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Top tips for avoiding a breakdown

Ellie Dyer-Brown, 1 year ago

5 min read

  • Advice
  • howto
  • tips
Man on the phone sitting after a car breakdown

Discover how you can help avoid your car breaking down with these top tips from WhoCanFixMyCar

There you are, happily driving along, listening to Ed Sheeran's album for the 700th time in three days, when suddenly, a horrible clanking, snapping, clunking noise comes from somewhere underneath your car.

‘Oh God, what was that?’ your panicked mind shouts.

You’ve got no choice but to pull over and assess the damage, despite the fact that you have no idea how to assess damage.

Hands on hips, looking at the engine, shaking your head.

What a nightmare.

Breaking down is one of the most irritating problems drivers can face, so, to help you avoid such travesty, we’re going to tell you five things which could help you prevent a breakdown.

Top five tips for avoiding a car breakdown:

1. Keep your engine oil topped up


Engine oil is absolutely vital for keeping your car working properly. It stops heat and friction building up within your engine and allows all of the moving parts to work properly.

If your engine oil light comes on, make sure to pull over as soon as possible and check underneath your car.

If you see liquid dripping down, this is likely to be oil and you must not carry on driving because your car will suffer and breakdown!

If there is no leakage, go to your closest garage, buy some engine oil and top it up immediately.

2. Never miss a service

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It goes without saying really. If you miss an MOT or service, you are putting your car and yourself in danger.

You may bury your face in your hands when a mechanic tells you that you need to replace your brake pads for several hundred big ones, however, at the end of the day, they are the experts and you need to listen to their advice.

To ensure you get a fair price on servicing, you can get a range of quotes from garages close to you.

Regular services and annual MOT’s will help you avoid breaking down, fact.

3. Drive properly

Your driving habits have a direct impact on the health of your car and the parts which are essential for driving.

For example, don’t rev your car engine in the cold weather because this will create rapid temperature changes within your engine and damage components.

Try to avoid hard stops and hard starts because your brake pads and rotors will wear down. Instead, apply the brakes smoothly when coming to a halt.

You should also avoid riding your clutch as this will wear down the bearings which are essential for keeping your clutch working.

Finally, don’t apply your brakes while you drive downhill. This is know as ‘dragging’ and it causes significant strain and heat build-up on your braking system.

4. Remove unnecessary weight from your car


If your car is stuffed full of books, spare parts, half of your wardrobe, year old junk food, tigers and random passengers, you’ll be carrying weight which is having a negative impact on your car.

Every time you turn a corner, brake and accelerate, your car is having to work even harder to do what you want.

Your suspension and brakes will be under more pressure while the fuel economy of your car will be significantly reduced.

So clean your car and remove anything that may be adding unnecessary weight.

5. Don’t ignore warning lights, strange noises or a change in how your car feels when driving


Ignoring a problem won’t make it go away.

Remember when you ignored that strange smell coming from the fridge and you decided to leave it for a week in the hope that it would disappear?

What happened? You needed scuba diving breathing equipment to avoid inhaling that fresh smell of death when you finally took it out and threw it away.

The point is, the longer you ignore a problem, the worse it is going to get and it won’t go away on its own.

As soon as you hear a strange noise coming from your car or notice a difference in the way it drives, take your car to a garage and explain exactly what the issue is. Doing this will help you avoid bigger and costlier problems further down the road.

If you currently have a problem with your car, the easiest way to get quotes from mechanics is by using WhoCanFixMyCar. Simply enter your registration number and what problems your car is suffering from. And, in minutes, you’ll have a range of quotes from local garages which will be rated by other drivers in your local area!