Common Car Issues and How You Can Combat Them
Motoring isn’t always a straightforward pursuit. But thankfully, the majority of the problems you’ll encounter are caused by a small number of root causes. As such, you can reduce your risk substantially by investing just a little bit of time and energy into proactive maintenance. But what should that maintenance really look like? Let’s take a look.
Dealing with squeaking brakes
If your brakes are showing early warning signs of failure, then it’s a good time to get them checked out. It should go without saying that these are among the most important components of the vehicle.
Squeaking might be caused by a buildup of rust or premature wear. It might be that you’re simply paying the price for installing inferior brakes. In any case, the solution is the same: get them to a mechanic as soon as possible.
In the UK, the legal limit for tread depth is 1.6mm. But you’ll suffer a substantial increase in stopping distance as you approach this limit, as well as a downturn in fuel economy. It makes sense, therefore, to periodically check your tyres and replace them sooner, rather than later. This goes especially if you’re going to be driving in adverse weather.
You can pick up premium-quality tyres online, which means that you can replace them more often without having to leave the comfort of your own home. If you don’t know how to replace your tyres, then you can find instructions online, or you can pay a competent mechanic to do it for you.
Poor fuel economy
We’ve already mentioned the impact of worn-out tyres on your fuel economy. But a range of other factors might contribute to the problem. The degree to which your tyres are inflated matters. Top them up regularly. The same goes for replacing your spark plugs, driving on less fuel, or carrying less weight in general.
You might also consider modifying the way you drive. Efficient driving takes deliberate practice, but if you understand the principles, the gains can be considerable. In short, you get better economy when you slow down, and drive more smoothly.
The culprit for a wide range of problems is a failing alternator. As such, it’s worth checking yours regularly. Problems with the alternator can lead to an unreliable supply of electricity, which might manifest with the dashboard and headlights flickering, and the radio fading in and out.
Of course, as well as doing this, the problem might also inhibit the actual performance of the car, and shorten the lifespan of your battery. Pay attention to the warnings on your dashboard. If you see a consistent warning light, then don’t ignore it: get in touch with your local mechanic.