If you have been driving for some time then it is very likely your car has failed, leaving you either by the road or right where you were suppose to start your journey as the car for some reason just wouldn’t start or move due to a mechanical problem.
People always tend to blame the car or the manufacturer, but the hard truth is that the problem is you – the owner/driver who has not take good care of the car or has not planned the trip well enough. Sure there are some models that are more likely to break down, but in general most cars are quite similar and with the right maintenance and good planning you are likely to avoid roadside problems.
Here are the main causes of breakdown that you in general can prevent
Flat tyres and damaged wheels
Usually tyres go flat when they are old and the tread depth is not deep enough. A damaged wheel can also cause damage to the tyre, resulting in slow leaks. Broken glass and other sharp materials on the road very rarely cause a flat tyre if the tyre is in good shape.
Make sure your tyres are in good shape and the pressure is right. Also it is recommended that you have a spare tyre and wheel-changing tools.
Dead or faulty battery
A good battery is essential and can be considered as the life giving juice of the whole car. Car batteries rarely signal failure ahead of time and usually we find it out at when we are very busy. Usually the battery fails when it is in heavy use on short journeys with very little regular charging. Winter and summer are both hard for the battery as we tend to use all the possible electronics. AC during summer and all the possible heating during winter along with audio and navigation gadgets. In many cases the car is using more electricity than the generator gives back to the battery.
If needed recharge your batter over night and check for corrosion. It is also highly recommended that you change the battery in every three years.
Keys locked in vehicle or lost
It has nothing to do with the condition of your car. Reportedly about 4% of all emergency calls are due to either locking your keys in the car or losing them. Also the remote key fob sometimes stops working. It can be a dead battery inside the key fob or you took a swim with your keys, which I have done once and after taking the key fob apart and trying it for about an hour I was back on the road.
This is something you are not in charge of and all you can do is plan well ahead and if the weather still manages to surprise you it is a good idea to always have enough fuel on longer trips, some food, warmer clothes, water, flash light, working cell phone with a full battery and warmer clothes.
If you are a real life MacGyver or are travelling with B.A. Baracus from the A-Team then you are always set whether you need to replace a clutch or rear axle. Most people are having a hard time opening the bonnet so all we can really recommend is that you always keep your car well maintained from moving parts to different fluids.
Remember most breakdown problems can be fixed by the roadside and AA breakdown cover will have you safely back on the road 24/7, though there can be problems that need more work and can be dealt with proper equipment and new parts at the service.
In summary the best you can do is to keep your car well maintained with the right equipment and prepared for things that you can’t always control. Your car can be in top notch condition, but if the heavy snow storm has closed the roads and you are stuck there for hours it is good to have enough fuel, some food and fluids for your body to just wait for help – all that stress free!