How to avoid car breakdowns during a trip

Breakdowns are one of the most dreaded instances in driving. It can cause either a huge headache and anxiety for you  – or even an accident. Here are a few ways you can prepare and prevent your vehicle from having a breakdown. After all, car maintenance is another way to prevent having a “Jerk Car” during your trip.

Check the condition of your car

Always check that your car is in good condition before you leave for your trip. There are many mechanical parts, such as your car’s transmission and engine, which need to be checked regularly. If you are not able to do so, it is better to consult a mechanic who can do the maintenance and repairs for you.

Usually, having a warranty or even an extended auto warranty can alleviate a lot of stress when driving on the road. Once your manufacturer’s warranty expires you need an extended one.  A study of Nissan maintenance cost shows that it can be anywhere from a few hundred dollars to almost a thousand dollars. Even though Nissan owners pay less to maintain their cars than the average driver, it is still worth noting that a warranty it can save you a lot of money. 

Read the manual

It is very important to read all of the instructions as provided on the manual as it will help you to avoid all kinds of unwanted issues. If you are not aware of any instructions, purchase one of the 3rd party books about your car published by Chiltons or other companies.

These can actually be more insightful than the original manual for your vehicle, and many will guide beginners through routine maintenance. 

Check and flush fluids

The fluids of your car not only need to be refilled to proper levels, they also need to be flushed regularly. Changing the oil in your vehicle is a basic step that must be performed every 3 months or 3000 miles – typically. Other fluids that you should at least know how to check to include windshield wiper fluid, brake fluid, radiator fluid, and transmission fluid.

Not everyone will typically flush these other fluids, but it’s important to know that your vehicle’s fluids are at acceptable levels before you leave for a trip. And consider the benefits of learning someday how to at least change your own oil.


A quick visual inspection of your belts is a must. Look for strange patterns of wear and frayed edges. If you see even the least amount of wear, have a mechanic take a look before you are out on the open road. Getting a new belt installed before you leave town is so much easier than getting one from a small town mechanic in the middle of nowhere. Finding a mechanic, getting towed, and waiting for parts will all ruin your trip.

Battery maintenance

Batteries get old. Their terminators get corroded. Batteries can even get rundown by the many electronics running inside your car – even when the key is off! Modern vehicles have all sorts of gadgets inside, and that can mean that your battery is getting drained. if the alternator is not keeping up, that battery is going to give out during your trip.

Tire pressure

Check your vehicle’s tire pressure before you leave town. Not only will you get better mileage, but you are likely to prevent a flat tire or blow out at highway speeds. Tire pressure leaks out gradually, and the rate can increase when experiencing extremes of temperature. It’s very important to check this regularly and know the rate at which your tires typically need to be filled. Look on the wall of the tire for its maximum pressure rating, and aim for a pound per square inch (PSI) roughly one pound less. And check the tires when cold, if at all possible. Always put the valve stem cap on tightly afterward, too: Surprisingly, it can have an effect on how fast the tires lose their air pressure.

Speaking of tires, do you have your spare inflated properly – and a jack and lug wrench in the vehicle? Few people think ahead to check these things, and even new cars might be missing their jack. Few people keep their spare tire inflated properly, but a spare tire that is flat is useless. Be proactive and make sure that your spare tire is ready for the trip!

Avoid accidents

How to avoid your car breaking down on the road? One of the most important steps is to drive safely. In other words, be extra cautious while driving. Give more space to the cars behind you as they tend to need more space to break down or stop suddenly. Give more importance to the driving wheel than anything else! 

Drive safely

Of course, an accident is much worse than a breakdown, is likely to lead to a breakdown – and is also usually avoidable. Make sure that you do not overtake any car especially while taking a U-turn. Do not overtake

any buses or vans especially during rush hour. Give plenty of room to other vehicles on the road as well. It is advised that you should not exceed the speed limit imposed by the traffic rules and regulations. This is one of the easiest ways to reduce the chances of having problems with your car. 

There are many aspects of your vehicle that you should check before a trip. If you are not able to perform basic vehicle maintenance, you need to take your car to a mechanic or an auto repair shop to have the car checked for you. Taking the car for a tune-up before you leave will help you avoid unwanted breakdowns on the road. Make sure you follow all these tips well to avoid any major car breakdown issues from happening to you.

Garry Smith
Garry Smith
Author’s Bio: Educational expert, Garry Smith is redefining the way schools worldwide develop teaching, and counseling programs, giving students greater odds of achieving life success. His team-integrated approach brings teachers, counselors, private home tuition agency, and families together to help students develop personal, emotional, behavioral, social, academic, and career skills to overcome today’s biggest challenges.
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