Car Maintenance Hotspots: 5 Common Car Problems All Car Owners Should Know About
Misfiring Spark Plugs What these small car parts lack in size, they more than make up for in importance. It’s the job of spark plugs to ignite the engine’s compressed fuel, so if they misfire, it damages the engine’s fuel economy, limits its power and can harm the catalytic converter.
Symptoms of misfiring sparkplugs: • Feeling a jolt in the vehicle’s acceleration • A choppy/uneven Idle • ‘Check Engine’ light turns on • Decreased miles to the gallon • Increase in vehicle pollution
Windshield Cracks and Chips Though a windshield is part of a vehicle’s structural body and contributes to its overall aesthetic, it actually plays a very practical role as well. A windshield helps protect the driver and the vehicle’s interior from the elements (wind, rain, snow, etc.) as well as from insects and road debris. A windshield chip can quickly become a much larger issue. Cracks form, causing reduced visibility and the potential for further damage. Repairing a damaged windshield: Home repair kits do exist, although their success varies. It’s perhaps best to consult a windshield repair expert, who can determine whether full scale windshield replacement is needed.
Flat/Faulty Battery Yes, your car runs on fuel- but it also requires an electric energy source to power its ignition system, headlights, the starter motor and, of course, your car radio. That energy source is its battery. The lifespan of an automotive battery will vary depending on how it was initially construction, the climate it’s used in, the amount the vehicle is used and how well it’s been retained. Symptoms of a dead battery: This one’s simple. The symptom of a dead battery is a car that won’t start. To be more specific: • The engine doesn’t not crank at all (or cranks very slowly) when you turn your key in the ignition • The headlights, interior lights, radio and other battery-powered features won’t turn on (or appear dim)
Cracked Distributor Cap The job of a vehicle’s distributor is to ensure that high voltage from the ignition coil reaches the spark plugs so that the engine can fire properly. A distributor cap covers and insulates the distributor in order to contain the high voltage. A cracked distributor crack is one of the most common causes of a breakdown. When moisture and dirt damage the distributor crack, the high ignition voltage is no longer properly insulated. As a result, it’s difficult or impossible for the ignition to spark.
Symptoms of a damaged distributor cap: • A visible crack or burns on the distributor cap (although sometimes the damage is very small/hidden and it’s difficult to see it) • Vehicle won’t start/engine won’t turn over Image via Rayray via Pinterest
Image via Bethanie Minor via Pinterest
Symptoms of a faulty alternator: • Reoccurring battery issues • Rise in engine temperature (sign of a broken alternator belt)
• ‘Check Engine’ light turns on
A vehicle’s alternator has the important job of charging the battery so that it can keep the vehicle’s electrical system up and running An alternator works by alternating electric currents using a rotating magnet (thus the name, ‘alternator).
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