Car Problems - Diagnose Common Car Problems and Faults
Car Engine Problems
Q. When driving I can hear a heavy knocking noise coming from the engine. What's the problem?
A. It is probably due to worn engine bearings. If this is the case they will have to be replaced.
Q. When driving I can hear a hissing noise coming from the engine. Does my car have a problem?
A. Yes. There is a leak in either the intake manifold or one of it's associated parts. If so you will need to get the gasket tightened or even replaced.
Q. I am driving the car as I normally do but there feels like there is a lot power. What's the problem?
A. The ignition timing is faulty and will need to be looked at by a mechanic.
Q. When running the engine vibrates violently and lacks power. What could be the cause?
A. A misfire in one of the cylinders. To resolve the problem a ignition coil will have to be replaced.
Car Starting Problems
Q. I try to start my car but the engine won't start. When I turn the key in the ignition I hear a clicking noise. What should I do?
A. Turn on the headlights. If they don't work then it the problem is a flat battery.
Q. My car won't start. The lights are all working however.
A. The problem is more serious. It could be a problem with the starter motor. You will need to call a mechanic.
Car Pedal Problems
Q. When I brake I feel a vibrating/pulsating sensation through the brake pedal. Is there something wrong.
A. If your car has ABS then no. ABS will produce such a sensation when braking hard. If your car has no ABS then be concerned it could be that your brake disc are damaged.
Q. When accelerating I can hear a squealing noise. What is this?
A. The likely cause is a loose alternator belt. Such a problem needs fixing quickly as it can lead to an engine overheating or a flat battery.
Q. When pressing down on the brake pedal it feels less solid and more springy than it used to. Is there a problem?
A. Yes. It is likely that air has got into the brake system. To fix the problem your brakes will need to be bled.
Exhaust Car Problems
Q. The exhaust on my car has started to make a lot of noise. What can the cause be?
A. There is likely to be a hole in the exhaust system which is letting exhaust fumes out before they reach the back end of the exhaust pipe. This can be a serious problem so take your car to a mechanic as soon as you can.
Q. Occasionally when I have been waiting in traffic for a while a cloud of blue smoke is expelled from my exhaust. Is this a problem?
A. Yes. The engines pistons, piston rings or valves are probably worn and need replacing. Get a mechanic to have a look.
Other Car Problems
Q. There is a small crack in my windscreen. Will I need to get the whole window replaced?
A. If the crack is smaller than 2.5cm, is at least 5cm from the edge and is not in the driver's immediate vision then no. The crack can be fixed, but get it fixed as soon as you can as cracks can easily get bigger.
Q. The bulbs in my car lights are always blowing. Why?
A. Your alternator voltage is set too high. This can actually be quite dangerous as the battery gives off explosive hydrogen gas if it is being overcharged so take your car to a mechanic ASAP.
Q. When I turn corners I hear a knocking noise coming from my wheels. What is this?
A. The CV joints are worn and need replacing. An easy job for a mechanic.
Q. My car has started to bounce a lot more than it used to when driving over bumps in the road. What is causing this?
A. Your shock absorbers are needing to be replaced.
Q. I have noticed white powder around the car battery. Should I be worried?
A. Yes. The powder could be caused by the alternator overcharging the battery. This can prove to be quite dangerous and should be checked by a mechanic immediately.
Q. When driving I can feel vibrations through the steering wheel or seat or floor. What's wrong?
A. The wheel balance is out. A mechanic will need to look into it.
Q. There is uneven front tyre wear.
A. The front wheel tracking may be out. Get your steering checked by a mechanic.