Most common causes of car breakdown

Cars are highly complex devices combining sophisticated mechanical and electronic components. There is much that can go wrong. Here are the most common causes of the breakdown.

The battery

The number one cause of a vehicle breakdown is a flat or faulty battery. This is usually indicated by either complete silence or the starter motor’s sound as if it is grinding to a halt. The lack of sufficient current prevents power to the engine.

Warning signs

The engine starts at a slower speed than normal. When you are driving, the red battery light in the engine performance can start flickering and driving can feel slower than normal.


The battery can power a car’s electrical components such as lights, windscreen wipers and sound systems. However, the alternator uses energy from the engine to keep the battery charged. If it fails, your battery will run out of charge, even if it is brand new.

Warning signs

Unfortunately, you cannot maintain the alternator. However, a flickering battery warning light, dim headlamps and dashboard lights are the warning signs to look out for.

Starter motor

The fault with the starter motor generally presents itself only when it fails to start the engine. Regular maintenance checks can help prevent any problems with your starter motor.


It is highly recommended that you never hit the road without a serviceable spare wheel or a temporary puncture repair kit in the car. While tyre failure is usually caused by debris in the road, you can often prevent it. A major cause of tyre failure is under-inflation which results in the tyres overheating.

Ensure that you check the tyre pressure and running condition of your vehicle as often as you refuel the car. If a tyre needs regular air, it has either a slow puncture or a valve problem. You would be best to get it inspected.


Electrical problems are becoming more common as cars are becoming more complex. They can give rise to strange car behaviour. They are often difficult to diagnose and difficult to fix on the road’s side. Sometimes you can fix them by turning the car off and on again. It is necessary to check for unusual symptoms before they cause a breakdown.

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