Troubleshooting Guide: The Most Common Car Problems and How to Fix Them
Owning a car can provide great convenience, but it also comes with the responsibility of maintaining it. However, even with proper vehicle care, there are still issues that can occur unexpectedly. This troubleshooting guide will help you identify the most common car problems and provide effective solutions for each one.
- Dead battery
One of the most frustrating issues car owners may face is a dead battery. A weak or dead battery usually happens due to leaving the lights on, a faulty alternator, or a parasitic drain. To fix it, you need to have a functional jump starter or jumper cables. Place the jump starter or cables on the right terminals, give it a few minutes to charge, and then start up the car.
- Flat or blown-out tire
A flat or blown-out tire can be hazardous, especially while driving on a highway. Always be prepared by having a spare tire in your car, a tire pressure gauge, and a tire jack. When changing the tire, park the car in a safe location, engage the emergency brake, and loosen the lug nuts before jack the vehicle. After finishing the repair or changing the tire, make sure to tighten the lug nuts and check the tire pressure.
- Overheating engine
If you notice the temperature gauge showing a higher than normal temperature, it’s possible that the engine is overheating. Usually, this happens because of low coolant levels, a failing thermostat or water pump, or a broken belt. To fix this issue, park your car and turn off the engine. Wait for it to cool down before opening the radiator cap and adding coolant.
- Faulty brakes
Faulty brakes can be alarming, especially when driving at high speeds. Some signs of malfunctioning brakes include squealing or grinding noises, a vibrating brake pedal, or reduced stopping power. If any of these signs appear, check the brake pads, rotors, or calipers for wear and tear. Replace any damaged parts immediately or take your car to a professional for a brake repair.
- Warning lights
Modern cars have several warning lights that signal specific issues, such as the check engine light indicating a problem with the engine. If any warning signs appear, never ignore them. Instead, check the car’s manual or take it to a mechanic immediately for a diagnosis and necessary repairs.
Knowing how to troubleshoot common car problems can save you money and hassle down the line. Remember to always check your car’s owner manual for any specific maintenance steps and keep a few necessary tools in your vehicle. If you are unsure about any repair or maintenance task, it’s always wise to seek professional help from an authorized mechanic.