95% of American households have a car sitting in their driveway. Those cars are probably a central component of their owner’s lives.
They get kids to school, adults to work, and enable weekend trips to fun places like the mountains, beaches, and other memorable spots. With all of that responsibility, cars must run well.
Therein lies the purpose of this post outlining common car problems!
No matter how great we take care of our cars, car problems are bound to crop up now and again. In this post, we outline what some of the most common car issues are that we’ve seen and give suggestions on how best to go about getting those snags troubleshot.
1. Flat Tires
The dreaded flat tire is a common car problems right of passage that most people have run into. Fixing this problem is (in most cases) straight forward.
Older cars should have a spare tire hooked to their bottoms that you can access through a pulley system in your trunk. Lower your spare, pull it off its hook, jack your car up and get your tire swapped out.
For cars that don’t have spares, you may need to call roadside service for assistance.
2. Squeaky Breaks
Do your breaks emit a squealing noise whenever you press down on them? If they do, it’s important that you don’t ignore what you’re hearing.
Squeaky/squealing breaks are usually a sign of worn out pads that aren’t gripping well anymore. That could create conditions where you’re unable to stop in the event of adverse road conditions.
Get squeaky breaks professionally inspected to see if a replacement is necessary. If replacing is recommended, don’t hesitate to get the job done.
3. Failed Emissions Tests
Certain states have strict vehicle emissions standards. These standards are in place to help prevent air pollution.
If your car is repeatedly failing emissions tests, the culprit could be any number of things.
First, make sure you have fresh oil in your car. After you’ve confirmed your oil being well cared for, try taking your test after your engine has warmed up on a cool day to maximize your passing prospects.
4. Transmission Problems
You’re driving up a mountain and suddenly you realize that your car is struggling to shift gears and is grinding when it does. That’s a bad sign.
Replacing transmissions is one of the most expensive possibilities of owning a car. Consequently, you’ll want to explore cheaper options like changing your transmission fluid before heading to a mechanic and entertaining more costly fixes.
5. Sputtering Engine
For those of you that run into a sudden onset of engine sputtering after purchasing a new or used vehicle, be aware of the Hyundai lemon law and laws covering other vehicle types. Sputtering engines can be caused by a variety of mechanical failures that you shouldn’t see in a recently purchased car.
If your engine begins sputtering in a car you’ve owned for a while, see if filling up your gas tank helps. If it doesn’t, you’ll want to get your fuel lines inspected and go from there.
6. Bad Fuel Economy
When gas gets expensive, driving can be a pain. That’s why you always want to make sure the car you’re driving is being as efficient with its fuel as possible.
If you’re noticing that your car doesn’t seem to hold down a tank of gas as well as it used to, check its tire pressure, air filters, and oil. If all of that seems to be in order, your driving habits may be what’s to blame.
Keep your car at a reasonable speed, roll to stops, and pace your acceleration.
7. AC Blowing Warm Air
It’s a hot summer day, you flip on your AC and suddenly, your hot face is met with a wave of even hotter air… Not fun.
What’s even less fun is that AC issues can be among the most costly and difficult to diagnose.
As far as DIY fixes go, check your car’s Freon levels to make sure everything looks good. If that checks out, a mechanic will need to inspect your hoses, compressor, and other potential culprits.
8. Dead Battery
Dead batteries happen to car owners around the 50,000-mile mark. When your battery runs dead, you may be able to charge it up with a jump.
For those of you that find, post jump, your battery is still dying, you’ll want to go the replacement route. The good news is that replacement batteries are relatively cheap.
Engine overheating is a very serious issue that can lead to fires. That’s why you’ll want to discontinue using your car immediately if its temperature gauge is routinely reading at/near the red zone.
Bad oil is one of the most common issues associated with hot engines. Swapping it out could solve the problem. Leaks in your engine’s cooling system could also be at fault.
10. Steering Problems
If you can’t steer well, you can’t drive well. That lands steering problems among the most dangerous issues your car could have.
Steering problems can sometimes be fixed by getting your tires inflated to the appropriate pressure. Other times, you’ll need a mechanic to look into suspension issues, among other things, to get to the root of the issue.
Common Car Problems Tend to Have Common Solutions
Whether you run into common car problems or uncommon ones, problems are problems and they can be a headache to manage. Fortunately, common car problems tend to have common solutions that you or a mechanic can quickly and affordably solve.
We hope our post has given you insight into your vehicle and wish you the best as you continue hitting the road.
Should you need additional guidance on anything related to vehicles, check out more content on our blog.