The Break Down of Your Car’s Breakdown: Common Causes of Car Failure and How to Prevent It

As we are approaching the Holiday Season, there’s a good chance you or someone you know will be packing up their car soon for some extended travel. Whether you’re heading up the coast to Grandma’s house this Christmas, or simply running some errands, one thing is for sure: having your car breakdown is not an option!

We rely on our vehicles almost everyday, but there’s always that chance that when you turn the key its engine just won’t start. Or even worse, it cuts out on you when your driving down the road. Knowing the most common causes of car failure, however, can help you better prevent the need to call a tow truck.

The Most Common Reasons Your Car Breaks Down:

1) Check engine light – You may not notice any car trouble when your check engine light comes on, but you should never ignore this important warning light. This one little light is used to indicate between 400 and 500 different problems your vehicle may be experiencing! When your car’s check engine light turns on, it’s important to take your automobile to a trusted auto repair mechanic as soon as possible so they can read the code, fix your car and prevent further damage from occurring.

2) Drivability Concerns – Misfires, plugged air filters, EGR Systems not working, these are just a few examples of small things that can cause your vehicle to not run as well as it used to. Many times when one of these issues occurs, you will be able to feel that your car is not running right. Car breakdowns occur when you ignore the fact that your car is driving different. Instead, bring your automobile in to be properly diagnosed and repaired and save yourself the hassle of being stuck on the side of the road.

3) Cooling System Issues – When your cooling system isn’t working properly it causes your car, truck, SUV, minivan or hybrid vehicle to overheat. If your car is overheating DO NOT CONTINUE TO DRIVE. Driving while your vehicle is overheating can cause more damage that requires more expensive auto repairs.

Sometimes people come into the shop with an overheated vehicle and say they just drove the car home rather than pulling over and calling a tow truck because they felt safer. What they didn’t realize is if you drive an overheated vehicle, you can destroy the entire engine! That small drive home ended up costing them a $7,000 engine replacement, rather than a $700 cooling system repair. If your car is overheating, stop driving and get it off the road to a safe area as quickly as possible.

How to help prevent your car from breaking down:

There are many reasons why cars break down, and while you can’t prevent all car trouble, you can limit it by doing the following:

1) Have the basic elements of your vehicle inspected regularly

2) Keep up with your vehicle’s preventative maintenance service schedule

3) Make sure your auto repair shop has ASE Certified Technicians

4) Don’t ignore your vehicle’s check engine light or other warning lights

5) Have any changes in drivability diagnosed and addressed by a professional mechanic right away

The good news is that 90% of car issues can be avoided if you have your vehicle regularly checked by a trained technician. Professional mechanics will be able to see signs that a car part has potential to fail, and can help you fix it before you get stranded with a complete breakdown!

If you’re getting ready to travel for the Holidays or any other road trip, the ASE Certified Technicians at both West Automotive Group locations are happy to help you with all of your car maintenance and auto repair needs! Escondido, Vista, Poway, Oceanside, Valley Center, Rancho Bernardo, San Marcos, Ramona and Santa Fe drivers know they can turn to us for all of their car repair needs. Simply stop by, give us a call or schedule your appointment online today and we’ll help you reach your destination safely. 

From our family to yours we wish you a very Happy Holidays!

 

Written by Brian Bowersock