Identifying The Most Common Car Problems

Looking after a vehicle can be more challenging than people often believe. If you have a car and you want to make sure that you are caring for it as well as possible, there are a lot of ways that you can do that. A big part of it is to know what the most common problems are, and most importantly, how to identify them. As long as you know the symptoms, and you can diagnose the problem, that is the first and most important step towards fixing the issue.

In this post, then, we are going to look at some of the most common car problems that can arise, and discuss how you can identify them. Specifically, we’ll look at the symptoms that can crop up when something is wrong, and discuss what they are likely to be a sign of. Let’s take a look right now.

Failing To Start

This is one of the most common problems a car has, and also the most obvious – if it doesn’t start at all, you know something is wrong. However, this is an issue that can actually be caused by a pretty wide array of issues, and you’ll need to start narrowing it down to figure out exactly which problem your car has. Bear in mind too that sometimes you might have more than one problem, and you may need to diagnose them all before your car can get started again.

Perhaps the most likely cause of a failure to start is a problem with your battery. If you have not started the car in a while, the battery could be flat – or it could be completely dead if you have had it for many years. So, try jump starting it – and you can also put a voltmeter to the battery to see whether it is holding charge first.

If that doesn’t work, then you might have a problem with your starter motor. This is a pretty simple device, but it can go wrong, and sometimes an electrical fault can occur which means you have to replace it. So it’s worth listening out as you turn the key – is it making a clicking noise? If so, your starter motor might not be working.

Image Credit: Pexels

Those are the main reasons your car might not start. If those don’t solve the problem, you might need to get it checked out by a mechanic, as the fault could be something else entirely.

Loud Exhaust

A loud exhaust can be the result of a number of things. Generally, your exhaust should not make too much noise, especially in modern cars where you have a catalytic converter. The job of this device is to reduce noise as well as emissions, so if your exhaust is suddenly very loud, it might be a problem with the converter. It might even be that it has been stolen! So you need to check this before anything else, to rule it out at least.

If the catalytic converter is still there and seems to be working, it might be the exhaust itself that is the problem. In this case, you’ll need to have it looked at as quickly as possible – partly because, due to emissions laws, it’s possible it might actually be illegal to run the engine in that state. Also, you will probably burn through more fuel, and you might be driving a dangerous vehicle too. So it’s important you get it fixed as soon as possible. Also, if you are driving a fancy car you might need to get special parts for the exhaust, so you might have to look into 2024 Mustang GT parts for instance to ensure you get the right one.

Exhaust issues are really important to keep on top of, so make sure that you are thinking about this if you hear anything strange from the exhaust.

Overheating Engine

In general, you should keep half an eye on the temperature gauge when you drive. This is a very useful indicator of what kind of state the engine is in. If everything is going okay, then your engine will neither be too cold nor too hot – it should simply hang around in the middle of the gauge. But if you notice that your engine is starting to overheat, you’ll need to have that looked at as soon as possible.

If you are able to pull over safely, do so as soon as possible. The most likely culprit is that the coolant is low, so check that first. If you have only recently topped it up, it could be that you have a coolant leak, so it’s worth checking the tank to see. If there is coolant, it might be that the pipes that take it to the engine are blocked, in which case you’ll need to clear that out.

In any case, keep an eye on it – and if the problem returns, make sure that you get it fixed by a professional soon. You could be causing long-term damage to your engine if you simply leave it to worsen, so that is obviously something to avoid.

Squishy Brakes

Of course, if you have squishy brakes, it means that they are getting to the end of their shelf life, and that they will soon need replacing. However, it’s not necessarily the case that they are in dire need of replacing just that. They might have some extra life in them. You need to watch them, however, and to make sure that you are keeping an eye out for any further signs of them getting worse.

In particular, if they start making a grinding sound when you brake, it’s time to replace the pads and possibly the discs too. That grinding is the sound of metal on metal, which means the pads have worn away and the metal discs might be getting damaged too. You need to replace them before it’s too late – you certainly don’t want failed brakes as you are driving.

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