If your car isn’t running the way it should, it can be frustrating trying to figure out the problem. Common car troubles and damage can add up over time, so addressing them proactively is essential. However, not all car troubles require professional help. You can do a few things at home to troubleshoot your car and potentially save yourself some money. This article will share some useful car troubleshooting tips from the experts.
1. Check the Engine Oil Level and Quality
Low oil levels or dirty oil can cause several problems for your car, including engine damage. Find the dipstick under the hood and wipe it off with a clean rag to check your oil level. Insert the dipstick back into the tube and pull it out again to check the oil level. If it’s low, add more oil until it reaches the full line. If your check engine light is on, there’s a good chance there’s a problem with your car. You can use an OBD2 scanner made by mechanics for mechanics to read the code and find out what the problem is. Once you know the code, you can often look it up online to find out more about the issue.
2. Inspect the Engine Air Filter
A dirty air filter can restrict airflow to the engine, which can cause several problems. Remove it from the air filter box and hold it up to descend to check the air filter. If you can’t see any light passing through, it’s time to replace it. In addition, inspect the air filter box for any cracks or damage. If the box is damaged, it will need to be replaced. An air filter that needs to be replaced will typically be dark brown or black.
3. Check the Tire Pressure and Tread Depth
Tire pressure that’s too low or too high can cause problems with your car, including decreased fuel efficiency and poor handling. Use a tire pressure gauge to check the pressure of each tire and inflate or deflate them as needed. You should also check the tread depth of your tires. Tires with too little tread can be dangerous, so it’s crucial to replace them before they get too worn down. A simple way to check tread depth is to insert a penny into the tread. The tread is too low if you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, and you need new tires.
4. Listen for Strange Noises
Strange noises coming from your car can signify a serious problem. If you hear grinding noise when you brake, it could signify that your brake pads need to be replaced. A hissing noise could indicate a leak in the radiator hose. Anytime you hear a strange noise coming from your car, it’s important to have it checked out by a professional. If your vehicle is making strange noises, it could indicate a problem. Common car noises and their causes include:
- Squeaking brakes: This could indicate that your brake pads need to be replaced.
- Grinding noise when shifting gears: This could indicate that your clutch needs to be replaced.
- Rattling under the hood: This could indicate that a loose part bounces around and needs to be secured.
5. Look for Leaks
Oil and coolant leaks are among the most common problems that cars experience. If you notice any fluids leaking from your vehicle, it’s essential to have it checked out by a professional as soon as possible. Fluids are an integral part of your car, and leaks can cause several problems. If you notice any leaks, it’s important to have your car checked out as soon as possible. Common types of fluid leaks include:
- Oil: An oil leak can lead to engine damage.
- Coolant: A coolant leak can cause the engine to overheat.
- Brake fluid: A brake fluid leak can cause the brakes to fail.
6. Check the Battery
A dead battery is one of the most common car problems. If your car doesn’t start, it could be due to several things, including a dead battery. To check the battery, remove the negative cable first and then the positive cable. If either of the wires is loose, tighten them up. If the battery is dead, you’ll need to replace it. In addition to checking the battery, it’s also a good idea to check the terminals for corrosion. Corroded terminals can cause several problems, including starting issues. Use a wire brush or battery terminal cleaner to clean corrosion off the terminals. A battery that needs to be replaced will typically be swollen or have corrosion around the terminals.
These are just a few of the experts’ many useful car troubleshooting tips. By being proactive and taking care of your car, you can avoid costly repairs down the road. If you ever have any doubts about what to do, be sure to consult with a professional. They can help you diagnose the problem and get your car back on the road in no time.