What’s wrong with my car?
Common car troubles and what they might mean
Every vehicle is made up of an intricate system of mechanics, electrical parts and fluids. Most car owners can sense when something has disrupted that system—it might be a funny smell, an odd noise or car that won’t even start. While it may be easy to tell when something is wrong, it can sometimes be difficult to figure out exactly what’s going on and why.
In most cases, it’s best to see a mechanic who can tell you what is wrong with your vehicle with 100% certainty, but it helps to go in to your service appointment with a little knowledge on what might be causing your car troubles.
Four common car troubles, explained.
1. Vehicle Won’t Start
Most of the time when your vehicle won’t start, it’s due to a dead battery. You’ll either need to recharge it by jumping it and leaving your car running awhile, or replace it all together. If you car will crank, but not turn over to start, there could be problems with your ignition, spark plugs or fuel injectors. It’s best to call a mechanic to have it looked at.
2. Heater/AC Problems
There could be a number of things preventing your heat or air conditioning from working. It could be an issue with the condenser that’s either broken, or clogged with debris like bugs and leaves. Additionally, your cabin air filter could also be clogged with debris, obstructing airflow in the vehicle. Your AC could blow out hot or warm air when your Freon charge is low, or the refrigerant is leaking. See your mechanic to have it recharged or replaced.
3. Rotten Egg Smell
If your engine is giving off a rotten egg smell, what you smell is hydrogen sulfide, which comes from the sulfur in the fuel. Your vehicle’s catalytic converter transforms the odorous hydrogen sulfide into sulfur dioxide, which has no smell. So, when your converter breaks or clogs, you will start to notice the smell of sulfur, or rotten eggs. In most cases, you’ll have to have your catalytic converter replaced by your mechanic, as it’s rare that it can be repaired.
4. Secure it
Squeaking, squealing or screeching breaks are usually the result of vibrations between the brake pads and rotors. With low-cost or semi-metallic break pads, you will hear noise coming from them as you brake. This can usually be fixed using a lube or paste bought at a parts store. However, it could also be a sign of worn down brake pads that if not replaced, can lead to rotor, drastically increasing repair costs. If your brakes are making a lot of noise, it’s best to see a mechanic to accurately diagnose the problem or you could end up with more car troubles on your hands.
Similar to the risk associated with self-diagnosing an illness, you shouldn’t try and diagnose a problem with your car unless you really know what you’re looking for. If you’re experiencing any of these common car problems, it’s best see a trusted mechanic who can tell you with accuracy what’s going on and help you fix it.