Have you ever found yourself stranded at the side of the motorway? Yep, us too! It happens to the best of us, and the stats suggest it will happen to you eventually. Breakdown services respond to millions of callouts every single year. But, many of these problems are entirely avoidable.
We spoke to some of the biggest breakdown agencies to find out the most common cause of roadside embarrassment. Some of the answers were quite predictable, but there are a few unexpected problems in there too! Let’s jump straight in, shall we?
1. Burst tyre
As you could expect, a popped tyre is right up at the top when it comes to breakdown problems. It only takes one pesky pothole, or a loose nail to puncture the tyre wall. The effects can be immediate, or slow burning. In some cases, the tyre will burst entirely. In others, the pressure will slowly decrease, causing all sorts of problems. Either way, mobile tyre fitting is one of the top reasons for breakdown callouts.
2. Battery failure
In the winter, battery failure overtakes tyre problems as the number one breakdown issue. The reason is simple. During winter, we put a lot of pressure on the car battery. We use the headlamps, heating systems, and electricals much more than the summer. Batteries tend to have a shelf life of two-three years. If you don’t check the charge regularly, this problem will eventually catch you out!
3. Lost keys
The next two breakdown issues are entirely down to human error. And, you’d probably laugh at the sheer number of people that make these mistakes. That is, until you make the same mistake yourself! We’ve all mislaid our keys at one point in our lives. If you’re lucky, you’ve got a partner with a spare. If not, it’s a quick call to the breakdown services! Breakdown teams have electric skeleton keys, that can access just about any electric car lock. Very handy when you’re in a tight spot!
4. The wrong fuel
We told you there was a lot of human error going on! We like to think we will never put petrol in a diesel car. But, it happens more often than you think. We’re all on autopilot when we drive up to the pumps. We’re thinking about something else, and before you know it, you’ve poured a tankful of the wrong fuel! Unfortunately, this is an expensive, and time consuming, repair job.
5. Starter motor, alternator, and spark plugs
These are all separate problems, but they all have something in common. They’re all related to the engine starter, and it means your car won’t start. You’re stuck on the drive, and you’re already late for work! More often than not, it’s a spark plug problem. Luckily, they’re easily replaced and fixed. A slightly more worrying problem is the start motor and alternator.
Now that you know the biggest causes of breakdown, it’s up to you to avoid them! A little regular maintenance and common sense should do the trick.