If you’re new to cars or fixing them yourself, it can seem like a daunting task. But problems with your car don’t have to be an insurmountable obstacle. This article will give you what you need to keep your car on the road and out of the shop with five common automotive issues that you may run into, with effective solutions.
1. Engine Overheating
You may not realize it, but overheating can be a serious problem and one of the common car issues. When your engine gets too hot, the coolant boiling in your radiator pushes the boiling point of the coolant up, making your car more likely to have a catastrophic failure. This is why it’s important to keep an eye on your gauge – if you see that needle pointing towards the hot zone, slow down and give yourself some time to let the engine cool down. You can also manually turn on your fans if you’re in traffic or at a red light; this will help cool down the engine more quickly.
2. Squealing Brakes
If your brakes are squealing, there’s a good chance that the brake rotors need to be turned or replaced. This usually happens because the old brake pads have been worn down, and the rotors have become warped and therefore out of round. If this is happening to you, don’t try to drive it very far. It won’t do any good and could damage your rotors further if they’re already in an advanced state of warping. It’s best to have your rotors turned so that they’re completely round again, and then replace your pads.
3. Low Engine Oil Level
Did you know that a low engine oil level can cause serious damage to your car? Oil and grease lubricate the engine, so the engine parts may be grinding together if your engine oil is low. This isn’t good for your pistons and cylinder walls. Check the stick on your dashboard that indicates your engine oil level before you drive anywhere and always have your grease gun kit with you.
When you know your oil is low, get in the habit of checking the oil level daily. Put a small amount of oil in your reservoir so you can see it easily when you fill it up. Don’t fill it up completely, though – enough to see the dip on the stick.
4. Clunky Throttle
If your car doesn’t seem to be accelerating smoothly, the problem could be that your throttle body needs to be adjusted. The throttle body is that part of the engine which regulates how much air and fuel gets into the engine and how fast it does so. The car will accelerate slowly when the throttle body is clogged with sap, dirt, gummy stuff, or anything else that can’t be pumped through it easily. It will seem like the car is stalling when you hit the gas, although it’s still moving. To fix this, you’ll need to clean the throttle body out yourself.
5. Damaged Tire
If you notice a bunch of black juice on your sidewall, any time you get into a car accident, or anytime you get into the car and notice that there’s a big dent in the sheet metal next to the tire, it could be from a nail or something else that lodged in there. Since this part of the tire is rolling along with your car when it’s moving, even just bumping it up against something can cause serious damage. For this reason, it’s best to check your tires frequently for things that might have gotten stuck in there.
If you run over a nail, you have to take the tire off and inspect it. Make sure that all the nails are out of your tire before you pump it back up. Most nail punctures aren’t too bad, but if you see a tear or hole in the side of the tire itself, you’ll need to replace it immediately. You’ll also need to replace the tire if you can see crooked track marks that go in the opposite direction of your tire.
Even if you’re not a mechanic, there’s no reason to panic when you run into these five common car issues. You will be able to handle them easily once you know how they work. It will save you time and money. You can also prevent more serious problems from happening to you by checking your car regularly.