Cars can be extremely unpredictable; you never know when your vehicle can give way and interrupt your daily travels. Your car has hundreds of different components including both electrical and mechanical. There can be numerous reasons for you vehicle breakdown, while there is no guarantee that you can protect yourself from your car breaking down we’ve devised a list of a few ideas your car could break down.

Seven signs of a vehicle breakdown

Here we discuss the different ways your car or vehicle could potentially break down. We recommend you keep an eye out for any of these signs and attend car servicing Milton Keynes to have your vehicle checked over by a professional.

Flat tyres

There are many different reasons to why your tyre can puncture including driving over a sharp object, failure of the valve stem or hitting a deep pothole are some of the most common causes of a flat tyre. Worn out tyres are at higher risk of receiving a flat tyre or puncture. You may be surprised, but even blunt stones or objects can cause a flat tyre if your tyres are not kept in excellent condition. You can regularly check your tyres by purchasing a tyre gauge from Screwfix, which will help your measure the tyre pressure at home. You may also want to look at depth of the tread in your tyres; it is recommended that they always be above 1.6mm however when the weather gets colder we suggest 3mm for extra safety. It will prevent you to skid and will also provide you with good breaking. If they are lower, then this and you find that your tyres are slowly losing air, its time to change them as they are no longer safe to drive. We also recommend you have a spare tyre that is in good working condition; many new cars no longer come with spare tyres, so it’s essential you purchase one.

Tyre Pressure Check

Spark plug

The spark plug is a particularly important part of the ignitions system of your vehicle. You will find that if your spark plug is faulty, there would be no way for fuel to ignite in the combustion chamber of your car. You may find if your spark plug isn’t working the way it should be this could prevent your car from burning fuel efficiently. Sometimes it may not need replacing completely and just might need the gap that could have been made closing.

If you find you have difficulty starting the vehicle, this will be a sign your spark plugs are worn. At the first sign of your car not starting correctly, we suggest you see a certified car servicing garage who will be able to take a look and make your car as safe as possible.

Slow acceleration is also another sign your spark plugs may be wearing low. This may be an indication that the spark plug needs replacing, however as stated previously you may want to speak to a car servicing garage before doing this yourself.

Faulty alternator

You may find that your car has consistently got battery issues, this may be because the battery is completely dead and simply needs replacing. However, the alternator recharges batteries by utilising energy produced by your vehicles engine. If your alternator fails, this will prevent your battery from charging now matter how efficient your battery may be.

Orange Triangle Vehicle Breakdown

Clutch cables

The clutch cables is a vital part of you vehicles clutching system, it engages and disengages the power transmission and allows you to change gear while driving. Over time and prolonged use, your cars clutch cable can become stretched or even broken. If you find that while driving your clutch is harder to push down on and your finding it is resisting this is an indication that your clutch has gone bad and will most definitely need replacing. This can be dangerous for both manual and automatic cars, if you have a manual you may find that your car won’t go into gear at all, if you have an automatic you might find that you car slips out of car meaning you could be in park and all of a sudden your car can go into drive so can be extremely hazardous to yourself and others.

Signs your clutch cable may need replacing:

  • Clutch pedal is hard to press
  • Clutch pedal may press to the floor and not return to its normal position
  • Difficult to shift gears
  • Clutch pedal will not work at all


This may sound like a silly thing to have on the list, but it happens a lot more than you may think. Sometimes you go on autopilot while on long drives and forget that your car may need filling up with petrol. So we recommend that before you know, you may be travelling longer than ten miles to always check your petrol gauge.

Overheating engine

Your engine may fail due to overheating which is a common cause of breakdowns. Your car cooler fan failing or being faulty, or a damaged water pump could cause this or leak within your engine may be the reason to it overheating.

Warning signs

Do not ignore the warning signs your car shows; many people tend to leave their warning signs thinking nothing is wrong with the car, or it may be okay for a little while longer. For example, your oil light comes on, if this isn’t filled up and within the minimum or maximum line you could do one of two things. If your car runs out of oil you will find your engine will seise; the oil is a fundamental fluid that has to be in your car for it to run. If this is to happen, it can be extremely costly as you could find yourself having to replace the engine completely. On the other hand, if you overfill it you can flood the engine which is also just as damaging to the car. If you want to know more about the warning signs that could appear on your vehicle dashboard, we suggest you read this Autozone article.

Car Warning Lights

Make sure you keep on top of your vehicle maintenance and have your car serviced regularly to ensure it is safe at all times. Look out for the signs listed above and if you cannot fix them yourself call a car garage that will be able to assist you. Some of the signs listed such as forgetting petrol if left can cause severe damage to your vehicle. Don’t ignore warning signs; this could be an indicator that there could be something wrong with your car.

Automotive Directory

Previous Post What is vehicle ECU remapping?
Next Post What do warning lights mean?