Common Car Issues That Every Driver Should Know
20 May 2020
While you might always make an effort to take care of your car, truck or SUV to keep it running strong, problems can inevitably occur and require repairs or even cause breakdowns. Even the smallest of issues can grow into bigger problems. Being aware of these issues is vital for your own personal safety and your passengers, and can help you avoid the inconveniences that these problems pose. We’ve compiled together a list of the most common issues that drivers face with their cars, their causes, and the handy solutions that are available for them.
Having flat tires is an unfortunate situation which can jeopardize a driver and their passenger’s safety. Flat tires most commonly occur when driving through rough roads, or if your tires experience a puncture or are struck by an object. Flat tires can also be a direct result of wear and tear, or hot weather in warmer climates. To best avoid the frustration of flat tires, it’s recommended to keep them inflated at the right pressure, and keep a can of compressed air or a tire pump with you in your vehicle.
Squeaking or Grinding Brakes
Brakes that are making noise and grinding should be inspected as soon as possible by a professional and replaced if needed. Like any aspect of a car, the brake system will eventually become worn out over a long period of time, and will need attention. A grinding issue most often means that the brake pad or shoe material has worn away over time and needs replacing. It’ll have most likely led to metal-to-metal contact, which can be particularly dangerous to drive with. Even if you don’t necessarily feel or hear a problem, it’s important to get your brakes checked out at least once a year for both reassurance and your own safety.
While rare, an overheating car is most commonly caused by warm weather conditions, or it can be a sign that there is an issue with your vehicle’s cooling system such as a leak. It can also mean your car has a faulty thermostat, radiator, water pump, or bust hoses and belts, which should be repaired immediately. Any defect with these components can lead the temperature to rise beyond the normal level and cause overheating of your car.
Shaking Steering Wheels
There are often several causes for a shaking or vibrating steering wheel while driving. If a shaky or vibrating wheel occurs while driving at high speeds, this can be an indication that your car’s tires are damaged or deformed, or that your wheels aren’t properly balanced. A shaking or vibrating steering wheel that happens after starting your car and beginning to drive can mean that you have faulty wheel bearings or suspension components that need replacing. To get an accurate diagnosis of the issue and for the benefit of your own safety, be sure to take advice from a professional mechanic.
A small crack in your windshield is generally regarded as safe, but larger, damaged glass should always be inspected and repaired by a windshield repair specialist. However, this doesn’t mean that a small crack should always be ignored. This is because windshields that are weakened by damage provide significantly less protection, and can even cause deceased visibility for drivers which can render a car unsafe to drive.
Spluttering Car Engines
A car engine that is spluttering can be a major cause of concern for drivers. There are wide-ranging causes for this issue, including faulty spark plugs that have become worn, a dirty fuel injector, mass air flow sensor, or oxygen sensor, exhaust system leaks, a faulty catalytic converter, as well as worn out seals and/or gaskets. As there are so many factors to cause a spluttering car engine, it’s important to carefully examine each component individually in order to identify what is causing the issue, and to seek further advice from a mechanic.
Dead Car Battery
Car batteries will fail when they are unable to recharge properly. There are a host of reasons for a dead car battery, including extreme cold weather, battery age, over-charging, corrosion, faulty components, or simply a fault with the battery itself. Car batteries can fail for other reasons such as in cars that have not been used for a while, or vehicles that are only used for frequent short journeys. A mechanic should be able to test the health of your car battery and check for faults before coming to a decision whether it requires partially charging or fully replacing.