How Frequently Should You Check Your Car to Avoid a Breakdown?

Written by Danny Collins
Last updated: June 20, 2022

A car breakdown is something every driver wants to avoid. Unfortunately, it’s frustrating, expensive, and can sometimes be dangerous. That’s why it’s important to know how frequently you should check your car to avoid this situation. Lucky for you, we’re here to help. We will discuss the basics of car maintenance and tell you how often you should be checking different parts of your vehicle. Keep reading for more information!

Common Causes of Car Breakdowns

Before we get into how frequently you should be checking your car, let’s discuss some of the most common causes of car breakdowns. This way, you can try to avoid these issues altogether. 

  • Lack of maintenance: This is the most common cause of car breakdowns. This includes flat tires, empty oil levels, and dead batteries. It’s more likely to break down when you don’t maintain your car.
  • Faulty parts: Sometimes, a car breaks down because of a faulty part. This could be something like a broken engine belt or a failed sensor. If you notice that something isn’t working properly, take it to a mechanic right away.
  • Accidents: Unfortunately, car accidents can also lead to breakdowns. Even a minor fender bender can cause damage to your vehicle. If you’re in an accident, be sure to have your car checked out by a professional as soon as possible.
  • Poorly maintained roads: If the roads you’re driving regularly are in poor condition, it can put extra wear and tear on your car. This can eventually lead to a breakdown.

What Should I Check To Avoid a Car Breakdown?

Now that we’ve discussed some of the main causes of car breakdowns let’s talk about what you should be checking to avoid this situation. Here are a few things to keep an eye on:

  • Tires: Flat tires are one of the main reasons cars break down. You should check your tire pressure at least once a month. Also, don’t forget to check your tires for any damage or wear and tear. If you see anything, take your car to a mechanic right away.
  • Oil:  Check your oil level at least once a month. If it’s low, add more oil. You also need to change your oil every few months to keep your engine running smoothly.
  • Air filter: The air filter helps to keep your engine clean. It would be best if you replaced it every 12 months or 12,000 miles, whichever comes first. With a clogged air filter, your engine must work harder, leading to a breakdown.
  • Air Conditioning: The air conditioning system should be checked yearly for leaks. A leaky air conditioner can cause your engine to overheat, leading to a breakdown.
  • Brakes: The brakes should be inspected every six months. Look for worn pads and brake fluid levels. If the pads are worn down, they need to be replaced. Low brake fluid levels can cause problems.
  • Coolant: The coolant should be checked every month or two. Make sure the level is full, and there are no leaks. If the coolant gets low, it can cause your engine to overheat.

How Often Should I Get My Car Serviced?

It’s important to get your car serviced regularly by professionals. Of course, how often you should do this depends on the make and model of your vehicle. In principle, you should get it serviced every six months or 6000 miles, whichever comes first. By exercising this preventative measure, many car issues can be caught early on and fixed before they become bigger problems. Your car dealership’s service department can help you track when your car is due for service.

Always use a trusted and qualified mechanic because they will be able to give you good advice on how to maintain your car and what services it needs. If you go to a cheap and unqualified mechanic, they may not do a good job, and your car could break down.

Important Tips to Remember When Your Car Breaks Down

Sometimes, despite our best efforts, cars break down. Remember these tips if this happens to you:

  • When your car breaks down, you should first turn on your hazard lights to warn other drivers and wait for help. 
  • Call the police and your emergency contacts if you’re in an accident and wait for them to arrive. Never try to move your car, even if it’s in the middle of the road, until the police arrive.
  • Suppose your car breaks down while driving; you should try to move it to the side of the road if possible. Once you’re safely off the road, turn on your hazard lights and call for help.
  • Before you call a tow truck, ensure you have all the information they will need, such as your location and the make and model of your car.
  • Before getting out of your car, check to see if it is safe. If you’re on a busy road, wait for the tow truck in your car.
  • Do not panic! If you keep calm, you will be able to think more clearly and deal with the situation.

You must remember always to have an emergency roadside kit in your car. This should include important tools such as:

  • A flashlight with batteries
  • Jumper cables
  • Spare tire
  • Flares or reflective triangles
  • Fire extinguisher
  • A first-aid kit
  • Keep a list of emergency numbers, such as the police, tow truck, and your insurance company. Keep this in a safe place, such as your glove compartment.

Following these tips, you can avoid a breakdown and keep your car in good condition. 

In conclusion, it’s important to be proactive about car maintenance. You can avoid a breakdown by regularly checking your vehicle and getting it serviced. But, if something does go wrong, be sure to get it fixed as soon as possible. 

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