As a grown-up you probably laugh in the face of ghosts, goblins and other supernatural mumbo-jumbo. But, with Halloween just around the corner, we know one thing that’s sure to put the fear of god in you — and that’s car trouble.

Getting into the spirit of the season, here’s 13 of the scariest things that can go wrong with your motor.

Death in the car. Selected focus on driver


Quick Links

The Bonnet Flies Up While Driving

One thing that’s guaranteed to scare the life out of any driver is when a car bonnet flips open while driving. Whether there’s a problem with the catch or you just haven’t closed it properly after checking the oil — a bonnet flying open is about as scary as driving gets.


Your Brakes Fail

Could anything be more nerve shredding than pressing the brakes to find your car doesn’t slow down? We don’t think so. Luckily, brake failure happens about as often as a ghost sighting (so, not very often). However, if it does happen to you, use the gears to decelerate and aim for something soft.


High Speed Blowouts

If you hate those annoying jump scenes in horror films, a high-speed blowout could be enough to frighten the life out of you. For even the most experienced driver, having a blowout at motorway speed is about as scary as it gets. To reduce the risk of any nasty surprise punctures, check the condition and pressure of your tyres regularly.


Warning Lights Start Flashing

Check Engine Light

The sense of dread brought on by a flashing warning light is like watching The Exorcist for the first time — you just know something very bad is about to happen. If your car’s dashboard starts flashing at you, stay calm and pull over when it’s safe to do so.


Aquaplaning in Wet Conditions 

While it can be difficult not to scream, swear or stomp on the brakes when your car starts aquaplaning — it’s important to stay as calm as possible. Aquaplaning occurs when water builds up between the road surface and the tyre, effectively turning your car into a runaway sled. Keeping your tyres in good condition can help prevent aquaplaning. If the worse happens, stay calm, ease off the accelerator and don’t be tempted to hit the brake pedal. With any luck, your car will find its way back to traction without veering off the road or pitching you into a skid.


Clutch Doesn’t Come Back Up 

No amount of driving experience can prepare you for the panic of a faulty clutch pedal. Think — you’ve pressed the clutch ready to set off at the lights, and it doesn’t come back up from the floor. Scary stuff. Our advice? Always have breakdown cover in case of such an emergency.


It Just Dies

Whether you’ve just turned the ignition in your driveway or out on the open road, cars can die unexpectedly — leaving your day in tatters. From clogged fuel injectors to alternator failure, there are a number of reasons why your engine has died an inconvenient death. If you’ve got a non-starter on your hands, Bradex Easy Start should be your first port of call. If that doesn’t work, it’s time to call your favourite mechanic.


Wipers Stop Working On a Stormy Night 

Rainy night

On a stormy night when the rain’s pouring down, the last thing you want is for your wipers to pack up. If they do you’ll be hard pressed to see the road ahead, which is about as dangerous as Jason Voorhees. To avoid wiper trouble, check them regularly during the winter months, and pull over if they stop working in heavy rain until the worst of the weather has passed.


Weird Smells

If you notice a weird smell behind the wheel, you should brace yourself for something bad to happen. Sweet, burning or acidic smells are all tell-tale signs of a leak, which could cause a breakdown if not sorted ASAP. As mentioned above, Radweld offers a permanent repair against leaks in the cooling system.


Strange Noises 

Things that go bump under the bonnet are about as frightening as things that go bump in the night, and could mean your car has a serious underlying problem. Listen out for knocks, clunks and other suspect noises that could spell trouble for your car — and your wallet. Noticing these things early and visiting a mechanic can stop them turning into big problems.


Power Steering Failure

Most drivers take power steering for granted, and forget that there are mechanical components at work keeping your car light and nimble. That’s why if it suddenly fails, it can be a scary experience — not to mention an expensive one.


Steam from Beneath the Bonnet

Steam from Bonnet

About as welcome as Freddie Krueger appearing in your nightmares; steam billowing from beneath your car’s bonnet is never a good sign. After you’ve stopped screaming, it’s best to pull over and pop the bonnet. Nine times out of ten, steam means your engine is overheating, which can be caused by a leak in the cooling system. If you suspect a leak, give Radweld a try.


You Breakdown in the Middle of Nowhere — with No Breakdown Cover 

Picture this — like the beginning of a classic horror film, your car breaks down at night in the middle of nowhere, and you don’t have breakdown cover. Time to panic? Maybe, but there is a solution — plenty of local garages offer an emergency towing service for stranded drivers. Sure it’ll cost you, but it’s better than being stranded in the cold on a dark, dark night. Keeping some emergency repair products in the car – like Tyreweld and Radweld – could keep you out of danger as well.


If car trouble is enough to scare the life out of you, Holts are here to save the day with our brilliant range of DIY car care products. To find out more, visit the Holts website.

Happy Halloween!

Images sourced via Flickr Creative Commons and Wikimedia Commons. Credits: Wikiuser100000 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0] and Roman Iakoubtchik