We all love and rely on our cars, however, without proper care and maintenance, your trusty vehicle could easily become a victim to a disaster scenario rendering it useless.
In this article we will look at the top five car disasters every driver must avoid. Also we will cover how to fix these issues if the unfortunate does happen to you.
#1 – Engine Overheating
Overheating is a common issue with automotive engineering and it happens when there is not enough coolant in the radiator to cool the engine whilst you’re driving. This could be related to a leak in the radiator or just low coolant.
As your car begins to overheat, your dashboard will show that the temperature is in the high zone, or you may experience warning messages about the coolant level specifically. Or, you may notice steam pouring out from under the hood. When any of these things happen, pull over and stop driving as soon as possible.
At this point, many drivers make the fatal mistake of pouring water over the engine to cool it down. However, you should never do this as it can destroy the engine. You should also never remove the radiator cap when it is hot as this will cause boiling water and steam to explode in your face resulting in severe burns to your skin.
Instead, the best course of action is to simply wait until the engine cools down naturally. If you’re on the road, you can add more coolant – or water, and once you’re back home you can fix any leaks in the cooling system to prevent it from happening again.
#2 – Broken Windscreen
Your car has lots of glass panels including the front windscreen, side and rear windows, and maybe even a sunroof. These glass panels provide security and safety features for your car.
However, being glass, these panels are susceptible to chips and cracks. While a little chip in your windshield may seem harmless, the vibrations from driving can cause it to grow into large cracks. Driving with a severely cracked windscreen is not only illegal which can result in fines but is also very unsafe.
Also the cost of repairing small chips is far less than a full windscreen replacement. For this reason it is best to get your damaged windscreen repaired as soon as possible.
#3 – Flat Tyres
A flat tyre will ruin the mood of any road trip. Driving with a flat tyre is not only dangerous (given that you don’t have full control over the vehicle), but it can cause damage to the metal rim of the wheel.
Before you go driving on long trips, always make sure that you have a spare tyre and tyre changing tools with you, and that you understand how to perform a tyre change. This way, if you do experience a flat tyre you will be able to replace the tyre, no matter where you are.
#4 – Water Damage & Flooding
The average car is not designed to be driven through water. Unless of course it is a four-wheel drive with raised suspension, an engine snorkel and leak proof door seals. Sadly, most city cars don’t have these features, and so you should always avoid driving through large bodies of water during heavy rainfall and flooding.
Also make sure you fix any window leak issues as soon as you notice them as water damage to vehicles is very hard to fix. However, if your vehicle suffers extensive water damage such as flooding the engine or saturating the carpet and underlay, your only option may be to sell the car to the wreckers. Ouch.
#5 – Running out of petrol
Running out of petrol is never a fun experience, especially if there are no petrol stations nearby! To avoid this always ensure your fuel gauge is working, fill up before long drives, and be mindful if going to remote areas with limited fuel sources.
Also, get in a habit of filling up when half full or quarter full at the very minimum. Don’t get into the habit of waiting for the low fuel warning lamp to show up, as the next fuel station may be too far away.
While all the above issues can be prevented with regular servicing, your own visual inspections of your vehicle and a bit of common sense, sometimes the unfortunate happens. This is where having roadside assistance is a great backup option.