Car problems sure can derail your plans, but thankfully they don't have to. Most of the time, your vehicle will let you know when something isn't quite right. Whether it comes in the form of a sound, a shake, a smell, or something else entirely, your vehicle has its way of letting you know it needs attention. To help you uncover any issues your vehicle might be dealing with, we put together an infographic on the most common car problems and how to fix them. Check it
Battery issues tend to happen either when you least expect it or when you're running late. But, the majority of car battery issues can be identified and dealt with long before they interrupt your day. According to AAA data, two-thirds of Americans have never proactively had their car battery tested.
If your vehicle is starting more slowly or having low battery fluid, I recommend getting it tested. Additional issues that point to your battery needing attention have to do with its appearance and its smell. Is the battery case bloated? Does it smell like rotten eggs? If the answer is yes, get a battery inspection.
Are your vehicle's headlights showing signs of distress? Headlights provide good visibility, both to you as you're driving and to the other drivers on the road who need to see you. It's perfectly natural for bulbs to burn out from time to time, but it shouldn't become a regular thing.
If your bulbs are flickering or burning out, your fuse keeps blowing or your low-beams don't seem to be working, you may have a larger problem on your hands. You should always replace a burned out bulb or fuse, but it's likely worth your time to also check the headlight assembly for exposed wiring and/or looseness. Oftentimes, the headlight assembly may need some attention.
Avoid ignoring issues with your timing belt at all costs. This belt runs through the interior of your engine, and it is typically made of high-strength rubber and reinforced to further extend its life. If a vehicle's timing belt breaks, your vehicle will not work and it can cost over $2,000 to repair. Luckily, the timing belt gives off warning signs when it's failing.
Because this belt helps to run your vehicle's engine, the warning signs all come from under the hood. If your engine misfires or won't turn over, you might have a timing belt issue. Other indicators of timing belt issues include a ticking noise and oil leakage. It's best to contact a service shop or mechanic immediately after noticing these signs so your vehicle can be evaluated by a professional.
In order for your car to operate properly, a clean air filter is a must. Your vehicle requires up to 10,000 gallons of clean air for every gallon of fuel burned by the engine, and each one of those gallons passes through your vehicle's air filter. When your air filter is in need of replacement, your vehicle will show some or all of these signs:
- Decrease in gas mileage
- Failing spark plugs
- Check engine light turns on
Most of the time, you can visually inspect an air filter to see if it need replacing. Then, either you can replace it or you can have it replaced by a mechanic or service technician.
Check Engine Light
Last, but certainly not least, is the check engine light. While this light isn't a vehicle issue all on its own, it is your vehicle's way of telling you something isn't quite right. When your check engine light turns on, it's a good idea to have things checked out by a technician.
If the light is accompanied by any strange noises, strange smells, smoke, and/or gas mileage issues, you'll want to have things checked out sooner rather than later. After all, a car problem caught early allows you to replace or repair things on your own time, and most of the time, it's less expensive too.