Some car breakdowns are inevitable. Nevertheless, some things can be prevented if you know the most common reasons for breakdowns.
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Engine damage is a very rare cause
Modern engines are robust and have a long service life. Defects are hardly to be expected. The reasons include poor maintenance. The long oil change intervals that are common today are a problem, particularly in vehicles with low mileage. If you don’t change the oil every six months, you should use multigrade oil. Too little engine oil or coolant without antifreeze can also damage the engine.
Disturbances in the fuel flow
About two percent of all car breakdowns are due to problems with the fuel supply. Usually the fuel pump is defective. However, it could also be due to a clogged fuel filter or the relay for the pump. It is hardly possible to prevent these problems.
Starters still cause car breakdowns
This glitch can occur anywhere, anytime. Interestingly, the susceptibility of the magnetic switch in the starter has never changed. Typical situation: the starter rotates but does not drive the engine. Almost always, the problem can be resolved with a strong blow on the starter. If the starter does not turn even though the battery is charged, it is usually due to a loose cable.
No electricity despite a long drive
If the battery does not charge even after a long drive on the motorway, it is usually due to the alternator or the V-belt. If you pay attention to the correct tension of the belt, you will rarely get a problem with it. By the way: A high-pitched squeaking noise when accelerating indicates that the V-belt tension is too low.
Problems with the locking system
Around four percent of all breakdowns have something to do with the locking system. However, homemade mishaps also count in these statistics. The reasons are rarely due to the locks or the central locking, but to the drivers. You forget the key in the car. Most frequent cause: The central locking is triggered when the trunk is open. If you lock it when the key is in the car, the door can no longer be opened. Tip: carry a spare bowl in your wallet.
The clutch and transmission usually report a breakdown
Actually, these two aggregates should never become reasons for a car breakdown. Damage is reported in good time due to noises or sluggish gearshifts. If you visit a specialist workshop in good time at the first signs, you cannot actually be incapable of driving because of a defective clutch or gearbox. The only exception: cars with a clutch cable. This can suddenly tear.
Flat tires as the fourth most common cause
Modern tires are of high quality and very stable. The road network is well developed, sharp-edged parts are rarely found on the roads in Germany. Nevertheless, around five percent of all car breakdowns are caused by defective tires. The most common reasons are driving with insufficient air pressure or contact with the curb.
Overheating of the engine
On hot summer days or when driving over mountain passes, modern cars still overheat. The reasons can be found in the cooling system commonly used today. To ensure that the car quickly reaches operating temperature, the cooling water does not run over the radiator when it starts. It is only taken into the cycle at a certain temperature. If it gets even warmer, a fan switches on. This process is controlled by a thermostat. If it fails, overheating occurs. Too little coolant or a leak is rarely the cause.
Defects around the injection system
The carburetor was once one of the most common reasons for a breakdown. Today’s cars have fuel injection systems that cause problems almost as often. Whereas in the past a skilled hobbyist or the yellow angel could fix the defect on site with a screwdriver, the car now has to go to the workshop. Around seven percent of all car breakdowns are due to these causes, which the driver can do little about.
The front runner for years – the battery
It’s hard to believe that over a third of all car breakdowns are caused by an empty battery. The batteries are often not defective but simply discharged, for example, because you forgot to turn off the light.
Many drivers also neglect maintenance. Crystals on the poles are an indication of poor contact. The poles must be greased regularly. By the way, the performance of a battery is almost halved when it’s cold. If there is just enough electricity to start in autumn, there are guaranteed to be starting problems in winter.