Top 5 summer breakdowns

Top 5 reasons cars breakdown in summer, and how to prevent them.

4/30/20232 min read

a car that is sitting in the street
a car that is sitting in the street

Summer is a time for road trips and travel, but it can also be a time of unexpected breakdowns.

We’re going to explore the top 5 reasons we see broken down cars arrive on the back of a recovery truck and how to avoid them.

1. Overheating

Hot weather can cause your car to work harder. The hotter temperatures and a traffic jam can see a steamy end to your journey. Make sure your coolant doesn’t have a leak. If your car needs topping up it could be a sign of a leak. Either find it beforehand or that traffic jam will!

2. Tyre blow outs

You are in the car, music up, air con and sunglasses on, when suddenly BANG. Your glasses knocked off and you are hanging on for dear life as the car pulls itself across the road. If you have ever experienced it, you have probably just re-lived it!

This one is easy to prevent. It is as simple as checking your tyres tread (do not forget the inside edges!) and checking your tyre pressures.

3. Electrical system failures

Battery, Alternator and Starter motor faults increase in summer. The high heat under the bonnet cooks these parts until they cease to function. A quick check of the electrical system can reveal faults before they let you down. Batteries will fail suddenly and cause all year-round breakdowns. Check the battery, starter, and alternator before leaving. Beware though you might need a bit of help with this one!

4. Brake failures

Worn out brakes are a favorite in summer. Remember when it was dark early, cold, and wet and the MOT said you brake pads worn? Well, you can bet it’s now they will wear out! A quick look through the wheel and you can see the pads. If allowed to wear out totally then the brake discs will get damaged and need replacing as well and possibly cause damage to the brake calipers as well. So, you can see this can get expensive!

5. Fan Belt failure

The “fan belt” does not run the fan these days but the name has stuck around. A degraded belt can snap in the hot temperatures causing all sorts of issues. You could lose drive to the water pump causing overheating. Lose the power steering, and alternator. And worst of all the air conditioning!

A quick look at its condition is all that is needed. Look for cracks running across the belt or fibers coming from the sides. Does the belt squeal? These simple issues indicate it might be time to replace the belt.

6. Bonus failure

Servicing. With extended service intervals of 18,000 and over cars are becoming less reliable! We have seen oil filters so clogged I don’t know how the engine survived. Timing belts broken due to not being changed on time. Brake fluid boiling going down a long hill, again due to not being changed. It might be worth considering a service before leaving on your journey if it’s now been done in the last year.

Not sure on how to check any of these items? At Venn Park Garage we can show you how or if you prefer book in for a pre-holiday safety check and we will make sure these, and a few more common failures, are not going to lead to a breakdown.

You can book a Summer Safety Check here: