How to Stop a Car from Breaking Down
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Car issues often have a domino effect. One gear that isn't turning right causes a jam, which causes an entire system to shut down. If you're lucky, your Check Engine Light will come on, but if you're not lucky, your car could cut out and lose all power.
There's no good time to breakdown on the side of the road but it happens to the best of us. Here are some car issues that could cause your car to cut out and lose all power. And, more importantly, how to prevent them.
Common causes of a car cutting out and losing power
There's no fixing a problem if you don't know the root of it. Here are the most common causes of cars cutting out:
Low engine compression
Cars that use gas and diesel engines need adequate cylinder compression to function correctly. When the compression is low, the engine's power is reduced. If left unchecked, it could potentially cause the vehicle to break down.
Your vehicle's fuel filter filters the gasoline to remove any impurities before it reaches your car's engine. When this filter is damaged, these impurities could potentially infiltrate your engine and cause severe damage that could cause your vehicle to break down.
The air filter provides the engine with clean air. An engine needs to have an adequate amount of airflow to function properly; however, when the filter is dirty or damaged, dirt and grime will build up on the engine that could cause it to overheat.
Catalytic converters are part of the car's exhaust system. It is in charge of converting pollutants into harmless gasses that can be expelled into the atmosphere. When the exhaust system is not working properly, it can restrict the exhaustion of these gases, causing them to go back into the engine and choke it.
Camshaft position sensor
The camshaft position sensor gathers information about the car's speed and sends it to the car's computer to manage fuel injection and ignition. When this piece is malfunctioning, it can desynchronize the whole process and cause significant performance problems, including breakdowns.
This sensor analyzes and reports the amount of air that flows into the engine. The information is then transferred to a control module to calculate the load that is being placed on the engine. A malfunction in this process can cause your car to break down.
The injection process is perfectly coordinated and timed by a computer. If there is an issue with the injectors or the computer that controls them, the engine won't get enough power to adequately function.
Tank breather pipe
A tank breather pipe facilitates the airflow in your gas tank. When this pipe is clogged or damaged, it can cause the tank to collapse and affect fuel flow.
The fuel pump is in charge of delivering gas from the tank to the engine at an adequate fuel pressure. When it is not functioning as it should, it can cause the engine to malfunction.
If your car's battery is dead, you're not going anywhere fast. Leaving the car lights or using the infotainment system when the car's engine is not running are quick ways to cause your battery to die. Keep in mind that while we mentioned some of the most common causes, there are certainly more things that can be causing the problems with your car, such as:
- Spark plugs
- Ignition Coils
- Ignition charger
- Timing belt
How to stop a car from cutting out and losing power
Sometimes, there's no way to get ahead of a breakdown; however, most breakdowns can be prevented by regular maintenance.
Keeping up with a maintenance schedule can help you pinpoint issues with your car before they have a domino effect that could potentially lead to a system failure down the road (literally).