Well, we are truly into the depths of summer now and this often means taking family trips in the car.  Whilst this can be one of the best past-times it can also lead to being broken down on the side of the road especially if your vehicle has not been maintained properly. 

We want to discuss five of the most common reasons that your car may break down, along with tell tale signs that you have an issue and how you can avoid a potential situation.

Make sure to read through to the end of this post to learn about our new road side assist program that we are officially launching in February, as well as how to win a portable jump starter, simply by servicing your car!

 

Battery Failure

There is nothing more frustrating than strategically loading up the car with your belongings and strapping in the kids only to find that your car won’t start. More commonly than not this will be the result of a dead battery. Here are some signs that indicate your battery may require replacement:

  • When you turn the key, the engine cranks over but wont start or won’t crank over at all.
  • The dash lights & interior lights start to dim.
  • The ‘check engine’ light is on your dash.
  • The car battery is swollen or is leaking gas (usually has a rotten egg smell)

As a general rule your battery should be replaced every 3 to 5 years depending on how often you use your car. You can rest easy knowing the batteries we supply at Motive Mechanical come with a three year warranty!

If you do find that your battery is flat, you can jump start your car by following our easy step-by-step guide on using jumper leads here. Remember to keep reading to learn how you can WIN a water-resistant portable jump starter!

Hot Engine

A discussion on directions with your partner is not the only cause for things to become a bit heated in the car.

If your car begins to overheat and the temperature gauge is in the red, pull over immediately and get in touch with us or roadside assistance for guidance.

However if you find your temperature gauge is starting to creep up slowly during your travels, there are a couple of things you can do to coax the dial back down. 

  • Turn off the A/C and enjoy the windows down for a while.
     
  • Turn ON your heater – this will help pull the heat away from the engine
  • Shift into neutral when possible and rev the engine to pump coolant through the cooling system. 

If you have tried all these tips and the car is still running hot you may need to pull over and wait until the engine cools down before continuing on your trip.

Empty Tank

Do you like to live on the edge by pushing your fuel as far as you can? Whilst this can be considered one of life’s greatest adrenaline rushes this is actually not healthy for your car and there’s always the chance that you won’t make it to the next petrol station, which brings us to our third common reason for a road trip breakdown; no fuel. We recommend keeping your fuel tank at least a quarter full. Not only will you avoid running out, but doing this keeps the fuel pump cool and reduces debris from entering the fuel system. 

Another issue is if you accidentally fill up your diesel tank with petrol. If you do this, DO NOT start your engine. Your tank will need to be drained out properly before you fill it back up with diesel. If petrol does enter the fuel system, the high pressure pump will begin to fail and you may require a very pricey fuel system replacement, which is not often covered by insurance companies. 

The opposite generally does not happen, as the diesel hose is larger than a petrol tank opening. If you are ever unsure, use our new app to chat to a mechanic in real time.

 

Dash Warnings

To put it simply, there are two types of warning lights to watch out for on your dash; red or orange.

Red indicates that there is a serious issue and it requires immediate attention. In this case, you should pull your car over immediately and call for assistance.

An orange light is something that, although not urgent, should be looked at as soon as you are able to do so. 

If you are ever in doubt, make sure to check out the Warning Lights section on the Motive Mechanical app for a complete break down of what each light means.

 

Flat Tyre

Most people have come across a flat tyre in their travels.

Before taking off on your trip, make sure that you do the following to help avoid changing your tyre mid trip:

  • Check your tyre pressure. You can check for your vehicles correct Psi inside your door frame or car manual.
  • Make sure that your tyre tread is at optimal thickness. There is a tyre wear indicator located in between the tread pattern.
  • Check to see if you have uneven wear on your tyres by watching this video.

If you find your tyres do have uneven wear, head on down to Motive Mechanical for a wheel alignment and a rotate and balance of your tyres.

And finally ensure you have a suitable spare tyre in case you do have to change it. 

It is highly recommended that at least one person in your convoy is confident enough in changing a tyre and even more important to have a car jack in your boot for such occasions.

 

Now Offering Roadside Assistance

Not only do we offer NATIONWIDE WARRANTY with all of our services, we are very excited to announce that we have teamed up with Relay Assist and are now offering FREE roadside assistance to all customers as part of their premium or logbook service. This is a six month membership, that will be renewed for FREE each time that you bring your vehicle back for it’s regular six month service. Be sure to check out Relay Assist here and have a read of their brochure for all the information on this great new service!

 

AND NOW…IT’S GIVEAWAY TIME

The offers don’t stop there; as promised we also want to offer a GIVEAWAY to our amazing customers. All that you have to do is book your car in for a service during February to go in the running to win a water-resistant portable jump starter. This little device is incredibly handy to have in your car’s tool box for those annoying dead batteries! 

So, that’s it…..what are you waiting for? Jump on the app, give us a call or send us a message and BOOK IN!