Whether you are on your way to work or on the road for your family vacation, car break downs can sideline your day and put a considerable dent in your wallet in no time. Check out this list of common car break down causes and a list of tips to help you avoid incidents.
* Evaporative leak: One of the most common causes for your “check engine” light to come on in the summer is an evaporative leak. Evaporative emissions are created when fuel evaporates into a vapor. This vapor must be vented out of your fuel tank in order to control the pressure inside your gas tank. If there is a leak in the evaporative system, you will see the “check engine” light come on. The most common culprit is a loose gas cap. Check your gas cap and then take your vehicle to a certified mechanic to ensure that this is your only problem.
* Engine hesitation or surge: This is a common problem which can have several causes. In the summer, your car’s engine tends to work harder, which can cause a problem with your car’s exhaust gas recirculation system. This can cause issues with the intake manifold and can lead to expensive repairs. Of course, hesitation can also be caused by a dirty air filter as well. It’s a good idea to change your car’s air filter when you change the oil, or at least once per year and take your vehicle to a repair center immediately when it begins hesitating.
* Overheating: This is a very common issue in the summer and is usually caused by having too little coolant in the engine cooling system. These levels should be checked whenever you have your engine oil changed, along with all the other fluid levels in your car. If you experience engine overheating, pull off to the side of the road and turn on the heater. It can help vent some of the heat off the engine and prevent damage to the engine components.
* Flat tire/blowout: Flat tires are very common and can be a side effect of over or under inflation, worn tires or simply tire malfunction. You can reduce your chances of experiencing one by ensuring you replace worn tires and regularly check the tire pressure in each tire.
* No start: Car batteries rarely offer any symptoms before a catastrophic failure. And, contrary to popular belief, summer months are harder on your battery than winter months. Make sure your vehicle has all of the plastic pieces that surround the battery. These pieces are engineered to keep your battery cool and divert fresh air across the battery to extend its life. You should also replace your battery every three years.