It’s a beautiful day. Birds are chirping, and the sun is shining — until your car breaks down. You might be telling yourself that it can’t happen to you, but everyone will experience common car problems at some point in their life.
Most Common Car Problems
Since it’s inevitable, it’s always a good idea to be prepared for the common problems—that’s what this blog is all about.
To ward off tire blowouts as much as possible, take care to keep them properly inflated and aligned. If your wheels are misaligned, it can cause uneven wear and tear that can lead to blowouts over time. Make sure to get new tires every six years or so, as well—when they’re past their prime, they are more likely to fail when driving over sharp objects like glass or metal shards.
And if you do find yourself in the unfortunate situation where your car has a flat, turn on your hazard lights immediately and pull over safely after signaling for several seconds (the other drivers will thank you).
Once you’ve got your vehicle safely parked off the road, be sure not to try getting back on until your spare tire is installed. Don’t tempt fate by changing it while still next to speeding traffic!
When it comes to the engine, you want to do what’s smart and take advantage of our car’s awesome features.
During the cold months, you’ll want to set your heater on High at all times, even when parked in a non-warm environment for long periods of time. In order for your car’s electrolytic capacitors to work efficiently, they have to be kept warm. Unfortunately, that won’t happen if you don’t keep the heat on!
For example, if you’re driving in a rural area or during rush hour traffic, turn up the heater and make sure it doesn’t come off because of an overzealous windshield wiper. And use your car’s navigation system instead of looking at street signs so that you can maintain optimal heating efficiency.
Collisions and Damages
If you’re trying to save money on your car insurance, you may be tempted to opt-out of collision coverage. However, this could be a serious mistake.
In a car insurance policy, collision insurance covers damage to your car if you hit another vehicle or object, such as a fence or light pole. It’s “first party” coverage that protects your vehicle, and possibly any other vehicle you may be driving.
There are a number of scenarios when collision coverage is invaluable. If you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, collision coverage will pay for the damage to your own car. If the at-fault driver doesn’t have sufficient liability insurance, you can use collision insurance to pay for some of the costs of repairing your vehicle.
Collision coverage also takes care of repairs after accidents that were no one’s fault. For example, if someone steals your car and crashes it into something, the cost of repairing your vehicle will be covered by collision insurance (depending on your deductible).
Keep in mind that the benefits and coverages we’re mentioning could vary according to different insurance providers. So our advice would be to read the terms carefully instead of making assumptions.
You should prepare yourself mentally for the possibility of your car being stolen. This may seem like a remote possibility, but consider these statistics:
- According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2018, 748,841 vehicles were stolen in the US. That’s about one vehicle every 45 seconds!
- The average cost of a stolen car is $7,940.
- Car theft can be prevented using steering wheel locks. Other preventative measures include locking your doors and not leaving your keys in the ignition.
If you find yourself in a situation where your car has been stolen, stay calm and call 911 immediately to file a report. It’s important to act quickly so that there’s a better chance of finding it before it gets too far away or something happens to it.
If you have insurance on your vehicle (which you surely do), call them as soon as possible after filing your police report, and they’ll help you figure out how to get back on track toward getting another new-to-you vehicle.
Mechanical failure is a broad term that can refer to anything from a worn-out alternator belt to an engine that needs rebuilding.
There are many things on your car that are considered “wear items” or parts that are meant to be replaced at a certain interval or after a certain amount of use. Examples include shocks and struts, brake pads and rotors, and motor oil.
Brake pads are made of the softest material touching the brake rotor, which is an iron disc attached to your wheel. This means they will wear out first, but since they’re right next to the brake rotors, which are made of very hard iron, they will eventually wear into the rotor as well.
If you wait too long between changes, you’ll have to replace both—bad news for your wallet! The good news is that with proper maintenance, it’s possible for all these parts (and most others on your vehicle) to last much longer than their warranty allows.
However, there is no way around mechanical problems like seized engines and blown transmissions. These require major repair work by professionals in the automotive industry–an expensive fix if done incorrectly!
Whether it’s a blowout on the highway, an unexpected visitor to your driveway, or a totally dead battery that you weren’t expecting, there are quite a few common car problems that can strike at any moment (or at least feel like it).
There’s nothing worse than hopping in your car and having to call for roadside assistance. Not only does this mean added stress and anxiety, but it also means having to wait for someone else to take care of you.
Having known these scenarios, you can at least be prepared for most of the problems that’ll come your way.
- Understand how much it may cost to tow a car to prepare for such an eventuality
- 3 DIY car maintenance jobs anyone can do
- Vehicle maintenance you don’t want to skip