It’s not necessarily something we would need to think about these days. As driving technology has improved so much our dashboard can give us a warning well in advance if our car is going to break down. But there are aspects of car maintenance we can tend to overlook. Cars can break down for numerous reasons, even without warning. Sometimes we need to know the basics but also some of the more unknown aspects of why vehicles break down.
Due to the increased numbers of potholes everywhere when we don’t react in time we end up driving over something that can cause one of our wheels to quickly deflate. While having a spare wheel is common sense, part of the reason we damage our tyres too much is purely due to a lack of maintenance. When the tyre valve gets damaged or fails this can easily cause issues. If you are someone who has been in a collision but everything seems above board the tyre and the rim can separate. It’s straightforward to replace a flat tyre but any experienced driver knows how expensive a set of tyres can be!
The Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF)
While the DPF can look after itself it can get blocked up if you only do short journeys. This is part of the exhaust system on diesel engines. Through a process called regeneration, it traps particles of soot and then burns them into less harmful gas. If you are someone who only complete short journeys, take the opportunity to go up the motorway once a week. But if the DPF does get overloaded a warning light will come on. The best plan of action if the warning light comes on is to drive at motorway speeds for a lengthy period of time as this will help to clear the DPF safely.
Also known as Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) this is an additive that helps to lower Nitrogen Oxide emissions from the exhaust. The vast majority of modern vehicles use Selective Catalyst Reduction (SCR) and the additive needs topping up to work properly. Consulting your handbook will give you the right information but to avoid AdBlue issues you need to take extra special care not to mix up the fuel tank and the AdBlue tank when refuelling. You should also top up your AdBlue levels on a regular basis but as there’s a mileage countdown display on the dashboard you need to keep an eye on it to make sure that it doesn’t run out.
Have You Put The Wrong Fuel In The Engine?
Approximately 133,000 drivers make this mistake every year so don’t think yourself exempt! If you’ve ever put the wrong fuel in a vehicle push the car off the garage forecourt and ask for assistance. There are numerous roadside assistance options to help you flush the fuel out of the system. We can all make this mistake!
Having regular checks on your vehicle will help, but when you start to look at these common reasons why cars break down a lot of these problems you can prevent yourself.