You can avoid all the most common problems that you will encounter with your car by performing quick and easy checks on your vehicle. In this way, you can detect signs of problems before they manifest in mechanical failure, car accidents, or other costly issues.
Whether you are the one who enjoys doing your essential maintenance or someone who prefers a professional mechanic to do this for you, here are 7 of the most common car problems which can happen to your car.
- Oil leaks
Maintaining an adequate level of clean engine oil is essential to ensure smooth engine operation. When the engine oil level drops enough, the engine loses the vital protection against the lubrication, cleaning, and cooling that the oil provides. If your car leaks, you can detect it before losing enough oil to cause your engine to break down.
So, if your car has an oil leak, how can you detect it? After you left your vehicle for a while, you can see an oil pool under the engine. You may also start noticing that your engine sounds louder. If any of this is true, you should do a quick check of your engine oil dipstick within a day or two. If you notice a significant drop, check the oil level.
- Low tire pressure
If your tires lose air pressure, it will affect your car's performance and fuel economy and shortens the life of your tires. It can also lead to tire failure, which will cost you much more than just replacing tires.
You can quickly check the pressure level of all your tires with a pressure gauge. You can use your own for home use, but most gas stations will also have them. You can make this part of your usual routine - when you are going to refuel your car with gas, check the tire pressure. It would help if you kept tire pressure between 30 and 35 psi.
- Misaligned Wheels
Take the opportunity to check the alignment of the wheels. Wheel displacement can lead to faster tire wear and affect the steering and performance of your car.
To check your orientation, you can take your car on a level road and keep the steering wheel very loose. If you find that the vehicle is pulling in any direction, this may sign a problem with alignment. You can also notice this a lot more when you break. To be sure, you can look at your tires at the bus stop. Park your car so that the steering wheel is facing straight ahead, and then go out and see if any of your tires are in or out, not straight. You should check any apparent problems with professional inspection and repair.
- Windshield Chips & Cracks
Your windshield is not only designed to prevent debris from entering your face, but it is also an essential part of the structural integrity of your car. Currently, windshields are glued to the frame with special glue, helping it stay sturdy in the event of an accident. If you damage the windscreen due to a crack or chip, this may increase the likelihood that your windshield will not maintain the integrity of the structure.
The most visible damage to the windshield will be apparent when you view it while driving. However, minor chips or cracks can be challenging to notice immediately. You should regularly inspect your windshield to see if you can find more minor chips and cracks. Thus, you can quickly and cheaply repair them instead of replacing the whole windshield when it gets too big.
- Worn Brake Pads
Your brakes work by pressing the brake pads to the brake disc, which slows the wheels and eventually stops. Over time, your brake pads will wear out until they lose their effectiveness. To test your brake pads, look at them through the spokes of your wheels. Your brake pads should have a thickness of at least 1/4 inch to be still safe; besides, you must replace them.
You can also check them by carefully monitoring the pressure on the brake pad - if you hear a piercing screech, this is a sign that you need new brake pads. All brake pads have a metal indicator element that opens when your brake pads wear out near unsafe levels. This metal piece presses on the brake disc, creating a high screech.
- Worn Tire Tread
Like brake pads, your tires are also crucial for the safe operation of your vehicle. If the threads wear out over time, this affects how well your car can safely rotate or stop. There is an elementary test that you can do to check the tread, and you should do it once a month.
You can get a tool designed to check the tire tread depth or use a penny. Put a penny in the treads around your tires - if you see the full part of Abraham Lincoln's head, your print has gone beyond a safe level, you should replace them immediately. If the tire is damaged, you should immediately replace it.
- Burnt Out Lights
The presence of functioning headlights, taillights, and direction indicators helps ensure both you and the vehicles around you. The easiest way is to turn on the car and the light, but leave it in the park. You can check your headlights and turn signals yourself by stepping out of the car and making sure that they are working correctly - be sure to check your distant rays.
To test your brake lights, you will need to have someone else stand behind the car while you press the brakes, and they can tell you if any of the brake lights don't come on. If you have any lights that are burnt out, it not only affects the safety of your car, but you can also receive a fine from the police if you operate the vehicle without proper lighting.
You can also notice that the headlights are wet. This will require an immediate fix.