12 Common Car Problems
Having a car keeps you mobile and makes life easier, but there is a cost to car ownership and it’s not limited to the price of the car. Besides fuel costs, insurance and periodic vehicle tests, your car needs maintenance. Maintenance costs can be high because apart from periodic services, sometimes, even the smallest problems can be costly to repair.
Before buying a car, it makes a lot of sense to know the maintenance issues and running costs of the model. Next time you buy a car, don’t forget to spend some time gathering information about its known issues and problems.
If you notice a problem with your car, get it checked without waiting too long. Like our health issues, car problems often start with minor symptoms and then snowball into major repairs. Timely diagnosis and repair can save you a lot of money. Another important reason for getting problems checked without delay is to rule out safety issues.
Common Car Problems
Small defects are not uncommon even in well-maintained cars. Every day, many drivers in the UK experience problems. Most of them are not serious, but serve as a warning sign before major problems occur. So, it makes sense to know the signs of common car problems. The key is to recognise symptoms early and get it checked quickly.
1. Squealing or Squeaking Brakes
If you hear a squealing or squeaking noise while braking, get your brakes checked as soon as possible. This can be due to wear or a defect in the brake components. It could be a problem with the brake pads, brake rotors, callipers, frame, upholstery or stirrups. Always go to a trusted mechanic or garage for brake problems. Your life and the lives of other road users depend on it.
2. Bumpy Rides
An uncomfortable ride points to a problem in the suspension or wheels. It could be an issue with the shock absorbers or springs. Unbalanced wheels can also cause similar issues. Get the problem diagnosed and fixed at a good garage.
3. Tyre Problems
Flat tyre or tyre puncture is a common problem. When the tyre is only slightly worn and the defect is small, it can be fixed easily. The other tyre problems are bulges, uneven wear and tread wear. Bulges are defects that may make a replacement tyre necessary. You may get a free replacement if it is still in warranty.
Uneven tyre wear can be minimised by aligning and rotating wheels according to the recommendations of the manufacturer. When tyres wear out or become very old, they have to be replaced.
4. Vibrating or Shaking Steering Wheel
If your steering wheel is shaking or wobbling, get it checked by a mechanic. If the problem increases with higher speeds, wheel balancing has to be checked and corrected if necessary.
5. Alternator Problem
The alternator generates electricity and is necessary for most electrical systems to work once the car is started. It also supplies power for charging the battery. A bad alternator could result in inadequate battery charging leading to starting problems. When you notice electrical problems while the car is running, get the alternator checked and replaced if needed.
6. Discharged or Dead Battery
If your car has trouble starting, you have a discharged or worn battery. As seen previously, a bad alternator can lead to inadequate battery charging. Batteries can also get discharged if you leave the car parked with headlights on for a long time. If the car doesn’t start on its own, you can try to jump-start it.
Batteries have a finite life of about two to three years depending on the quality and usage. After this point, the battery does not have the correct voltage and cannot be charged. A replacement is the only option.
7. Ignition Problems
When your car starts, but does not move, you have an ignition problem. In this case, have it repaired at a good garage.
8. Warning Light
A warning light is the car’s computer telling you that something is wrong. You will need to get this checked at a garage. Good service centres have the equipment to read the fault codes and identify the problem.
9. Defective spark plugs
Spark plugs are present only in petrol engines. Spark plug problems can be due to an electrical defect or a defective spark plug. Symptoms include starting problems, rough idling, difficulty accelerating, check engine lights up and high fuel consumption. Whatever the cause or symptom, get it fixed on priority to prevent other problems.
10. Engine Failure
If your engine refuses to start or stay running, you have an engine problem. Get it checked and repaired at a specialist garage.
11. Leaking Radiator
Radiator defects are mainly due to manufacturing defects, corrosion or the use of wrong fluids. If the radiator is leaking, it’s a critical problem that needs urgent repair. If the coolant is being lost, your engine will overheat and fail leading to very expensive repairs.
The first sign is usually a temperature warning. In such cases, stop the car and allow the engine to cool. If necessary, get the car towed to a garage for repairs. For radiators, replacement is the best option.
12. Transmission Problems
Manual gearboxes can run into problems when they wear out. In such cases, gear shifts will be rough. Gearbox repair is a specialised job and should be done only at a good garage.
Automatic transmissions are built to last and can easily do over 125,000 miles when maintained well. It has several hydraulic systems. They can be damaged if they are clogged by dirt or hampered by fluid leaks or deterioration of the transmission fluid. If the transmission seems to be defective or rough, get it checked and repaired at a specialist garage.
A car requires periodic maintenance. This ensures that the critical systems are checked, fluids topped up and worn parts are replaced. Most of the problems mentioned above can be avoided or detected early if you get your car serviced at a good garage. The occurrence of problems also depends on the usage and the driving style. Weather and road conditions can also contribute to problems.
If you have concerns over a possible problem with your vehicle you can book your car or van in for a check, use the quick quote form below or give us a call on Oldham – 0161 624 5060, Bury – 0161 761 3030, Van Centre Oldham – 0161 628 5270 or at our new Heywood branch 01706 622633. We also offer a highly convenient Collect & Return service or a courtesy car to ensure your routine is disrupted as little as possible while your vehicle is serviced or repaired.
Arranging Your Service
Drop your car off
Simply drop your car off with us between 8am and 10am and in most cases your vehicle will be ready for collection the same day between 3.30 and 5.30. Outside these hours you are welcome to park.
Wait with your car
Most servicing and repair work can be done while you wait. If this is your preference we have a superb waiting area equipped with free hot and cold drinks and a interesting viewing area where you can watch our trained technicians working on your vehicle.
If your vehicle needs to stay with us for 1 day or longer then you are able to pre-book one of our courtesy vehicles to keep you mobile.
Pick up / drop off
The ultimate hassle free solution; one of our drivers will arrange to collect your vehicle from your home or place of work at a pre-arranged time and then return your vehicle when the work is complete. Our service advisors will contact you when the vehicle arrives on site during the day to discuss the progress of the work and then advise you of the time you can expect your vehicle back. Contact our service advisors for more details.