You don’t want to, but if you’re a car owner it’s inevitable that at some point you will experience car troubles. It’s also fairly certain that the machine you rely on will cause you grief when you least expect it. At the very least, you’ll be late, frazzled, frustrated, and have an empty wallet. So what can you do about it? Be prepared!
Know your vehicle, and know what to do when something goes wrong, because it will. The following list of the most common car problems drivers encounter can assist you in being better able to cope:
You have no electrical power. You try to start your car, and the lights are dim. All you hear is a click, or maybe not even a click. You may anticipate this day after you’ve had your car for a few years, and carry booster cables in the trunk for such an occasion. A dead battery is a pain to deal with, because once you’ve boosted it, you never know whether your car will start up normally the next time.
The average usable life of a car battery is three to five years. It may not seem long, but think about the stress you put on it every time you start your car. Most people start their car a dozen times or so per day. Those starts add up very quickly. When you have the regular check-up done on your car, ask to have the battery checked. If the battery test shows it is near the end of its life cycle, have it replaced before it becomes a problem. No one likes a dead battery.
If you haven’t experienced it yet, you will one day soon. You’re going to misplace your keys and it won’t be when you have an hour to search for them. You’re destined to take the bus or call a cab today because you can’t unlock your doors, let alone start the engine. And when you get home after a long, frustrating day of public transportation, your keys will greet you right on the coach.
The simplest solution is to have a spare. Everyone intends to have a spare key tucked away in a safe location for this exact occasion, but seldom does that intention ever come to fruition. It’s a simple process to get an extra key made that can open the door and start your car, and for the low cost of an extra key you will prevent a full day of high stress.
It’s when you stop for fuel and happen to glance down at your wheels while you wait for the pump, and alarm bells go off in your head. You notice bare spots of no tread on your tire! You look at the rest of them to see if they are all like that; maybe they are and maybe they aren’t. You know you’ve got to get that looked at, and it can’t wait.
Abnormal tire wear and premature tire wear are indicators of underlying conditions. That condition might be that you have a heavy foot, or it may be a mechanical issue with your suspension, steering, or brakes. In any case, it needs to be addressed. Have You Mechanic check your vehicle to identify any issues that may be causing your tire wear and have them repaired.
The Check Engine Light
As you drive your car, you blindly trust that everything is going to work for you the same as it did the last time you drove. It’s human nature; we all do it. When that little yellow light illuminates, that one shaped like an engine, the tendency is to panic. Maybe you feel a cold sweat and need to breathe into a paper bag. Maybe its appearance is just an annoyance to you. Either way, you have no idea what caused that little yellow check engine light to come on.
As malfunction indicators go, the Check Engine Light is vague to the vehicle operator. It will need to be scanned and diagnosed by a trained mechanic. What can you do about it? Perform the regular maintenance as scheduled by the manufacturer. Replace the spark plugs when the time comes. Have the fluids changed when they should be done.