The 5 Most Common Car Problems & How to Avoid Them

The 5 Most Common Car Problems & How to Avoid Them

| By: Christian Brothers Automotive

Whether it’s a dead battery, low fluids, or bad brakes, common car problems can cause plenty of headaches and frustration for drivers. Let’s have solidarity here - car problems are the worst! They interrupt nearly everything when they show up, right? The good news is that many of these issues won't mean the end of your ride anytime soon. In fact, they’re preventable if you know what to look out for!

At Christian Brothers Automotive, we aim to help drivers maintain a smooth running vehicle. We want to keep your car in great shape, and we definitely want to keep you and your precious cargo safe on the road. That being said, here are the top five most common and unfortunately normal car problems and how you can avoid them.

Unfortunately Normal Problem #1 - Dashboard Lights

The dashboard lights in your vehicle will let you know when there’s something wrong with your car. They usually indicate an issue with the vehicle's engine, brakes, or other major components. If you see a light come on while driving, it’s important to take your car to a qualified automotive technician to have it diagnosed right away. We say “diagnosed,” because many times your dashboard’s indicator lights will point in a direction but won’t tell exactly what’s broken. Your car will point the direction, and our experts will diagnose exactly what’s broken.

Be sure to bring your car into your local auto shop if you spot any of these lights illuminated on your dashboard:

  • ABS Light (indicates a problem with the anti-lock braking system)

  • Check Engine Light (signals an issue with your vehicle’s engine or exhaust system)

  • Oil Pressure Light (indicates low oil pressure, which can damage the engine if ignored)

  • Tire Pressure Light (means one or more of your tires are under-inflated and need to be filled up)

Unfortunately Normal Problem #2 - Bad Brakes

Bad brakes can put you, your passengers, and other lives in danger. When it comes to safety, your brakes are number one on the list. If you hear grinding or scraping noises when applying the brakes, your pads are likely worn and warrant replacement, and by this point it’s no longer safe to hard brake in an emergency situation.

You’ll also want to pay attention to your stopping time. If your car is taking longer than usual to stop, get your brakes inspected. This could mean a few things, but for sure you can conclude the friction needed to stop your car is lacking.

The brake wear rate depends on driving conditions and the quality of brake components. Brake pads last between 30,000 and 70,000 miles, while brake rotors can last over 70,000 miles. Have brakes checked annually or every 12,000 miles to replace worn components and ensure maximum stopping power and safety!

Here are some useful resources when combatting brake issues in your vehicle:

Unfortunately Normal Problem #3 - Low Fluids

It's vital to check all the fluids in your vehicle regularly to keep it running smoothly. If not, it can lead to engine damage, poor fuel economy, and decreased performance. Be sure to check these fluids every month:

  • Engine Oil

  • Coolant

  • Brake Fluid

  • Transmission Fluid

A leak is probably the culprit if you find yourself repeatedly topping off your fluids. If so, be sure to have it checked out as soon as possible. This helps your vehicle operate correctly and saves you from wasting money on gallons of fluid!

Unfortunately Normal Problem #4 - Dead Battery

A dead battery is a common car problem that can quickly put you in a bind. To avoid this situation, ensure your battery terminals and clamps are free of rust buildup or corrosion. If they appear corroded, clean them off with baking soda, water, and a brush. Also, consider replacing your battery every three to five years, depending on use; this will increase the chances of you never waking up to a dead battery.

Check out some of these resources to help you navigate any dead or low battery issues you may be having:

And last, but not least…

Unfortunately Normal Problem #5 - No Heat or Cold Air

If you live in Texas, cold AC doesn’t really feel like an option! Those living in Michigan would feel the same about their heater. If you find yourself with neither heat nor air conditioning, it's likely an issue with the car’s blower motor or fan. Replacing this part can be fairly simple and inexpensive, so take it to your local mechanic for a quick fix if needed.

Also, ensure that your vehicle’s air conditioner runs efficiently by having it inspected annually. This is particularly important during the summer when air conditioning is necessary. Have your local auto shop inspect the system to ensure it has all the necessary refrigerants and fluids and that the cabin filter is clean and clear of debris. The cabin filter, which often sits behind your glove box, is similar to the filter you replace in your AC system at home, and the cleanliness of it can impact the flow of air in the AC of your car. Have that inspected, too!

Here are some helpful blogs to make sure you can heat or cool your next drive around town:

Schedule Your Auto Repairs with Christian Brothers Automotive

When overcoming any car problem, timely maintenance and repairs are key. At Christian Brothers Automotive, our expert technicians can help you keep your vehicle in top shape and running for miles to come.

Beginning with a Courtesy Inspection of your vehicle, we'll identify any potential problems and provide recommendations for maintenance to help keep you moving down the road and in a safe manner. Schedule an appointment with us today to make sure your car is running at its best!

Find your local Christian Brothers Automotive shop today!

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