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1. Flat tire or blowout

Some flats are unavoidable (like when you hit a nail), but there are things you can do to help prevent them. Make a routine of checking your tires every week. Look for any debris lodged in the tire (screws/shrapnel), check the the thread depth-it should be at least 1.6mm and check the tire pressure. To find your vehicles specific PSI, check your owners manual.

If you’re getting a recurring flat tire, it could be caused by a bad valve stem or a leak around the wheel seal. To test this, fully inflate the tire, mix up a solution of water and dish soap and pour on the base of the valve and on the outside of the wheel where tire and rim meet. The soapy water will make any slow leaks obvious.

2. Dead battery

A battery can be run down by frequent, short trips. Prevent it from going flat by taking your car on a longer drive once a week. Periodically check the battery terminals to make sure they’re not loose and to clean off any debris. Don’t leave accessories or headlights on without the engine running for long periods of time. Sometimes a battery just gets too old to produce enough amps and simply needs to be replaced.

Another cause of a dead battery could be a faulty alternator. Some cars will have a built in warning light that will either be “ALT”, “GEN” or shaped like a battery. Erratic headlights and dash lights that dim or suddenly get brighter are another common symptom. Persistent dead batteries often points to an alternator problem.

3. Clutch cable

Eventually, every manual car’s clutch will wear out, before it fails completely, learn to identify the symptoms.

Hard pedal- a worn clutch cable will often feel stiff or unresponsive. If too much pressure is applied, the cable will often break.
Gear slipping- the car may slip in and out of gears, especially when accelerating or driving up hills.
Jerkiness- If your vehicle jerks excessively when in low gears or shudders at low speeds it could be a sign of cable trouble.

Keep reading... Top 5 Breakdowns #4 & #5

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