Common Car Problems

When you own a vehicle, at some point you are bound to encounter a problem. Luckily, many of these problems can be easily fixed. Others might require more work or a trip to the mechanic. In any case, routine maintenance can help prevent some of these problems, but issues still occur from time to time. This list breaks down several of the most common car problems you may encounter. Odds are you will have to deal with at least one of these issues at some point and reading about them will help you identify the issue so that you get it fixed as quickly as possible!

7 Signs You Know It's Time to Donate Your Car

  1. Leaking oil
    • If you notice drips on the ground underneath your car where it's been parked, you might want to check for an oil leak! There are many things that can cause a car to leak oil. Usually, this is a result of a faulty or degraded engine gasket, improper or worn-out seals, or leaks in the oil pan itself. Regardless of the cause, it is important to get an oil leak fixed promptly. While it may not seem like a big deal, an oil leak will lead to the car running on very low oil, which can cause bigger problems. If you continue to drive on low oil, you risk causing serious damage to your engine, which is even more costly to repair.
  2. Bad alignment causing tire wear
    • While it is important to drive on high-quality tires with good tread, it is equally important to ensure your tires are properly aligned. There are a few ways to diagnose wheel misalignment, including examining the tires for uneven wear, noticing if a vehicle shakes or pulls to one side when driving, or a crooked steering wheel. If you notice any of these symptoms of misalignment, call your local tire shop and book a proper alignment. If tires remain misaligned, the treads will begin to degrade rapidly, leading to a worn out set of tires that need to be replaced.
  3. Car won't start
    • There is nothing worse than jumping in your car to drive somewhere only to find that the car won't start. Sometimes it may just be a dead battery or corroded connections, but it could also be due to an alternator issue or faulty starter. A temporary solution might be to get a jump from a friend, but if your car won't turn on then it's best to diagnose the root issue so it can be addressed. Any mechanic should be able to quickly diagnose the problem for you, and most often it's as simple as replacing the battery or connection cables
  4. Brake problems
    • Nobody wants to deal with faulty brakes. This poses a huge hazard, both to you and other drivers on the road. Most modern cars have a brake light indicator which can switch on to indicate an issue with the brakes. The most common brake issues are worn out brake pads, squealing sounds when braking, or a soft brake pedal. All of these can become major problems if not dealt with in a timely manner. If your brake light comes on or you notice abnormal sounds or sensations while driving, have your brakes checked immediately.
  5. Check engine light
    • The dreaded check engine light is enough to concern most drivers. The light can come on for a variety of reasons- some more serious than others. The light may indicate something small, such as a loose gas cap, but it can also be a warning of total engine failure. Don't ignore the check engine light and assume nothing major is wrong. Doing so could be fatal for your engine. Even if you think it might be a minor problem, it's always best to have it checked out
  6. Overheating
    • Overheating almost always refers to the engine overheating, and this is usually due to a problem with the cooling system. There may be a leak or break in your coolant line, meaning coolant is leaking out into the engine and not properly circulating. You may also have a broken water pump or clogged coolant hose to blame. Whatever the problem, never drive a car that is overheating, especially if you see any kind of steam rising from the hood. This indicates a major problem that can take your car off the road permanently if it doesn't get fixed.

Now that you know the most common car problems and what they mean, you should be better equipped to handle any issues you face with your vehicle. If you experience any of these problems, it's best to see a mechanic as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your vehicle. Some of these are minor issues that can be fixed in a matter of hours, while others may require longer and more expensive repairs. Still, it is far better to fix the problem than wait it out.