Did your car break down but you’re not sure why? There are several reasons why your car may have stopped working. Some of these car problems are easily fixable and don’t require assistance.
Check out this list of car troubleshooting tips before you take your car into the shop and maybe avoid having to spending hundreds of dollars on repairs.
Car Troubleshooting for Beginners
Sometimes when your car stops working there can be easy ways to fix or prevent the issue without having to call for assistance. In order to figure out what’s keeping your car from working properly, you need to identify which part of your car is not working.
If your engine light is on, then you may have issues with your engine. This can result from faulty spark plugs, catalytic converter problems, a faulty oxygen sensor, a faulty mass airflow sensor, or a loose petrol cap. A loose gas cap can easily be tightened. If it’s something more than that, you may want to take your can.
Sometimes your engine can overheat if there is not enough coolant in your car. You can tell your car is overheating if a lit radiator icon or an “engine overheating” message pops up on your dashboard. Steam coming from your hood is another sign of overheating.
If this happens, first pull over to a safe spot and park. Then turn on the heat in your car to push the hot air away from your engine. It usually takes 15 minutes for a car to cool down. If you have coolant readily available, add coolant. Try to start your car if you’re able to and take it to the nearest service station.
It’s recommended that you get your coolant levels checked at the beginning of every season to prevent overheating.
If your car breaks down because of a flat tire, you can use the spare tire kit in your car to replace it. If you’re not sure how to change a flat but still want to do it yourself, there are several tutorials on YouTube that can show you how.
YouTube is a great resource to use when you’re faced with an auto issue you don’t understand. There are also car troubleshooting apps that will help you identify the issue.
If your tire light goes on but you don’t see a flat tire, this may be due to low or high pressure in your tires. During the summer months, tire pressure can increase and during the winter months, tire pressure will decrease because of the cold air. Auto repair shops will often check your tire pressure and fill you up for free.
Performance Auto Center offers emissions tests and can help keep your car in peak performance so issues like these don’t come up.
A car battery can die for many reasons. Sometimes if you leave a light on in your car overnight, it can cause your battery to die. During the winter months, a car battery can die from straining to start your car. In the summer months, warm temperatures can cause battery fluid to evaporate.
It’s always a good idea to keep jumper cables in your car. You use the battery of another car to help jumpstart your car. If you don’t have jumper cables on hand, you may need to call roadside assistance. Once your car battery is jumped, make sure to let your car run for a least 25 minutes.
Start Your Engines
To keep your car running smoothly, it’s always a good idea to have it serviced regularly so you don’t run into expensive issues down the road. While minor car problems can be fixed by yourself, proper car troubleshooting may need an auto expert. If it’s an issue that you can’t fix on your own, taking your car into the shop can be worth the money to keep your car running right.