In 2015, AAA alone rescued over 30 million drivers whose vehicles had broken down. It's thought that each year, one in three drivers will break down.
And while some reasons for cars breaking down are common, others are significantly less so.
With record-breaking numbers of people in need of tow trucks, it's essential to understand the most common car problems. By understanding these problems, you can help prevent them from happening. Furthermore, if and when they do occur, you'll know what to do and how severe the problem actually is.
What are the most common car problems you might face? Continue reading to find out.
Warning Light On Dashboard
A warning light on the dashboard happens when one of the computer's sensors detects a problem or error.
The computer sends this information to the engine control unit, and a warning light appears.
A warning light can mean numerous things. Therefore, The only way to determine what your light means is to have it scanned by a professional. How many warning codes are there? There are over 200 potential warning codes! Don’t try and be a hero and guess what it might be. Contact a mobile mechanic and ask them to help you determine what your warning code means.
When the engine misfires, many people claim it feels like the engine is sputtering or shaking. In order to run efficiently, a car's engine requires a specific mixture of air and fuel. When this mixture is unbalanced, it can cause problems.
Engine misfires can mean a few different things. However, it most commonly means one of the fuel and ignition system parts needs to be replaced. These parts include the storage battery, induction coil, distributor, and spark plugs.
A complete tune-up of your vehicle by a mechanic regularly can usually stop engine misfires before they happen. However, older vehicles may still run into problems eventually through the natural aging process.
Steering Wheel Is Shaking
There are several issues that can cause a shaking steering wheel. That being said, the easiest way to narrow down these issues is to pay attention to when the shaking happens.
If shaking happens as soon as the vehicle has started and begins to pull away, the suspension components or wheel bearings are likely worn down. If this is the case, you need the worn down or broken parts replaced. If the shaking happens at high speeds, you most likely need a wheel alignment.
Brakes Are Squeaking or Grinding
Any problem with the brake system needs to be looked at by a professional immediately.
Brakes play an essential part in keeping you safe. Not being able to stop when needed can lead to fatal accidents, especially if someone or something appears in front of your car suddenly.
When brakes squeal or grind, any part of the brake system could be to blame. You can avoid this issue, though. To help reduce the risk of brake problems, be sure to change brake pads regularly. And, to stay safe on the road, have your brake system checked as part of your annual tune-up
Tires Are Flat
Tires can go flat for one of two reasons. One, they've been punctured, or two, they've experienced natural wear and tear. The latter is common in older tires that are reaching their expected maximum mileage.
Tires can go flat while driving or when sitting. If a tire flattens while sitting, it's only necessary to replace the tire with a spare until you can have a new permanent tire placed.
If a tire goes flat or "pops" while you're driving, the most important thing is not to panic. Instead, cautiously steer the vehicle well off the side of the road. If you have a spare, you can replace it there and then.
However, if you don't have a spare, call a tow truck or an auto shop for assistance. Sometimes you can call a friend or family member to help you put a spare tire (also called a donut) on your vehicle until you get to the shop.
Radiator Is Leaking
Radiator leaks are almost always caused by corrosion. A radiator will naturally rust over time. The only thing to do in this situation is to replace the radiator immediately.
You mustn't operate your vehicle with a cracked or leaking radiator. This component helps keep your vehicle running in an optimal temperature range. Your car is significantly more likely to overheat without it, and an engine fire is more likely to occur.
Sensors Are Malfunctioning
This problem is more common in modern vehicles versus older ones. This is because modern cars are equipped with numerous sensors, and sometimes they end up malfunctioning. When they do, the car can experience issues related to the type of sensor that isn't working correctly.
One of the most common sets of sensors to malfunction is the fuel-air ones. Unfortunately, these are also usually the most costly to replace.
Replacing sensors takes precision and skill. This isn't a job you want to do yourself in your driveway. Instead, it's advised you have a quality mechanic replace the sensor or group of malfunctioning sensors.
Do You Have Any More Questions About the Most Common Car Problems?
The issues listed above are among the most common problems car owners will face.
As with anything, prevention is the best course. When that isn't possible, a local mechanic can generally get your vehicle running again in no time.
Do you have more questions about the most common car problems? Or do you need a quote for a car mechanic in your area?Check out our blog page for more answers to your pressing vehicle-related questions. You can also get a free quote for a mechanic in your area on our website.