How to Diagnose a Roadside Breakdown

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In this video tutorial, we show you what to check for if your classic car breaks down out on the road. The aim of this is to give you the skills to spot the basic common breakdown symptoms, remedy them in a logical order and perform a fix good enough to see you home safely in your classic car.

If your classic car grinds to a halt at the side of the road, you at least know that everything was working a minute-or-two ago. Therefore, if you can find the one item that has failed, you can hopefully get the car going again. There are quite a small number of things that will stop a car dead, so following a logical order of investigation should soon have you moving again.

This video starts with making yourself safe and ensuring that by working on the vehicle you are not putting yourself, your passengers or other road users in danger.

We discuss what should be in a modest breakdown tool kit – such as screwdrivers, spanners, pliers, test lamp, tyre lever, spark plug and wrench. You can add a few spares to this, which could be second-hand and might include: contact breakers, condenser, fuses, a length of wire, and a rotor arm. If your classic car has an electronic ignition, consider carrying a spare amplifier module or even the old points distributor in the boot.

Our classic car breakdown drill contains a quick visual check for anything that’s fallen off and then a check for sparks and tests on the ignition system before finally, checking the fuel delivery.

Owning a classic car is a joy and most are reliable enough to be used as everyday transport. This video tutorial will give you hints and tips on what to look at first if you do happen to break down on the side of the road.