Vehicle Maintenance

Most Common Car Problems & Issues

In General by Josh S0 CommentsLast Updated: June 4th, 2019

Vehicle MaintenanceOwning a car comes with a lot of responsibility.

You have to take your car for regular maintenance if it is going to serve you for a lifetime.

In most instances, you need to solve any car mechanical issue fast to prevent further engine problems.

Here is a list of some of the most common car problems you will encounter.

1. Noisy engine

A normal engine should be quiet. However, if you notice that your engine is producing a splattering, knocking or rattling sound it could be a signal for trouble. Internal combustion engines require the right mixture of air/fuel. If you have more or less of one of the components then you may experience an engine running lean or rich. It could also cause misfires and splattering issues.

2. Dashboard warning lights

On your dashboard are a set of lights that immediately inform you in case of any engine trouble. If your engine is overheating, low on fuel, experiencing battery problems a red light will illuminate on the dashboard. Most modern engines now come with an Engine control unit (ECU) that has sensors attached to various engine components.

When there is an issue with the car you will get an error code. You can consult the manufacturer’s manual for the solutions to a particular error code.

3. Wheel Bearings

Bad wheel bearings is a common issue on modern cars. You can hear a wheel bearing when you are driving at higher speeds. You will identify a bad wheel bearing by listening to the road sound while you are turning slowly left or right. If the noise changes, you do for sure have a bad wheel bearing.

4. Smoke from the exhaust

white smoke from exhaustA functioning car produces some smoke in terms of exhaust gases. This is often colorless unless when you are starting your car during winter. However, excessive smoke is a signal of serious engine trouble. The color and smell of the smoke will offer clues as to what is wrong.

If the smoke is white in color then it may be your coolant that could be leaking while if you have a thick blue colored smoke it could be oil getting into the combustion chambers.

5. Poor fuel efficiency

Poorly serviced engines consume more fuel. Mass airflow sensors, fuel filters, air filters, and O2 sensors all contribute to efficient fuel usage. However, with time these components become clogged with dirt forcing them to produce more fuel. Routine servicing of these components will restore your car engine to good working condition.

6. Tire punctures

It is common to experience occasional tire punctures. Tires do wear out and when this happens they are more prone to punctures. It is recommended that you avoid driving the car beyond the recommended thread wear. It’s recommended to have all your tires changed after every 50,000 miles. You can also rotate them after every 5,000 miles in the worst case.

7. Bad Car battery

The battery powers the car engine together with the alternator. However, with time the terminals get contaminated with acid and the battery no longer powers electrical components in the car. Just like your tires, you need to change your battery after every five years or 50,000 miles whichever comes first. 

It can be stressing operating with a dead battery because the car can stall at any time. Some of the signs of a dead battery include dim headlights, inability to power the stereo or AC and problems starting the car in the morning. If the battery is working fine then the problem could be with the alternator.

8. Worn out brake pads

It is dangerous to drive a car with worn out brake pads. The brake pads wear out due to constant friction. When they wear out you will notice a squeaking sound. In addition, you will need to hard press the brakes for them to be effective. This can be disastrous during emergency braking. Have your mechanic inspect your brake pads and fluid during the next service time.

9. Faulty starter motor

The starter motor and battery work together to crank the engine. However, certain starter components can stop working due to wear and tear. These include the starter relay, solenoid, and motor. When this happens, you will hear a rattling sound whenever you turn on the ignition and trying to start the car.

Your mechanic can replace each individual component or alternatively replace the old starter with a new one. One also needs to carefully examine the wiring around the starter and check for loose wires.

10. Stalling

This can cause new motorists alarm. You are driving smoothly then all of a sudden the car comes to a complete halt in the middle of the road. If this happens on a highway you may find yourself causing serious accidents. The main reason for the car stalling includes faulty filter, fuel line or defective spark plugs.

11. Overheating

When your car is overheating it could be a signal for serious engine trouble. The internal combustion system produces a lot of heat. The coolant plays the vital role of cooling the engine block by dissipating excess heat to the radiator.

However, coolant leaks could mean that less coolant is reaching the engine block. This can cause overheating which when not contained can lead to further engine problems.

12. Shaky steering wheel

The steering wheel for a well-maintained car should be stable and be easy to turn around. However, if your wheel bearings or suspensions are worn out then the steering wheel will shake even on smooth roads. At higher speeds, this can be dangerous to drive and can cause serious accidents.

Have your mechanic inspect the wheels and suspension. In addition, you should have your tires regularly aligned and all wheels inflated with the same tire pressure.

13. Oil pressure problems

Oil plays a vital role in lubricating all the moving parts in the car. When your oil is old it will form a sludge that makes it hard to operate efficiently. This will cause unnecessary friction amongst the movable parts leading to overheating and wear. You need to change your oil during your next service change.

Also, identify the right type of oil that has offers good viscosity. Nowadays many motorists prefer using synthetic oils.

Conclusion

Buying a car comes with regular maintenance. If you can’t identify what is wrong with your car, it could lead to further engine problems. It is recommended that you take your car for service after every 5,000 miles or sooner depending on the problems you are encountering. Take note of any unusual sounds as this will help the mechanic in finding the problem.

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