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10 most common causes of truck breakdowns on the road – How to avoid them

The most unfortunate thing you want to avoid when driving on the road is a breakdown, especially when you’re far from home. Unfortunately, no matter how well you maintain your vehicle, breakdowns can happen at any time to anyone. That’s why it’s important to know the most common causes of breakdowns on the road and how one can avoid them. Not only it can help keep you safe, but it can also save your time and money in the long run.

Additionally, finding a reliable truck road service near me can provide peace of mind and help quickly resolve any issues that arise while on the road. So, let’s explore the top 10 most common causes of breakdowns on the road and learn how to avoid them.

A flat or faulty battery

A flat or faulty battery is a common cause of breakdowns on the road. A flat battery can be caused by leaving electronics running when the car is off, not using the vehicle for an extended period or having a faulty battery.

How to avoid a flat battery

To avoid a flat battery, it’s essential to turn off all electronics when the car is not running and drive your vehicle at least once a week to keep the battery charged. If you aren’t using your car for an extended period, you can disconnect the battery to prevent it from draining. Additionally, it’s important to replace your battery every 3-4 years to avoid a faulty battery from causing a breakdown on the road. Finally, if you notice any weak battery, such as dimming headlights or a slow-cranking engine, check your battery with a truck repair professional to ensure it’s functioning properly.

Damaged tires or wheel

Damaged tires or wheels are another common cause of breakdowns on the road. A puncture can cause a flat tire, a damaged tire or wheel, or a leaky valve stem.

How to change a flat tire

You will need a spare tire, a jack, and a lug wrench to change a flat tire. First, find a safe location to change the tire, away from traffic. Use the lug wrench to loosen the nuts on the flat tire, but do not remove them yet. Next, use the jack to lift the car off the ground, high enough to remove and replace the flat tire with the spare tire. Tighten the lug nuts by hand, then lower the car back down to the ground and finish tightening the lug nuts with the lug wrench.

How to avoid a flat battery

To avoid punctures, it’s important to regularly inspect your tire for any signs of damage or wear. Look for cuts, bulges, or holes in the tire, and make sure the tire pressure is at the recommended level. Avoid driving over sharp objects, such as broken glass or nails, and be cautious when driving on poorly maintained roads or construction sites. Additionally, it’s important to have your tires rotated and balanced regularly and replace them when worn out. By taking these steps, you can help prevent a flat tire caused by damage or punctures and avoid a breakdown on the road.

Alternator Faults

An alternator is responsible for charging the battery while the car is running. A faulty alternator can cause a breakdown, so it’s essential to check it regularly and replace it if necessary. Signs of an alternator fault include dimming headlights, a dead battery, or warning lights on the dashboard.

Electrical problem

Damaged wiring, fuses, or other electrical components can cause electrical problems. To avoid this, check all electrical components regularly, including headlights, brake lights, turn signals, and interior lights. If you notice any issues, bring them to any truck repair shops as soon as possible.

Lost Keys and alarms

Lost keys or malfunctioning alarms can be a frustrating and inconvenient cause of breakdowns. To avoid this, always have a spare key and make sure your alarm is functioning correctly. Keep a spare key in a safe place outside your car, such as with a trusted friend or family member.


Misfuelling is a familiar mistake drivers make, particularly those who have recently switched to a new vehicle or are driving an unfamiliar one. It involves filling the fuel tank with the wrong fuel type, such as putting petrol into a diesel car or vice versa. This mistake can cause severe damage to the engine, leading to a breakdown on the road.

How to avoid running out of fuel

To avoid running out of fuel, it’s essential to keep an eye on the fuel gauge and plan for long trips. Make sure you know where petrol stations are located along your route, and try to fill up when your tank is half full rather than waiting until it’s almost empty. Also, avoid over-relying on your car’s range indicator, as it may only be accurate sometimes.

How to avoid flooding your engine

If you’ve mistakenly filled up with the wrong fuel type to avoid flooding your engine, do not start your car. Starting the engine can cause the fuel to circulate and cause damage to the engine. Instead, contact a professional to have the fuel system drained and the fuel replaced.

Sometimes, it may be possible to prevent severe damage if the mistake is caught early enough. If you’ve noticed the error before starting the engine, turn the ignition on for a few seconds without starting the engine, to allow the fuel pump to circulate the fuel, and then have the fuel system drained and replaced by a professional truck road service near me.

