How to Avoid Car Breakdowns While on the Road | Penney Auto Body & Glass Vancouver

How to Avoid Car Breakdowns While on the Road | Penney Auto Body & Glass Vancouver

We’ve been helping drivers move for more than 40 years. Here we'll share with you what we’ve learned about the most common causes of car breakdowns – and how to avoid them.

Faulty Alternator
If you’re experiencing constant dim headlights when your engine is idling, you could have a faulty alternator. If your ignition warning light comes on and the engine temperature increases rapidly the belt that drives the alternator and water pump could have broken.This is a serious problem. Stop the car right away and do not restart your engine. Call yout local auto body shop or dealer as soon as you can.

Flat or Faulty Battery
If you’ve got a problem with your battery, there’s a good chance it's because of short distances you may take or a poor electrical connection. Battery faults are one of the most common causes of breakdowns – especially in the winter. When you go in to get your car serviced, the auto technicians should check that battery connections are secure and that the terminals are clean and protected from corrosion.

If you don’t take long drives very often, your battery won’t have the opportunity to charge. You can fix this by charging it overnight, every 2 weeks or so.

Fuel Problems
Did you fill up with the wrong gas type? Believe it or not, it does happen to more drivers than you think, but don’t start your engine. Call your local dealership or auto body and technicians. 

Damaged Tires and Wheels

  • Check your tires’ tread depth often. If you see uneven wear, your wheels might be misaligned. Get a tire specialist to check your tires or do the penny test.
  • If you have a spare wheel make sure it too has plenty of tread and that it's inflated and ready for use if you need it.
  • Make sure your jack is in good condition and easily accessible, along with any wheel removal tools and locking wheel nut adaptor.
  • If you’re driving with a heavy load make sure you adjust your tire pressure accordingly to cope with the added weight. You can usually find tire pressure information in your handbook.
  • If you hit a curb or pothole too fast, check for any damage to your wheels or rims. 

HT (high-tension) Leads
HT leads, which carry high voltage to the spark plugs, deteriorate with age, which can make it difficult to start your car. Sprays like WD-40 can help, but it's safer to ask your auto body or dealership to check over the ignition system if you're experiencing starting problems. Regular servicing should help avoid this problem. 

Clutch Cables
The clutch cable is often under a lot of stress.If it breaks, it's a serious problem. Get it checked if you notice any change to the way the clutch feels when you press the pedal. If your clutch cable does break while you're on the road, pull over to the nearest safe spot and call a tow truck to get you to the nearest auto body.

Spark Plugs
Spark plugs can break or wear out but it shouldn't be a problem if you get your car serviced regularly.


Penney Auto Body & Glass, Vancouver’s Auto Body Collision Repair Shop, is an expert in paint and body repair and cares about the welfare of your car and your personal safety. If you get involved in an automotive accident or you're a victim of a vehicle break-in or theft be sure to contact Penney Auto Body for your auto body, collision repair, and car painting services.


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