Car owners are bound to run into their share of problems because of wear and tear. There are several car problems out there: flat tires, an overheating engine, faulty wiring, all of these result in you getting stuck in traffic, or worse, causing it. Faulty parts are easily replaced, though doing so constantly due to the lack of maintenance can be costly.
You end up spending more out of pocket for maintenance, especially if you don’t have car insurance. Luckily, there are ways you can keep your car in top shape before you need to take it in for regular check-ups.
Here are just some of the more common car problems, and how to prevent them:
A dead starter means your car won’t be able to start. It’s usually one of two things: your starter has failed, or your battery is dead. You turn the key in the ignition, and it just doesn’t start – all you hear is a click. Starters have a solenoid in the column, or the starter relay, it allows an electric current to go from the starter motor in response to a small control current, setting the engine in motion.
Prevention tips: Whenever possible, do periodic checks on the main components of your starter motor to see if anything needs fixing or replacing. A dead starter can easily be issues with the spark plug, or that the starter relay requires some adjustment.
This is another reason why your car might not be starting. A dead battery happens when something drains the power out of it, or if your car battery is old. Car batteries are normally made to last no more than a few years, usually between three to five years.
Prevention tips: In some instances, it’s all a matter of faulty connectors, in which case, just hook them back up and you should be good to go. The best way to prevent being surprised by a dead battery is to mark it with the date you purchased it and get a new one before it expires.
The alternator keeps your battery in check and keeps it charged. If you have problems with your alternator, your car won’t be able to start or break down in the middle of the road. Signs of a failing alternator includes constant battery problem, unusual rattling from the engine, and electrical failure.
Prevention tips: Age might be one reason why your alternator is giving you problems, so keep track of how old is your alternator and have it replaced if it’s been in service for years. The signs above are what you need to look out for should you need to replace your alternator.
Spark plugs have a shelf life. Wear and tear will eventually lead to these failing, and at certain inopportune moments. A failed spark plug can cause your car to run at lower speeds and consume more fuel in the process.
Prevention tips: Tune-ups every six months and spark plug replacements every five to ten months, or as they wear down, whichever comes first will go a long way to preventing long-term damage to the electronics in your car.
If your air conditioning starts failing, and your car is leaving a trail of coolant on the street and driveway, then you have a radiator leak. A faulty radiator can mean that your engine will overheat and leave you stranded at the worst possible time.
Prevention tips: Just check all the connectors of your car to make sure that they’re in place. Replace immediately if there’s damage. Work out a coolant maintenance schedule by regularly flushing out coolant and replacing it.
A tell-tale sign that your oil is leaking would be dark stains on your driveway and parking slot. It starts off small, but then it gets uncontrollable. Your oil filter might not be working well, or a plug is missing or misaligned.
Prevention tips: Oil leaks are easily remedied if you maintain or tune-up your car regularly, and change your oil filter at regular intervals. To check for oil leaks, wash the engine bay. You can also find out if any other fluids are leaking from your car this way.
Flat tires happen when sharp objects puncture your tire, or your tires are tired from all the wear and tear of being driven over various terrains. They can also happen when tires lose air pressure due to continued use.
Prevention tips: To prevent flat tires, careful driving is always an idea. You also have to regularly check your tire’s air pressure, so it’s not over- or under-inflated, which can cause too much friction on your tires and rip its treads.
All in all, your car problems can be solved by giving your car a regular maintenance schedule and always cleaning it– inside and out. Also, understand the terms of your manufacturer or car insurance provider with repairs and maintenance. It would also be a good idea to know which centers you can get discounts on, so you’re prepared for any emergency.