Clutch cables problem on manual vehicles

Clutch cables can wear out over time and cause issues with shifting gears. To avoid this, make sure to have your clutch cable checked regularly and replace it if necessary. Signs of a clutch cable problem include difficulty shifting gears, a slipping clutch, or a loose pedal.

Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF)

A Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) is a device that captures, and stores exhaust particulate matter from diesel engines, preventing harmful emissions from being released into the atmosphere. However, over time, the DPF can become clogged with soot and other particles, leading to reduced engine performance, increased fuel consumption, and, eventually, a breakdown on the road.

How to prevent a clogged diesel particulate filter

To prevent a clogged DPF, keeping up with regular maintenance on your vehicle is essential. Follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule, and ensure your engine oil and filters are changed regularly. Additionally, avoid short trips or stop-and-go driving, as this can lead to incomplete combustion and increased soot buildup in the DPF. Take your car for a long drive once a week to help burn off any accumulated soot in the DPF.

Using the correct fuel and additives in your vehicle is also essential. Low-quality fuel or additives can lead to increased soot buildup in the DPF. Always use high-quality diesel fuel, and ensure any fuel additives you use are approved by the manufacturer for use with your vehicle.

Starter Motor Failure

The starter motor is responsible for starting the engine. If it fails, your car will not start. To avoid this, ensure your starter motor is checked regularly and replaced if necessary. Signs of a failing starter motor include slow cranking or clicking noises when you turn the key.


Various issues, including a coolant leak, a faulty thermostat, or a damaged radiator, can cause overheating. To avoid overheating, check your coolant levels regularly and have a professional check your car’s cooling system. Turn off the air conditioning and pull if you notice your car overheating.

Tips on avoiding a car breakdown

Here are some tips on how to avoid a car breakdown:

  1. Regular maintenance: Make sure to keep up with regular maintenance on your vehicle, such as oil changes, tire rotations, and fluid checks. This will help prevent mechanical issues that can lead to breakdowns.

  2. Pay attention to warning signs: If you notice any unusual noises, smells, or warning lights on your dashboard, don’t ignore them. Addressing these warning signs early on can help prevent more severe issues.

  3. Keep an eye on your tires: Make sure your tires are properly inflated and have enough tread. Worn or underinflated tires can cause blowouts or other issues that can lead to a breakdown.

  4. Check your battery: Make sure your battery terminals are clean and corrosion-free. You can also test your battery regularly to ensure it holds a charge.

  5. Watch your fuel levels: Running out of gas can leave you stranded on the side of the road. Keep an eye on your fuel levels and fill up before they get too low.

  6. Be prepared: Keep a roadside emergency kit in your car that includes a spare tire, jack, jumper cables, flashlight, and first aid kit. This can help you address minor issues independently and stay safe while waiting for help.

  7. Follow the recommended maintenance schedule: Your car’s manual will have a recommended maintenance schedule that you should follow. This will help keep your car in good condition and prevent breakdowns.

Following these tips can reduce your risk of a car breakdown and ensure a safer and more enjoyable driving experience. And if you do experience a breakdown, remember to stay calm, pull over safely, and call for help from a reliable truck road service near me.


In conclusion, experiencing a breakdown while driving can be frustrating and inconvenient, especially if you are far from home. However, by being proactive and taking steps to prevent the most common causes of breakdowns on the road, you can significantly reduce the risk of finding yourself stranded on the side of the road.


What can I do to prevent my car from breaking down?

You should follow the recommended maintenance schedule to prevent your car from breaking down. This includes regular oil changes, tire rotations, and brake inspections. It’s also important to check your fluid levels regularly and replace them as needed. Additionally, be aware of any unusual noises, smells or warning lights and address them promptly.

What should I do if my car breaks down?

If your car breaks down, you should first try to safely move it off the road and turn on your hazard lights. If you cannot drive the vehicle, stay inside with your seatbelt on until help arrives. Call for roadside assistance or a truck road service near me to get your car towed to a reputable mechanic.

What are the most common items that must be repaired on a car?

The most common items that must be repaired on a car include the battery, alternator, starter motor, tires and wheels, brakes, suspension, clutch, engine, transmission, and fuel system. Regular maintenance can help prevent some of these issues from occurring, but eventually, wear and tear will require repairs.

How can I find a reputable mechanic?

To find a reputable truck road service, you can start by doing some online research. Look for companies that have good reviews and ratings from previous customers like ResQ TRX. They have a team of experienced technicians and a fleet of well-equipped service trucks ready to provide roadside assistance, towing, and repair services to commercial trucks and fleets.



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