A Simple Guide on the Different Ways Cars Break Down

There are more than 287 million cars registered in the United States. That’s a lot of motorists on the road every day, meaning lots of traffic as you go about your day.

With so many autos speeding from one place to another 24/7, it also means there’s tons of potential for breakdowns.



There are many ways cars break down. And now of them are any fun. A car breaking down means you might be late for work, late for school, and you might get stuck on the side of the road in the rain waiting for help to arrive.

This article takes a look at the most common reasons cars break down and how to prevent them. Keep reading to get the inside scoop.

Faulty Spark Plugs

First of all, let’s discuss spark plugs. They are a crucial part of what makes your engine run properly. So when they go bad, your engine will start running rough. Bad plugs can also make your car stall. The key is to have them changed out once a year in order to keep your engine running smooth.

This resource will help you understand what to do if your car breaks down.

Alternator Failure

The next common source of engine problems is your alternator. The alternator’s job is to keep your battery charge. Even a brand new battery will quickly die if your alternator is bad.

You might notice your engine heating up exponentially, causing your ignition light to come on. When this happens, pull over and shut off your engine. The alternator could have gone out and you’ll need to have a mechanic look it over as soon as possible.

Worn Out Clutch

When clutch cables get overused, the will begin to burn out. This is one of the most common causes of breakdowns in cars with a stick shift.

Pay close attention to your clutch pedal. If you notice a change in the way it feels when pressed, get to a certified mechanic right away.

Bad Fuel

Believe it or not, all gasoline is not equal quality. Bad gas can quickly make your engine run bad. You’ll likely notice a loss of power, and the engine might start knocking or stall out.

Oil Leak

Oil leaks can cause serious engine problems. Leaks are often slow, but when you run out of oil, the engine will seize. When this happens the engine is toast. 

Thus it’s important to check your oil regularly and add oil if needed. And if you do notice a leak, have checked ASAP.

Flat Tire

Another common cause of breakdowns is a flat tire. Tires can easily pick up nails or glass on the road. The flat can happen quickly or over a day or two. 

It’s important to keep a good spare in the trunk and to understand how to change it yourself so that you don’t get stranded on the side of the road waiting for help.

Dead Battery

Batteries die for a variety of reasons. They aren’t designed to last forever, so be sure to replace it every couple of years. Because nothing is worse than discovering your battery is dead early on a cold morning.

A Guide to the Most Common Ways Cars Break Down

Having car trouble is a major headache. Fortunately, this guide to common ways cars break down can help you avoid trouble.

Keep scrolling to discover more great automotive tips and advice.