Having your car break down is bad in any situation, but it feels much worse when it happens while driving. Not only do you need to worry about getting safely off the road before your vehicle stops moving, but you are also likely to be stuck somewhere you’d rather not be, whether that is a strip mall parking lot or the side of a busy highway.
But can you really avoid having your car break down while driving? While nothing is 100%, there are things you can do to significantly reduce the chances of it occurring. Below are 5 steps to stop your car from breaking down when driving.
1. Perform Routine Maintenance
Your vehicle manual should specify the ideal maintenance schedule for your vehicle. However, it doesn’t hurt to head to the mechanic for checkups that are more frequent than the manual recommends. If you can catch problems before they get big, you will save yourself stress and money in the long run.
Worried about forgetting when your car is due for oil changes and more? Set reminders for yourself using your phone to make sure you never forget.
2. Pay Close Attention to Your Battery
Many people think that checking their battery strength is impossible, something that only the mechanic can do using special tools. However, there are a couple of ways you can check your battery level. The first is to look at your dash or display; some car models, especially more recent ones, will tell you if your battery level is low. The second is to idle your car and turn on your headlights, then start the engine and see if they get brighter; if they do, your battery is running low on power.
3. Check Your Oil and Coolant Levels Regularly
This is the number one reason cars break down while driving: the owner fails to ensure the fluid levels are adequate. This is a very simple check to perform, taking mere seconds to complete. Because it is so quick and easy to do, there is nothing wrong with doing it once a week, but we recommend that you check levels at least once a month.
4. Check Your Fan Belt
Fan belts last about 60,000-90,000 miles. When they snap, your car stops moving and you are stuck. Most guides recommend that you check the state of your fan belt every 6 months or as often as you get the oil in your car changed—whichever is more frequent. And if you put lots of miles on your car, you might want to check it even more often.
5. Never Ignore Your Gut
A strange noise, an odd sensation, or just a feeling that something is wrong: when it comes to your car, never ignore your gut. Yes, getting your car checked does require money, but you are better off safe than sorry in this case.
If You Do Break Down
These steps are not foolproof; they simply reduce the chances of a breakdown occurring while driving. Should you still break down, simply give us a call. We offer fast response time at a price you can afford, getting you off the side of the road and on your way to having your car working once again.