Have you checked your car recently

The AA A friend of mine asked me the other day what I thought would be the worst car to breakdown in.

This got me thinking. If I had all the money in the world, what car would I not want to breakdown in? A Bentley, an Aston Martin or maybe even Lamborghini?

You know without a shadow of a doubt that if you breakdown in either one of those cars you will be mocked by everyone until you cannot ever face driving it again in daylight.

I have personally broken down in many expensive cars as a motoring journalist, and many times I have hidden away in the bushes until help arrives to minimise the shame.

Come to think of it, this is what Peugeot owners do on a regular basis, so it’s quite normal to see a stranded glum looking Peugeot owner on the hard shoulder. Plus- if it’s not broken, then I bet it’s been in a bump with a caravan owner.

This then begs the next question. If you did breakdown, what is the likeliest cause? I have given this some thought also and below you will find a list that I have compiled of what I believe are the most common breakdown conundrums.

1. Dead or Low Battery – This is because your 19 year old was forced to clean your car on Sunday morning – thus flattening the Battery using the Radio as a Disco while at the same time charging their iPhone.

2. Flat Tire or Tire Blowout – You neglected to check your tyre pressures on a regular basis or you are running around on min tread depth. Get them checked. The rubber between you and the road is what keeps you from crashing – why would you skimp on that?

3. Keys Locked in Vehicle or Lost – Your 2 year old was playing with them because you thought the jingling sound they made would keep them quiet enough so you could get 5 minutes peace to go to the bathroom – Wrong! The consequence of this is that they proceeded to hide them in a place that you would never think of looking. Plus – Why do we all ask the same stupid question? Where did you have them last?

4. Running Out of Fuel – This happens to me a lot because I am always playing the game ‘how far can you go’ it’s simple really. You wait till your fuel gauge warns you that fuel is low, and then you proceed to see how far you can push the limit before you really do need to re-fuel. Believe me, you would not believe how far you can actually go before it splutters to a halt. Note to self? Take a petrol can.

5. Alternator faults or general car maintenance – Persistent battery problems and dim headlights when the engine is idling can indicate alternator/generator faults – This is why getting your car checked by a professional is the only way you can limit the problems you may face. Please ignore Gary the guy down the road who will fix your car for a can of beer. This will only end in frustration. Take it to a garage or get it inspected before a long journey.

Before I finish – I wanted to tell you about what I believe would be the worst place in the world to breakdown. It’s called The Road of Death, in Bolivia.

Located high up in the mountains, the Road of Death is a winding road so narrow that hundreds of drivers lose control every year and basically tumble down the side of the mountain.

The point is that if you break down here, you’re pretty much guaranteed a gruesome death because there is nowhere to go. You’re basically stuck standing in the middle of a road waiting for someone else to come along and run you over or force you to dive over the edge of a mountain cliff. So if you are asked to go on a driving holiday to Bolivia, go to Devon instead.

For peace of mind then make sure you have breakdown cover!!!   By Anthony Yates


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