How many times have you been forced to slow down to a snail's pace while battling rush hour traffic, only to discover that the issue is due to a car that has broken down? Of course, the worst case scenario is that you're IN the car that is broken down.

Roadside breakdowns are inconvenient for everyone, but the good news is that most of them can be entirely prevented. How? Don't get slack with your vehicle maintenance routine.

Don't Overlook Your Car's Basic Needs

AAA has recently revealed roadside assistance data supporting their claim that most breakdowns (millions each year) could be prevented with basic vehicle maintenance. However, results from a recent AAA survey indicate that 35% of American drivers have ignored or delayed service or repair suggestions that were offered by a mechanic or their factory maintenance schedule.

roadside breakdowns

This means that 35% of car owners in the U.S. are making very unwise decisions when it comes to their vehicles.

Adhering to a basic maintenance schedule will not only prevent your car from breaking down, it will also save you money in the long run. According to John Nielsen, AAA's managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair, "Repair facilities estimate drivers can save an average of one hundred dollars per visit by properly maintaining their vehicle."

Common Issues to Prevent

AAA responded to 29 million calls in 2014, and 17 million of these calls were due to battery failure, flat tires and keys locked inside the vehicle. Even if you know how to lock your keys inside of your car while it's moving, please don't. It's very dangerous. As far as batteries and tires are concerned, there are easy, precautionary measures that you can take to avoid failure of these parts while you're on the road.

  • Batteries: Keep in mind that the typical life of an automotive battery is between 3 and 5 years, but your battery may not last this long if you live in a hotter climate. Never assume that your battery will remain functional for 5 years. AAA suggests that you have your vehicle's battery tested after 3 years of use, then once annually after that. If you are a AAA member, you can get your battery tested for free through their Mobile Battery Service. If you're not a member of AAA, having a mechanic test your battery is reasonably inexpensive.
  • Tires: AAA reports that 60% of Americans do not check their tire pressure regularly, even though it has been established that keeping tires properly inflated is critical to safety on the road. It is also crucial to routinely check the tread depth on all 4 of your car's tires. Ideally, you should be checking tire pressures at least once a month, and don't forget about the spare tire. You don't want to end up changing a flat tire with another flat tire. While you're checking pressure, take a look at the tread depth. AAA recommends replacing tires when tread depth reaches 4/32"

These are just the most common reasons for vehicle breakdowns. Other parts of your car are susceptible to malfunction too. In order to prevent any conceivable automotive issue from inconveniently popping up, follow your vehicle's suggested maintenance routine to the letter, and never put off simple repairs.

When Your Car is No Longer Reliable

If you're at the point where your vehicle has more bad days then good, it may be time to replace it with a newer, more reliable model. If this describes your situation, but you're worried that your damaged credit will make it difficult to obtain auto financing, Auto Credit Express can help. We'll connect you with a dealer who is qualified to handle your unique situation, and you'll get the car you need quickly and easily.

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