If you own your vehicle for a long time, it’s likely you’ll have some type of problem with it. Older cars generally have more issues, especially if you put a ton of miles on them. Various parts wear down and don’t work as well as they once did.
You can prevent vehicular issues by taking your car for regular tune-ups and inspections. However, you still might have a problem occasionally, and you should prepare yourself to deal with it.
Let’s go over five different car problems and what to do about them.
You’ve probably seen movies and shows where a car is going over a cliff, and it suddenly bursts into flames. The reality is that an event like this will rarely happen. However, it is not entirely inconceivable.
If your car explodes, the most likely scenario is that there was a fire nearby, and it completely enveloped the vehicle. Even then, it probably won’t explode. If it does, that usually means that at some point, an individual removed the fuel line, pump, or tank and then reinstalled it improperly.
If that does happen, you might need to contact an explosion accident lawyer. It can be very tricky figuring out what caused the explosion, and a lawyer’s office will often have trained investigators. You’ll need to get them to compile a report to send your insurance company so you can get the money for a replacement vehicle.
A Flat Tire
Now that we’ve talked about one of the more unlikely car problems, let’s discuss one of the most common ones. Nearly everyone has to deal with a flat tire at some point.
In the old days, learning to change a flat tire was a part of learning how to drive. Most vehicle owners had a spare, the so-called “doughnut,” in the trunk. If you got a flat tire, you could either patch it, if you had a patch kit, or you could put the spare tire on and drive on that till you got the car to a mechanic who could put a brand-new one on.
Now, not as many people know how to change a flat tire. If you get a flat on a deserted highway, you can either change it if you have a spare and know how to do it, or else you can call AAA. It’s not a bad idea to become a member so they can handle these situations.
You might also get yourself a credit card that has roadside assistance as a perk. There are several of them. The only issue is that you usually have to pay a yearly fee for these credit cards, so you’ll need to decide whether it’s worth it.
A Dead Battery
You also might run into a dead battery issue at some point. The most frequent times this happens are either when you left the lights on all night and drained the battery that way, or else you have not driven the car for a long time.
This is why, even if you don’t have any particular place to go, you should drive your car at least a couple of times per week. This can prevent all kinds of problems, a dead battery being just one of them.
If you have a dead battery, you can get a jump if someone comes along and either you or they have jumper cables. Like changing a flat, some people don’t know how to do this anymore.
If one of you knows how to do it, you can hook up the cables and get to work. If this is not an option, you’ll need to call AAA or another roadside service.
The Engine Overheating
The engine might overheat if you’re driving the car on a sweltering day. Maybe you left the vehicle sitting in the broiling sun for several hours, and then you tried to drive it.
You can keep an eye on your engine’s temperature by looking at the dashboard’s heat gauge. It will tell you if you’re getting into dangerous territory.
If you ignore it, that’s usually when the car breaks down. You might see smoke or steam either inside the vehicle, outside it, or both.
Pull over immediately and shut off the engine. You will probably need to call a tow truck, which is one reason why it’s always wise to have a smartphone with you when you go for a drive.
Once you get the car to a mechanic, they can ascertain how bad the damage is. Letting the engine overheat can be a costly repair, so you should always watch that temperature gauge.
The Check Engine Light Comes On
There are several dashboard lights that can come on at any time. The check engine light is one of them.
As a car owner, there is virtually no way you can tell what that particular light means. The only way you’ll be able to figure it out is to get the car to a mechanic immediately so they can look it over.
It could be a relatively easy fix or a more expensive one. As a car owner, this is the moment when you hold your breath.
The one thing you should never do is to wait for days or weeks before seeing what the problem is. That is how an inexpensive fix turns into a more serious one.
These are far from the only car problems you might encounter. You might have to replace your worn brake pads. Maybe your tires are wearing unevenly, so you’ll need to replace some of them before the others.
The car might consume too much oil, or the steering wheel might shake at high speeds. You can fix all these issues, provided that you have a competent mechanic and enough money.
At some point, you could run into a fix that costs more than the vehicle is worth. That’s when you need to think about trading it in and getting a replacement.