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Common Car Problems and How to Troubleshoot Them

Common Car Problems and How to Troubleshoot Them

Owning a car is a big responsibility. Every vehicle has to be frequently maintained to keep it in good working order. Despite your best attempts to take care of your car, issues with it can still happen. While some problems are small and simple to resolve, others might need the assistance of a qualified technician. Here at GoodCar, we want you to know it is important to understand some of the basic issues that can occur and how to fix them.

Dead Battery

A dead battery is a frequent issue that can occur at any time. This could be caused by leaving the headlights on, parking the car for a lengthy period of time, or an alternator that is malfunctioning. While attempting to start the automobile, a clicking sound is frequently the first indication of a dead battery. Jump-start the automobile and let it run for a bit to diagnose this issue. Replace the battery with a new one if it loses its ability to retain a charge.


When the engine is working too hard, or the coolant system isn't functioning properly, overheating can happen. A strange odor, a steamy hood, or an abnormally high temperature reading on the temperature gauge are indications that an engine is overheating. Stop the vehicle and allow it to cool down before attempting to fix this issue. If extra coolant is required, check the level and add it. If the issue still exists, it can be the result of a broken thermostat or a dripping radiator.

Flat Tire

One of the most frequent issues for any car owner is a flat tire, which can be brought on by either low tire pressure or running over anything sharp. A pounding noise and trouble steering are indications of a flat tire. Pull over in a secure area and replace the tire with a spare to address this issue. Call for roadside help if you don't have a spare tire or if you can't replace the tire on your own.

Brakes Squeaking

Brakes Squeaking

Squeaky brakes might be the result of rotors or brake pads that are worn out. The sound of grinding or screaming brakes and trouble stopping are indications of brake wear. Examine the brake pads and rotors to identify the cause of this issue. Replace them with new ones if they are worn out.

Check Engine Light

An issue with the car's engine or emissions system is indicated by the check engine light. Check the error code using a diagnostic tool to solve this issue. The error code will specify the issue and the recommended course of action.

Strange Noises

Strange noises can be brought on by a number of problems, such as a malfunctioning gearbox, a loose belt, or worn-out suspension components. Whether driving or idling, unexpected noises are a warning sign. If you can hear the sound, attempt to pinpoint its source to solve this issue. Take the automobile to a mechanic if you are unable to identify the noise's cause.

Transmission Slipping

Transmission slipping is a problem that can be caused by a low transmission fluid level, worn-out gears, or a malfunctioning torque converter. Transmission slipping can be detected by difficult gear shifts, a burning smell, or odd noises. Check the transmission fluid level and add extra if necessary to solve this issue. If the issue continues, you should take the automobile to a professional since a malfunctioning gearbox may be to blame.

Power Windows Not Working

A power window that doesn't work may be due to a blown fuse, a malfunctioning switch, or a broken motor. The signs of a power window not working are difficulty opening or closing the window. To troubleshoot this problem, check the fuse and replace it if necessary. If the fuse is okay, check the switch and the motor.

Air Conditioning Not Working

Failure of the compressor, blocked air filters, or leaks of refrigerant can all cause a car's air conditioning to stop working. Warm air streaming from the vents, odd noises, or an unpleasant odor are indications that the air conditioner isn't functioning properly. Check the air filter and replace it if necessary to solve this issue. Check the refrigerant level and add extra if necessary if the air filter is in good condition. If the issue continues, you should take your automobile to a repair facility since it can be caused by a failed compressor.

Starter Not Working

A starter that doesn't work may be due to a bad connection, a failing solenoid, or a worn-out motor. The signs of a starter motor not working are a clicking sound when trying to start the car, or the engine not turning over. To troubleshoot this problem, check the battery and the connections to ensure they are clean and tight. If the battery and connections are okay, check the solenoid and the starter motor.

Preventative Maintenance

Preventative Maintenance

While repairing automotive problems is important, it's preferable to avoid them altogether. Your car's lifespan may be increased, and its performance maintained with routine car maintenance . Here are some suggestions for routine preventative maintenance:

  • Change the oil and oil filter regularly.
  • Check the tire pressure and rotate the tires every 5,000 miles.
  • Replace the air filter every 12,000 miles.
  • Replace the timing belt every 60,000 to 100,000 miles.
  • Flush the coolant system every 30,000 miles.
  • Check the brake pads and rotors every 20,000 miles.
  • Replace the spark plugs every 30,000 miles.
  • Check the battery and charging system every 20,000 miles.
  • Inspect the suspension and steering components every 30,000 miles.

Maintenance is Essential for Cars to Remain Running Properly

Although car problems can be inconvenient and expensive, many of them can be prevented with a little education and routine maintenance. Safety precautions, such as donning gloves and utilizing jack stands, must be used when diagnosing auto issues. It's always advisable to take the automobile to a technician if you don't know how to fix an issue or don't feel confident doing so. Maintaining your vehicle on a regular basis may keep it operating well for many years to come and help prevent the numerous problems outlined above. Keep up with common maintenance issues with the help of the vehicle pros here at GoodCar!

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