Car breakdowns are an unfortunate fact of life as a driver – and especially likely if your car is not looked after as it should be. Even a few months of cars being off the roads in 2020 resulted in a 72% spike in breakdowns during their return. But what can you do to avoid a breakdown? Here are five tips to keep your car healthy:
One – Keep Your Engine Oil Topped-Up
Regular monitoring of your car’s fluids is necessary to ensure its smooth running between servicing trips, and a good habit to get into in general. But perhaps the most important fluid to keep tabs on is your engine’s oil. Engine oil is responsible for keeping your engine’s moving parts well-lubricated. As engine oil depletes and thickens, these moving parts rub against one another and wear down quicker. Your engine also works harder to compensate for the friction, resulting in reduced fuel efficiency alongside an increased likelihood of engine failure.
Two – Check Your Tyres Regularly
Tyre failure, whether by puncture or blowout, is one of the most common reasons for a roadside breakdown. It is also possible to wear your tyre tread down to below the legal tread depth of 1.6mm, thus losing traction on the road and putting the car at significant risk of spinning out – especially in wet conditions.
There are a variety of factors that can contribute to puncture, from tyre pressure to sidewall wear and beyond. Regular checking of your tyre pressure and overall condition before driving is a must; you should also be prepared to change your car tyres regularly, to ensure safe driving in the long term.
Three – Take Your Car In for Regular Servicing
Forming a routine regarding the maintenance of fluids and tyres can go a long way to keeping your car healthy – but there are still potential causes for a breakdown that can creep up on you without a professional eye to catch them. Booking regular servicing appointments with your local garage means a professional mechanic can check over your vehicle, and discover anything that might potentially become an issue in the future. Such issues could relate to your engine’s timing belt, your ECU or brake pads.
Four – Don’t Overload Your Car
Maintenance isn’t the only route to preventing car breakdowns. Attitude-based changes to the way you use your car can make for safer driving overall. For example, overburdening your car with load weight can make it much harder to handle, and also put unnecessary strain on the suspension. Bumps in the road are more likely to shock sensitive parts of the car, and you are more likely to lose control in the event of evasive manoeuvres.
Five – Drive Carefully
Lastly, and as a general point: drive carefully. Careful driving not only decreases the chance of suffering an accident but also improves the longevity of your vehicle. Smooth acceleration and coasting into corners are less taxing on your engine and clutch than driving with a lead foot; likewise, braking calmly can improve the life of your wheels and brake pads.