Now that summer is right around the corner, many drivers are planning for a summer road trip or a vacation in a faraway place. Before you head out, it’s always good to be informed about hazards you may face between here and there. Learn three common causes for car breakdowns, as well as how to prevent them, below:
Check Engine Light
Nothing ruins a road trip faster than the check engine light. If you see this familiar orange symbol pop up on your dash, it’s best to pull over immediately and have your car checked out by a mechanic. The check engine light may be triggered by a variety of issues including a faulty oxygen sensor, spark plug or coil issues, a faulty mass airflow sensor, catalytic converter problems, or a loose petrol cap. While you may be able to fix some of these issues yourself, others will required a trained professional. Unfortunately, engine breakdowns can be very dangerous, so even if it means you will be late to your destination, you should never continue driving with your check engine light on. If you do, you are risking major damages to your vehicle and putting yourself as well as your passengers, in danger as well. To prevent this concern, make sure you are sticking to your car maintenance guidelines in your vehicle’s manual. Have your car checked out by a trained professional before hitting the road the road for an extended trip.
A flat tire is another common cause for car breakdowns. Between a variety of construction projects and poor road conditions, it’s possible you’ll experience a flat tire at some point in your life. While many people will be able to change a flat tire themselves, it’s better to practice routine tire maintenance ahead of time to prevent these troubles. Drivers should check their tire pressure at least once a month, and definitely before embarking on a long-distance trip. Changing temperatures can definitely have an impact on your tires. An under-inflated tire will generate more heat and wear out faster. When checking your tire pressure ahead of time, make sure you match the recommended PSI on the inside panel of the driver side door. Most gas stations have an air machine that you can use to adjust your tire inflation. If you find yourself with a flat tire and do not know how to change a tire yourself, simply call a mechanic or a tow truck to get you to an auto repair shop nearby.
A dead car battery will stop your car in its tracks, especially during the summer when high temperatures can put extra stress on the battery and cause battery fluid to evaporate. Make sure to have a professional evaluate your car battery before heading out on the road. Jump starting your car with a set of jumper cables and another car with a good battery can help get you back on the road. However, if you are unable to do so, MAIF Insurance offers emergency roadside assistance via Roadway Insurance. Affordable roadside assistance and towing services can be added to your policy for an additional cost. In a pinch, these services can help you get back on the road as soon as possible. If you would like to learn more about MAIF Insurance, your affordable insurance provider in Maryland, please request a free MAIF quote to begin.