How To Diagnose Common Car Problems And Save

If you are a novice in car repair, if something gets messed up with your car, then it is time for you to go to your nearby shop to check what is wrong with your car. However, mechanics understand when you do not understand anything about cars and they use this situation to rip you off financially. To avoid this kind of situation, it is always beneficial for you to narrow down every possibility of doing it yourself if your car goes wrong or to know what is going on inside of your car. All you need is your sense of hearing, smell, sight, and touch as a tool.

Here are some of the things that you can do to sense a problem in your car:

  1. Look around for any sign of a problem: Random sight checks can help you to ensure that every part of the car is functioning or not.
  • Check your tire- Check the shape of your car’s tire, and the treads of the tire that is very important for a better grip on the road and for channeling water away from the contact patch.
  • Check engine light– You can always start checking with the dashboard’s warning lights. The most common starting point is the Check Engine Light and it has been proven essential for diagnosing problems that range widely in severity. Rest, such as the light of tire pressure, engine temperature, and oil are much easier to decipher. You should never ignore any of these lights because if you delay the repair or diagnosis, it will lead to a much bigger problem on the road. So, always perform a troubleshooting check engine light before hitting the road.
  1. You should be a good listener: You must keep your listening senses at their peak to identify the following;
  • Hear out for a creaking or clunking sound- Suspension components that are worn out can make creaking or clunking noises. Specifically, if a shocker or suspension strut is worn out then it can make a clunking noise especially if you are taking your car over a bump. If the grease from the ball joints dries out, it will make a creaking sound just like an old door or staircase.
  • Hear out for banging or popping sounds- If you hear any of these, that means your car engine is backfiring after the fuel ignition when it is not supposed to do so. Issues like an imbalanced fuel mix, damaged spark plugs, unclean air filters, or not synced ignition timing can cause the problem of backfiring.
  1. Feel the car’s parts: Check for an unusual vibration, abnormal resistance, or a bumpy ride. All you need to do is hold on to the steering and place your feet firmly on the pedals for detecting any problem.
  • Vibration- If your tires are misaligned, a nut or lug is loose, failing suspension, or if you have worn mounts, you will feel vibrations or shakes.
  • Pulling and leaning- If your tires are flat or you have low air, your car might pull up in a direction that you do not want to go. Also, if there are failed shocks, it can tilt your car out of balance.


Use your senses as a tool and you will surely get to diagnose many problems within your car. You can even use the power of smell to detect any problem like if you smell something like mildew, you can suspect of leakage in the interior or if you smell something burning, you can suspect that a part got overheated.

Photo by Kate Ibragimova on Unsplash

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