever tires get old, you strike debris in the road, or if your tire alignment is way off.


You should change your tires as soon as they wear down, and rotate them as temperatures adjust with changing seasons. Watch out for uneven wear on your tires too, as this can indicate misalignment.


Faulty Starter Motors 

A starter motor experiencing faults is a common cause of breakdowns, but they can be avoided easily. They tend to be hard-wearing, but they start to run down with time and usage.


Getting your car serviced on a regular basis will help you avoid faulty starter motors, as any potential problems will be noticed before they can exacerbate wear already taking effect.

Failed Batteries


There are numerous causes behind failed batteries – perhaps it’s just old, or dirty. It could even be that the battery’s connections need to be looked at, or you leave your car running when you don’t need to.


Your battery won’t get to charge as well as it should if you never make long journeys, so try to leave it charging overnight a couple times each month. This will keep the battery in top condition and minimize your risks of breakdowns.

Damaged Brakes

Bad brakes can be incredibly dangerous, so should be avoided whenever and wherever possible. When brake pads or rotors are barely able to perform as they’re made to, your car might not stop when you need it to.


If you notice any small issues with your brakes when driving, such as a rattling or squealing sound, or perhaps any difference in how the pedal feels upon pressing it, you may need to get them checked.

Alternator Problems 

If you notice ongoing issues with your battery or your headlights start to grow less vibrant, it could be a sign of alternator problems.


You need your alternator to work as it should, given that it keeps your battery charged and essentially acts as a small generator. The symptoms mentioned above should give you pause for thought, but listen out for any squealing or clicking sounds too.

If your car breaks down for any reason, a towing company will help you get back on the road safely. A firm like Towing Patriots, providing roadside assistance and towing San Mateo to drivers, can be contacted 24 hours a day. Always carry the number of your local towing company with you, just in case.


Taking steps to protect your car and its internal components against common issues can reduce your risk of breaking down significantly, so pay attention to the little warning signs mentioned above.

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