How to diagnose a car problem if you don’t know much about cars
A lot of people still don’t know much about cars and they have a hard time when something goes wrong with it. Since they know nothing about cars they turn to auto mechanics to get help. Professional auto mechanics are really good at sorting out different vehicle problems. Though there are many people who hesitate to take their vehicles to mechanics for repair.
Most of them are usually worried about getting ripped off. So, it is wise to learn a few simple tips to diagnose car problems when you know nothing about vehicles. And for this you don’t even need any expensive tool or special knowledge.
Do a few sight checks
It is always better to look around the important components of your vehicle to ensure they are working properly. Here are some vital parts you should look for:
Check your tyres: Make sure to closely inspect your tyres so they are in a good shape. When you have good tyre tread it nicely clear away the water from the contact area with the road. This diminishes the chances of hydroplaning. Thus, it is essential to maintain a sufficient tread depth. Also look around to detect any bulges and cracks on the sidewall of your wheels.
Keep a check on fluid puddles or drips: When you see fluid gathering underneath your automobile, it is really a problem worth repairing. As every type of fluid is important for the reliable performance of an automobile. No matter if it is a steering fluid, oil or brake fluid, its leakage must be repaired quickly.
Keep your ears open for any unusual sound
Creaking or clunking noise: It is always smart to listen up to any unusual sound like creaking or clunking of worn-out suspension. When you have a worn-out shock and place pressure on it, it can produce a clunking sound. This particularly happens when you run an automobile over a bump. Even ball bushings and joints also need proper greasing to work smoothly and stay lubricated.
Squealing or Ticking noise: If you hear a quick tickicking or a long squealing, it indicates a problem with timing belt under the hood. When you have a loose timing belt it slips over the pulleys and produce a ticking sound. Pulleys connects timing belts to the crankshaft and camshaft.
Additionally, steering wheels produce a squealing sound when they are turned. It is usually because of failing power steering pump. But if you notice a loud squeal sound while you force the brakes. It indicates that its pads are highly worn-out.
Gurgling or bubbling noise: When you observe this noise it indicates mixing of air with fluid. If there is a leak in your cooling system it leads air into the radiator. This also maximizes the chances of overheating. Sometimes a damaged head gasket can also lead exhaust to go into the cooling system. When the engine runs it can generate a gurgling or bubbling sound.
Grinding noise: When there is any problem of meshing together of gears a grinding sound is produced. This noise is unsurprisingly caused by transmission problem. So, if your gears get damaged or fluid level is low, your transmission won’t run properly. Other than this, damaged brake between the pad and rotors also produce grinding noise.
Banging or popping: When fuel in your vehicle ignites it will cause engine backfires. This leads to a banging or popping noise. There are multiple problems which can lead to engine backfires. It includes damaged spark plugs, out-of-sync ignition timing, dirty air filters or imbalanced fuel mixture.
Notice an unusual problem
You can use your own body to diagnose any unusual problem like a bumpy ride, vibration or unusual resistance. Don’t remove your hands from the steering wheel and keep your feet on the pedals to identify the issue.
Spongy or low brake pedal: Brakes are unquestionably an essential component in an automobile. Thus, if you notice any abnormal activity in the pedal make sure to check it right away. Remember spongy brakes don’t work properly. This is usually due to old brake fluid or air in the brake lines.
Shaking or Vibrating: There are many problems that can lead to vibrations and shakes. Therefore, make sure to inspect your tyres and wheels. They could be either unbalanced or wrongly aligned. It will create problems in handling the automobile and poor fuel economy will cause wearing of tyre. In some cases a lug nut can get loose and engine or transmission won’t be properly held against the frame. It can also lead to vibrations. In addition, failing suspension, warped brake rotors, engine timing problems can also cause serious vibrations.
Leaning or pulling: If your automobile pulls in a direction in which you don’t want to go it can be a terrible situation. This mostly happen due to a problem with tyres, wheels, suspension or steering that can make your vehicle to pull. To fix it inflate your tyres to the correct pressure.
Steering wheel is difficult to turn: When you feel disconnected with the vehicle’s steering wheel or it has increased resistance. You will find it difficult to control your vehicle on the road. This will also risk your safety. Generally, tie rods and tie rod ends work together to hold together your front wheels and steer. So, if any problem occurs with these components it can create difficulty in turning the steering wheel.
Follow any strange smell Sweet: The coolant or antifreeze used in vehicles also has a sweet smell. This means when a coolant leak in your hands, it can cause sweet smell. This leads to increase chances of overheating as the coolant will stop your engine to maintain the right temperature.
Smokey smell: Make sure to look for smoke and burning signs when you use the brakes. As you may be forcing brakes for too long or with a lot of pressure. So, try slowing down the automobile without brakes and using some gears. Apart from this a damaged clutch with transmission can also produce a smoke smell. Sometimes it can be caused due to burning up of exhaust surfaces or hot engine.
Fuel or Exhaust: When you have a leak in the exhaust system or fuel system it can produce tell-tale odours. It is certainly a very toxic smell.
Mildew or mould: You can start by checking dampness under your carpets and floor mats. If there is any mould it will give a very unpleasant smell. Generally, it is caused when your carpets and floor mats are wet due to leaks.
Sulfur: When there is any issue with the catalytic converter or battery it produce a pungent rotten-eggs like smell. Most of the batteries used in automobiles have a mixture of sulfuric acid and water. As the battery gets old the water can evaporate and unbalanced proportions in the mixture can increase the sulfuric acid smell.
Too late to diagnose the fault? Is your car broken and planning to sell for decent money? Sell your car fast for cash today.