What are the Most Common Reasons Why a Car Breaks Down?

why do cars break down

There’s nothing like hitting the open highway, leaving your troubles behind and just driving until you reach your destination. For motorists, driving means – freedom. It’s not hard to see why teenagers race to get their driving licences!

However, that sinking feeling you get when, with a cough and splutter, you realise your vehicle’s lifespan is drawing to a close is all too evident in older vehicles – and should make motorists think about whether they should sell their accident damaged car. Firstly you can contact your local mechanic and ideally one who specializes in your car manufacturer, for example Ryan G Motorworks is a great choice for people who own BMW’s in CA.

Vehicles don’t last forever. That’s a fact, whether you’ve had weeks or decades of experience on the road. However, being aware of the more commons reasons for vehicle failures will make you more aware of the symptoms as they occur and prevent you from having an accident on the road.

why do cars break down

Faulty or Flat Battery

Unlike the fuel gauge, tyre pressure or vehicle locking system, car owners don’t get any alert to tell them of a fault with the car battery. The only sign owners get is when they sit behind the wheel, turn the key or press the start button only for their car to remain defiantly still, no sound, no movement.

Car batteries are the most common cause of car breakdowns, especially in the winter when motorists take many short journeys, poor electrical connection or when temperatures drop zero degrees Celsius and below.

However, before you jump to conclusions, sure that your car battery is faulty and wish to sell an accident damaged car, it’s always wise to think if you’ve left the headlights on overnight, the radio blaring or the have the air conditioner on full repeatedly. All of which can drain your battery. Meticulous care and attention with car ownership can save you a great deal of hassle in the future!


Alternator Fault

If, however, you’ve noticed that your headlights are increasingly dim when your engine is idel and vehicle parked, this maybe an sign that you have a fault with your alternator.

Check your ignition warning light. If it’s displayed and the engine temperature rises quickly, this may mean that the belt that drives the alternator and water pump could have broken.

A good mechanic will be able to resolve an ongoing alternator problem. However, should the cost to repair the alternator be more than the value of the car itself, you could choose to sell an accident damaged car to a reputable business like Sell The Car USA.



One of the more common reasons why cars and trucks trundle to the side of the road is that the engine has overheated. This is especially true in the summer months when an engine works harder to keep cool.

Low levels of engine coolant and automatic transmission snd brake fluid can also pose a problem. It’s wise to routinely check fluid levels. There’s nothing worse that being on a cross-country journey only for the vehicle to falter for reasons that could have been avoided if you’d just checked the fluid levels before setting off.

If you find yourself pulling in by the side of the road with your engine steaming, first you’ll need to turn off any air conditioning and turn on the heater. Now, this may seem foolish with your engine steaming from the hood but it’s paramount to remove heat from the engine.


Spark Plugs and Clutch Cables

If your spark plugs have endured some wear and tear, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you automatically need to sell a non-running car – unless, of course, faulty spark plugs are just the tip of the proverbial vehicle fault iceberg! Then you may need to consider the best way to sell your damaged car, and not incur the cost of getting it back on the road.

The clutch cable of any vehicle is typically under much stress. If it snaps, this can cause serious problems – even accidents. If you’ve any suspicion that your clutch cable may not be performing to its optimal degree, call a mechanic. It may just save your life.

These are just a few of the primary faults that can cause a car to break down. If you suspect that your vehicle is suffering with one of these faults, it’s advisable to stay off the road until the issue has been resolved. If, however, your car has chugged its last chug and you’re looking for the easiest way to sell a non-running car, use Sell The Car USA today. We’d be happy to take the car off your hands!