While cars may look different on the outside when it comes to color and style, there are a lot of similarities when it comes to the inside–or under the hood. So, there are some pretty common problems as to why a car may break down. You definitely don’t want to be ruining your summer getaway, so prepare yourself and your vehicle to prevent these things from happening. Here’s a look at some of the top reasons your car may keep you from getting where you want to go.
Dead Battery: If you’re only getting that “clicking” noise when you try to start the car, chances are your battery is dead. Make sure to keep a set of jumper cables in the trunk. To keep your battery in check, it’s a good idea to replace it every three years or as recommended by the manual.
Flat Tire: A flat tire–or even worse–a blowout, can be caused by significant wear or increased air pressure from summer heat. A tire gauge will help you know if you need to add or let out air from your tires. Make sure you have a jack and good spare tire before hitting the road.
Overheated Engine: This is very common during the summer months. Especially if you’re in slow, stop-and-go traffic, keep an eye on the temperature gauge. If your car does overheat, refer to this blog post to learn what to do. Avoid being stuck on the side of the road with a steaming engine by checking your car’s fluids before you leave. This includes: engine coolant, brake fluid, automatic transmission fluid and engine oil.
Clogged Fuel Filter: A fuel filter can become clogged with contaminates getting into your gas tank each time you fill up. A clogged fuel filter won’t allow gas to reach your engine, so eventually the car’s engine will stop running. Make sure to check the fuel filter after every 10,000 to 15,000 miles. A good time to have your fuel filter checked too is when you get the oil changed.
No More Gas: Hard to believe this is still one of the most common reasons cars break down. Don’t bet on your luck and wait until you get to the next rest stop to fill up. There might suddenly be a traffic jam or other issue that prevents you from getting there in time.