The AA's Top 10 Causes of Breakdown
1. Battery Problems
Batteries have a life of around 5 years..How old is yours?
If you do not use your van regularly and do not treat it to a fortnightly recharge it could last even less. Are the battery terminal connections tight and free of corrosion? Have you checked and topped up the battery electrolyte?
2. Alternator or Dynamo Problems
Are the connections free from corrosion and tight? If you have a dynamo, have you checked the brushes?… lf they are worn, replace them.
3. Lost Keys
Losing your keys hundreds of miles from home isn’t much fun, so carry spares!
4. Starter Motor
These always seem to quit when you are in the middle of nowhere. Much like the Alternator, check connections are corrosion free and tight.
5. Flat Tyres
Check that the spare is legal, inflated properly and in good condition. Check that you have a wheel brace, working jack and if you have hubcaps a hubcap removal tool. If you have locking wheel nuts don’t forget to take the key! If you do not know how to change a wheel, NOW is a great time to learn. One thing to bear in mind is that garages generally use air guns to tighten wheel nuts. 9 times out of 10 they are done up so tight, even Arnold Schwarzenegger couldn’t undo them. Check that you can undo every nut yourself with your wheel brace before leaving, otherwise you may as well leave all of your tools at home.
6. Distributor Cap
Check for wear or cracks and replace if necessary.
7. Fuel Problems
How accurate is your fuel gauge? Don’t forget to carry a petrol can.
8. Clutch Cables
Clutch cables will eventually fray and break with age.But are cheap and simple to replace.
9. Spark Plugs
These need checking, cleaning, adjusting or if damaged, replacing at the recommended service intervals for your van.
10. Ignition Leads
These break internally, but are cheap and easy to replace.
You’re Ready to go!
This was just a brief guide to give you some idea of what you need to take or consider before you go on your adventure.
Don’t let all this information frighten you off though. Most items mentioned in this guide are just common sense for example, carrying fire extinguishers and keeping your van regularly serviced are things that you should be considering anyway.
If you would like more detailed information, visit www.theaa.com.
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