Mar 3, 2023

Common car problems and how to diagnose them

If you want to keep your car running smoothly, it's important to be able to diagnose common car problems.

Common car problems and how to diagnose them
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We all know that cars are complex machines. They have many different parts, and they can break down for a number of reasons. If you want to keep your car running smoothly, it's important to be able to diagnose common car problems.

Here are just a few reasons why this is important:

If a car won't start, it may be caused by several things and needs to be diagnosed.

If you're having trouble starting your car, it could be caused by a number of different issues. Here are some common causes and how to diagnose them:

  • Check the battery, starter and fuel pump. If the battery is dead or weak (and won't hold a charge), your car won't start. When diagnosing this problem, check that all connections between the terminal posts on your battery are secure. If they aren't tight enough, you might need to add some corrosion protection spray or contact cleaner before trying again--and don't forget to check out our guide on how to jumpstart a dead car battery!
  • Check for problems with ignition system components like wires and plugs as well as air filters/fuel filters/distributor caps/rotors if necessary--these can cause issues with starting up as well! Also make sure all fuses in dashboards have been replaced recently; if not then replace them immediately before trying anything else because it may save time from having another trip back later down road when something goes wrong again."

Grinding noises from your wheel wells or brakes are a sign you need to get your brake pads checked.

If you hear grinding noises coming from your wheels or brakes, it's time to get the brakes checked. Brake pads are not cheap, so if you're hearing grinding noises from them, then it's likely that they need replacement. Brakes can be replaced by the owner and should be replaced when they are worn down to the metal (you can see this by inspecting them).

A "check engine" light may indicate serious problems with the engine.

  • The check engine light could mean a lot of things, so it's important to have your car checked out by a mechanic if it comes on.
  • Some problems can be fixed with a simple tune-up or other routine maintenance.
  • Other problems may require more extensive repairs that might need to be done by a mechanic.

A rattling noise can mean the catalytic converter needs to be replaced.

If you hear a rattling noise coming from under your vehicle, it could be the catalytic converter. The catalytic converter is an important part of your vehicle's emissions system and helps reduce harmful gases like nitrogen oxide (NOx). If it isn't working properly, it could cause damage to other components in your car or truck.

The first step in diagnosing this problem is to check whether or not your vehicle has one by looking under the hood at its exhaust system. If there are two tubes connected together with three hoses coming out each end of those two tubes, then you have a catalytic converter installed on the car or truck.

If this doesn't work for you because perhaps someone removed their catalytic converters before selling their vehicle? Then there are some easy ways to test them out without having anyone else involved:

Strange smells coming from under the hood might indicate fluid leaks.

If you smell something strange, it might be a sign of a fluid leak.

  • Check the air coming out of the hood. If it smells like gasoline or oil, check for leaks under your car.
  • Lift up your car's hood and smell the dipstick for oil--it should have no odour at all (unless you just filled up). If there's an unusual scent, check around where they're located--the engine block or transmission housing--for signs of leakage.
  • Smell around each reservoir; brake fluid should smell like iodine or chlorine-like; transmission fluid should be sweet smelling with no other odours; coolant shouldn't have any odor at all unless it's been overheated and boiled off into vapour form (which would result in steam coming out).


You don’t have to be an automotive expert to find some of these problems, but it helps if you know your way around a car. If you don’t feel comfortable doing any of the diagnostics yourself, then take it to a mechanic who specializes in diagnosing problems like these.