Cars, like any other machine, are bound to come across a few issues now and again. You may take them through routine maintenance checks, but there will be days when your car will sit back in your garage and think “ah, what a beautiful day to have a breakdown.” Luckily for you, some of these issues can be easily fixed without you having to take the car into service while some might require a visit to your trusted car workshop for repairs.
Problem 1: Dead/Discharged Car Battery
Dead or discharged car batteries are quite common, and there are plenty of reasons why this might happen. It can be because you left the electrical parts on when the car was not in use, parasitic drains, faulty charging, or perhaps defective draining.
Solution: The common way to fix this issue is to jumpstart the car. You will need a jumper cable, along with another donor car whose battery you can use to give your car a jumpstart. Place the terminals of the cables in their respective position, start the donor car and let it run. After a few minutes, try your car’s ignition and see if it works.
Problem 2: Uneven Tire Wear
Occasionally, after several road trips or daily drives, you may see that there is unusual tire wear (i.e., a particular tire’s treadwear doesn’t match with the other tires). This often happens when the wheel does not have the proper balancing.
Solution: To solve the issue, you need to immediately balance your vehicle’s wheel. Depending on the severity of the problem, you may also want to change the tire completely, so that you prevent any further issues.
Problem 3: Engine Overheating
When the engine of your car is turned on, things can get very hot as the power combustion is running its course. Your car uses a lot of radiators to ensure that the engine is at a proper level, along with coolants to ensure the heat does not go too high. If the temp gauge of your car goes up, then this means there is a problem with the cooling system of your car – specifically, the coolant levels.
Solution: If your engine is overheating quite often, then you might want to check your car’s coolant levels. If it’s not up to the mark, then you might want to add more coolant until there is enough.
Problem 4: Car Is Pulling on the Side
Picture this: you are coming home from the office and you are driving in a straight line. At some point, you find yourself putting some extra effort to keep straight, all because your car seems to veer off centre. This is not usually that big of a problem, but it means that your vehicle is out of alignment.
Solution: The obvious solution to this is to get your car’s alignment done. This can be done at home if you have the technical know-how, but to be certain everything is properly aligned, you might want to take your car to a proper tyre shop for a check.
Problem 5: Low Fuel Efficiency
More often than not, the fact that you are furiously driving your car around, without too much care, can cause the fuel efficiency to worsen. However, if you are driving your car responsibly, then the low fuel efficiency might have nothing to do with your driving habits. It may be anything from malfunctioning spark plugs, fuel injectors, dirty air filters, and so on.
Solution: The first thing for you to do here is to start driving more efficiently. If the problem does not seem to be anywhere near improved, then you might want to take your car into service. The chances are that you might need some parts cleaned or replaced.
Problem 6: Unusual Exhaust Smoke
An unusual amount of smoke coming out of your exhaust pipe is never good news and the colour can give you an idea as to why it’s happening. White or grey smoke usually suggests that the coolant is combusted along with fuel due to leakage. Blue smoke indicates a leakage in the valve seals. Black smoke suggests leakage in the fuel injector, causing excessive fuel burn.
Solution: Check if there are any leakages. If you do not have the experience or possibility to replace the parts, then you might want to take your car into a professional workshop.
Problem 7: Problem Brakes
When your car brakes are squealing or feeling less responsive, it might make you feel unsafe on the road. Usually, this happens because the brakes or brake pads have worn off.
Solution: In order to stop the brakes from squealing, you need to replace the brake pads. You need to do this as soon as you hear the squealing because worn-off brakes can become unresponsive – and can, therefore, lead to an accident.
Problem 8: Low AC Cooling
In a country like Singapore, where the weather is hot almost all year round, you can’t go driving around without a working air conditioner. If the cooling system doesn’t work properly, usually this happens as a result of gas leakage in the AC. It might also be a result of a broken or clogged compressor.
Solution: Check whether there is a leakage in the air conditioner or not. The chances are that you might want to take your car to a mechanic in order to solve this issue.
Problem 9: Car Is Using Too Much Engine Oil
Your car needs engine oil to function and if you find yourself constantly topping the oil levels, then you have a problem. Usually, this is because you may have used poor quality oil, one that led to a blockage in the oil filter. Another reason could be due to worn seals/gaskets and pistons in your engine.
Solution: Switch to a better quality oil and change the oil filter as well. If that doesn’t help then you should have your car looked at by a mechanic.
Problem 10: The Radiator Is Leaking
If your radiator is leaking, it might have been exposed to corrosion. If this happens, you need to take action as soon as possible.
Solution: In the event of a leak, you may want to switch to a liquid radiator sealant. As part of the usual maintenance, you may also want to replace the coolant. If the problem still doesn’t go away, you should replace the radiator and the hose entirely.
The Bottom Line
Very often, with the basic car knowledge of a driver, certain issues can easily be fixed. However, even after doing the “easy fix,” you should bring your car in for maintenance as soon as you can to make sure it has properly fixed and not cause further problems.