There are several simple steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of your car breaking down. Read on to find out what these steps are.
Watch out for the early warning signs of battery failure
Many vehicle breakdowns are the result of dead batteries. As such, it's important to keep a close eye on your car battery and to take action as soon as you notice any signs that it may malfunction in the near future.
There are several ways to monitor the condition of your battery. Firstly, you should open the bonnet and visually examine it at least once every couple of weeks.
During this examination, you should look for any indication that it has deteriorated; signs of deterioration may include bloating of the battery case (this is often the result of the expansion of the cell plates inside the battery, an issue which is usually caused by overcharging the battery on a regular basis), as well as corrosion around the external terminals (this is almost always the result of battery acid leaking out of the case).
Secondly, you should watch out for signs of battery problems during your car journeys. If for example, it suddenly starts to take longer than usual to start the engine, or if you notice that the electrical components in your vehicle are not performing as well as they normally do (for instance, if the speed at which the windshield wipers move has slowed to a crawl or if it takes far longer for your electric windows to move up or down), then you should take your vehicle to a mechanic as soon as possible.
The reason for this is as follows; issues with starting your engine or problems with your car's electrical parts are usually a sign that either the battery itself is failing or that there is a fault with the alternator (which will eventually result in failure of the battery anyway, as the alternator is designed to power the battery).
As such, if you notice any of the above-mentioned issues, it is critical to take your car to a mechanic so that the battery does not die suddenly when you're halfway through a road journey.
Take extremely good care of your tyres
Tyre blowouts and punctures are another common cause of vehicle breakdowns. Given this, it's sensible to take very good care of your tyres.
In practical terms, this means that you should monitor and, where necessary, readjust the tyres' pressure levels on a regular basis (as both underinflated and overinflated tyres are more susceptible to blowouts).
Additionally, you should check their tread depths at least once a month (worn out tyres with low tread depths are also more likely to suddenly burst open during road journeys). If the treads are too low, you should replace the affected tyres immediately.