Minor Car Problems That You Shouldn’t Ignore
When faced with a minor car problem, it’s easy to just dismiss it and hope that it will just magically go away. In some cases, that minor problem can end up developing into a moderate issue that a mechanic can easily (and cheaply) resolve. However, in other instances, that minor problem can become a series of repairs that end up shortening the lifespan of your car and costing you a bundle.
To help you avoid this problem, we’ve listed five ‘minor’ car problems that you should address immediately. These issues might seem harmless at first, but as time goes on, they could develop into something more serious. If you notice any of these problems, we recommend talking to your local mechanic for advice.
Check Engine Light
For some people, the ‘check engine’ light coming on can be scary. Part of what makes it so disconcerting is the fact that it doesn’t tell you what might be wrong with your engine. It could be faulty spark plugs, a problem with the ignition, an incorrect amount of air or fuel, or an issue with the transmission system.
Because this light doesn’t affect the performance or handling of the car, too many people simply ignore it. Eventually, however, it might lead to expensive repairs or an unsalvageable car. Because of this, it’s best to see a mechanic as soon as you see the light come on.
It’s important to note that the ‘check engine’ sign coming on doesn’t necessarily mean that your car is doomed. It could just mean that there’s a minor issue. Big problem or small problem, you should still see a mechanic so that you can understand the issue.
If you start hearing unusual noises that you hadn’t before, it probably suggests a problem with your car. You might hear squealing or grinding noises when you step on the brakes. More often than not, this is due to your brake pads being worn down. What you’re hearing is the sound of metal grinding on metal. If you notice this problem, be sure to see a mechanic right away so that your brakes can be serviced. Worn down brake pads can make you lose control of your car, which then increases your chances of getting into an accident.
Any strange noise should be investigated. While it could be something trivial that doesn’t affect the safety or operation of your car, it could just as easily be a major problem and potential safety hazard.
If you smell exhaust fumes in your interior, be sure to get your vehicle inspected for exhaust leaks. Getting exposed to exhaust fumes can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning, which can cause headaches, dizziness, shortness of breath and blurred vision. If you experience these symptoms while driving, you and other motorists are at a high risk of getting into an accident. Even if you’re lucky enough to not get into a motor accident, too much exposure to carbon monoxide can still cause death.
A burning smell is also not uncommon with older vehicles. If you smell burning, it’s usually due to one of two things: faulty brake pads or an electrical short.
If too much friction occurs in your braking system, certain parts will begin to burn and release smoke into your car’s interior. This can be caused by pressing on the brakes too hard or by a faulty calliper piston. If it’s the latter, you need to visit a mechanic to get this fixed.
On the other hand, the burning can also start if an electrical component of your car experiences a short circuit. This burning can melt the plastic and rubber parts of your car and produce an unpleasant odour.
Difficulty Starting the Engine
Many people have been there. You wake up to go to work in the morning, you get in your car, you try to start the engine and it just won’t start. You try and try and try again until it finally starts a few minutes later. You breathe a sigh of relief and then you completely forget about it.
Unfortunately, the problem is only going to get worse in the future if you don’t address it. Here are just a few reasons why your car won’t start:
- A dead battery
- Clogged fuel filters
- Faulty starter motor
- Battery corrosion
Since there’s so many possible reasons why your engine might not be starting, it’s best to get a professional to diagnose the problem for you. If you try and fix the problem yourself, you could end up perpetuating the issue, or worse, creating new problems for your car.
A small chip on your windscreen can easily become a large crack if you’re not careful. Since dirt and other debris can be abrasive, an untreated chip on your windscreen will eventually get worse if you don’t repair it. Additionally, if the chip is in your field of vision, it might increase your risk of getting in a motor accident. As a result, your vehicle might not be considered roadworthy.
Every car owner should aim to get their damaged windscreen repaired or replaced as soon as possible. If you can’t visit a mechanic in the coming weeks, you can also try a temporary DIY repair to prevent the chip from getting larger. If you decide to do this, just make sure that the repair doesn’t obstruct your field of vision.
If you notice any of these problems with your car, don’t delay in acting. The sooner you get it sorted, the less problems you’re going to have in the future. Additionally, acting fast can also save you a significant amount of money in repairs.