A car is an incredibly complex piece of machinery, and one that’s subjected to significant mechanical stress. It’s inevitable, therefore, that it will occasionally run into problems. For motorists, a lot of these problems can be mitigated, or avoided entirely, by keeping on the lookout for a few common warning signs.
Naturally, keeping your car insurance up to date is essential – but you’ll also want to give yourself a good chance of never having to make a claim.
Worn brake pads
For your brakes to actually stop your car, they’ll need to use friction. This friction causes wear, which means that your brake pads will need to be periodically replaced. You can have your pads checked at your annual service, or you can do it yourself. Pay attention to your performance when braking – when things start to feel a little bit fudgy and unresponsive, it might be time for a change.
There are a number of reasons a car’s engine might overheat. The coolant might have developed a leak, or the pump might be malfunctioning. The radiator itself might also be the problem, because of bent fins or blocked pipework.
A lack of oil can also lead to heat problems. Oil is there to lubricate the engine, reduce friction, and ensure that heat can spread evenly, rather than building in one place. Top up your oil regularly to avoid problems.
A crack in your windscreen can usually be repaired, if it’s addressed promptly. But if the damage is allowed to spread, then it might become necessary to replace the entire windscreen. This is a job that’s best done by a professional, whether it’s replacement or a repair that you’re looking for. If you drive with a cracked windscreen that obstructs your view, then you could be breaking the law.
If you’re hearing a lot of strange clanks and grinding sounds while you’re driving, then it’s almost always a good idea to get it checked out immediately. If your car’s manufacturer has issued a technical service bulletin that pertains to this particular noise, then you might have the option of getting it fixed cheaply.
Bear in mind that what might sound like a suspension problem can often be caused by your exhaust – or even just a few loose bolts.
When your spark plugs go, you’ll be unable to start the car. These devices come with small electrodes, which are responsible for generating the actual spark. When these electrodes become dirty, you’ll have difficulty generating a spark.
Fortunately, these are among the easiest components to replace. Simply take the spark plug out and clean up the chamber. Then inspect the plug. If it’s damaged, then it’s time to shop for a replacement.