One of the biggest stressors in everyday life is dealing with car problems.
It’s distressing to be out on the road when your car starts making weird sounds or the dashboard lights start to twinkle.
Even worse is the stress that comes if your car stalls out or stops altogether.
Sometimes it’s a matter of keeping up with preventative maintenance. But other times, life just happens.
We’ll take a look at nine of the more common automotive problems and how to deal with them.
When life gets busy, it’s easy to forget about performing regular oil changes for your car.
But if you want to keep it performing at peak level, it’s important you keep up with this simple form of preventative maintenance.
If you’re noticing your car is requiring more top-offs, or it’s experiencing a small dip in performance, it could be that you’ve let too much time pass between oil changes and the oil filter has become clogged.
Especially if you have an older car that’s not equipped with a filter bypass system.
Whatever the case, the first order of business in this situation is get your oil changed and be sure to get the filter changed too. And then keep up with those regular changes.
Otherwise, you could be faced with engine corrosion.
Seeing smoke swirling up from the exhaust can be distressing. But it’s not always bad news.
In order to function, your car needs to produce smoke in terms of exhaust gases. It’s often colorless and you’ll see much more of it when starting your car during a cold winter.
On the other hand, if the smoke is white, you might have an issue with a coolant leak. And blue smoke signals that oil has potentially found its way to the combustion chambers of your car.
Unless you have major skills, take it to a mechanic to have them figure out the source of the problem.
Without a functioning alternator, the electrical systems of your car have difficulty running once the car starts. It’s also the primary source for providing a charge to the battery.
If you’re having trouble starting your car, it could be the alternator and you’ll need to take your car in for service.
On the other hand, if your car is starting up just fine, you can replace the alternator before it breaks. Just check your recommended service intervals to see if it’s time.
That way, you’ll avoid the hassle of your car not starting, as well as a potential dead battery.
Speaking of which…
Operating your car with a dying battery is stressful because the car can stall at any moment. Some indicators that you need a new battery include dim headlights, the inability to run the AC or stereo, and difficulty starting the car.
You should be changing your battery every five years or 50,000 miles – whichever comes first.
That’s because over time, the terminals on the battery can get contaminated with acid and muck and the battery no longer adequately powers the electrical components in your car.
If you’ve noticed a green spot on your driveway underneath your engine, you’re probably looking at a radiator leak. And this is a serious problem.
Most radiator leaks are the result of corrosion.
This could be the result of any number of things from poor maintenance to contaminated fluid to factory defects.
But if corrosion is the culprit, your mechanic should recommend you replace the radiator rather than patch it. If corrosion has already set in, then more leaks will follow.
Do not drive your car with a leaking radiator. It can lead to overheating or even an engine fire. And then you’ll be reaching out to Cash for Junk Cars to sell it for parts.
In order for your engine to run efficiently, air and fuel must properly mix and burn in the combustion chamber. Achieving this requires a finely balanced system involving many moving parts and components.
If your engine is sputtering or misfiring, there could be an issue with the fuel and ignition system components.
As with other parts of your car, you can avoid this from happening by regularly replacing these components as recommended by the manufacturer. This will ensure your engine continues to run smoothly.
Every car experiences its brakes wearing down over time.
And though this is a common problem, it’s also one of the most dangerous.
As brakes continue to wear down, your vehicle’s ability to stop becomes more and more challenged. And you obviously don’t want to wait until you have a total failure of your brakes to get a repair.
It is crucial you keep up with the scheduled maintenance for brakes. Try to avoid waiting until you start hearing squeaking or have trouble stopping. Because even with scheduled maintenance, factory defects can cause brake components to wear down faster than expected.
It’s a gamble you’re well-advised to not take.
Your car requires transmission fluid to keep its components lubricated. And if your car has an automatic transmission, the transmission fluid also serves as a coolant and hydraulic fluid.
The transmission system consists of multiple components including seals, gaskets, and fluid lines.
As your car ages, small tears in these components can allow for transmission fluid to leak and lower the overall fluid levels. And that’s a recipe for lowered efficiency that could lead to overheating or internal pressure loss.
Transmission leaks should be evaluated by your mechanic.
A shaking steering wheel could be the result of a few different things.
If your wheel shakes right after you start your car or begin to drive, then it could be a problem with wheel bearings or damaged suspension components.
But if it only shakes at higher speeds, it’s most often an issue with tire/wheel balance. And this can be especially dangerous.
In either situation, it’s a good idea to have your mechanic inspect your tires, wheels, and suspension. Also, be sure to have your tires regularly aligned and inflated at the same tire pressure.
Many car problems can be avoided with regular maintenance.
But if you’re having difficulty with your car, the best thing you can do is have your mechanic take a look. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
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