Top car breakdown faults in autumn – and how to steer clear of them 0

Alas, we’re now in to the year’s second highest breakdown season. Not quite as brutal on our cars as winter obviously, but this is the season when our motors really start to feel the strain as the temperatures drop and the roads become more treacherous. Here are the most common reasons why cars break down over the next few months and the steps you can take to avoid them.


Overloaded batteries

Car batteries have it easy in the summer, but come autumn, rapidly dropping temperatures and the sudden strain on the car’s electrical systems mean that any deficiencies soon become apparent. A battery that was starting to fail over the summer months will almost definitely die once autumnal weather starts to bite.

If your car’s motor whirrs lethargically, or if the lights seem faint (and get fainter when you start using more electrical systems), the battery is starting to enter its death throes. Try topping it up, but if there’s no difference, replace it.

Engine fluids

Checking your oil is essential, but many of us often neglect to check our water and anti-freeze levels. If you’ve recently bought a new vehicle, make sure you have sufficient amounts, otherwise the first frozen morning you’ll end up cracking your engine block – which will there’s no anti-freeze in it.

Think about topping up the water level with some anti-freeze, or alternatively get a tester device from a motoring store.

The danger of leaves

Leaves get everywhere in autumn. They can quite easily get sucked into vital air inlets which can lead to engines overheating so it’s good practise to clear them from the front of your car regularly. If your windscreen starts to steam up for no apparent reason then leaves or other foliage could have blocked the inlets just beneath the windscreen – the small chamber where the bottom of the wiper arms are. It’s a good idea to open the bonnet fairly regularly during autumn as it’s very likely you’ll find an accumulation of leaf mulch in there. A good clear out will prevent any mysterious electrical problems or water accumulation.

Electrical Issues

We’ve already mentioned the battery which is taxed heavily by the car’s electrical systems but there can be all sorts of little niggly issues which raise their heads once we move into autumn and the weather gets wetter. Modern cars can have their diagnostics checked by a quick trip to the dealership. It’s worth doing this sooner rather than later, if there’s any doubt.


Don’t neglect your lights and windscreen wipers either. They don’t get used much in summer so any problems they might be harbouring won’t be immediately apparent. In autumn, they’ll get a lot of seasonal use so now is the time to get them checked out. Worn wipers are dangerous.

It’s also worth examining your tyres and bulbs, the police will readily stop you if you have a bulb out. This isn’t a breakdown in itself, but it’s a safety concern that you have a responsibility to address.

PIC: Wallpoper