Where (if relevant): Germany.
I'm trying to determine the cause of a car breaking down on the road, and with my own lack of car knowledge, this is going difficultly to say the least. The premise I'm working with is that his car has had previous repairs, but nothing that required fixing for the past year. All of a sudden, or at least with only small indications of a problem that don't seem significant to a non car person, the car breaks down while he's driving. The way I imagine it, it's a gradual wear-and-tear process until it officially breaks. There is a parking lot in a very short distance from where it goes 'boom/crash/bad sound', slowing down and maybe smoking, which he manages to turn into. I'm imagining no more than ten metres.
What might it be that has broken? All I know is that it would be something from under the hood, but otherwise I'm clueless. The way I like to imagine it is that there's been a gradual wear-and-tear process, but if this doesn't work, I can easily change it.
Tried looking up car parts on wikipedia, but I really didn't know where to start. "Frequently broken car parts" on Google didn't give me much of a lead either.
Edit A big huge thank you for everyone who answered! ♥ I've got a lot of information to sort through, and I know I've found a couple of ideas I can go with.