Man changing tire of car

Common Car Issues People Have

Cars are one of the most important inventions of all time. Our modern world depends on them in a way that most people take completely for granted. Particularly in America, giving up the car is something most people won’t even consider. It’s easy to see why: a car means freedom and indicates success. For many, it’s a hobby as well as a necessity. With cars being so critical to our lives, car problems can bring everything else to a halt in no time. Here are some of the most common car troubles, and what to do in case they hit you.

Running out of Gas

Let’s start with the real basics. This is a pretty easy one to avoid most of the time, yet it’s surprisingly common. How often have you seen a car on the side of the highway, and the driver trekking off with a gas can?

So what do you do?

Many insurance providers have roadside assistance available and can come help. You can also sign up for a specific service, or many times an officer will stop and lend a hand. Otherwise, the only thing you can do here is trek off with a gas can. Make sure you pull off the road as far as possible, especially if you’re on a busy highway. Leave your hazard lights on to give other motorists a heads up. Be careful though, walking on highways and freeways can be very dangerous, and in some cases illegal.

Flat Tire

Flat tires come in two main forms: while you’re driving or when you come back to your car. Coming back to find a flat tire is a pain, but when it goes out while you’re heading down the road, it can be downright dangerous.

So what do you do?

Flat tires aren’t especially difficult to change in most circumstances. Pretty much any vehicle will have a spare tire and all the necessary tools to change it. If you’ve never changed a spare tire, it’s a very good idea to practice. When the time comes, you aren’t always thinking clearly, and the last thing you want is to fumble around trying to figure it out. Along those same lines, if you get a new car, look around and find out where everything is stored before you head out. Very important, make sure your spare isn’t flat, or you’re really up the creek! In the prevention department, it’s a good idea to have your tires rotated and inspected regularly. Many tire stores will do this free if you buy tires from them. You should also keep an eye on your tires, looking them over every time you fill up the gas tank, to catch anything unusual before it becomes a serious problem.

Engine Trouble

“Engine trouble” is a bit of a catch-all term. It includes low oil or coolant, as well as very serious issues. These are the types of things that need to be taken care of right away.

So what do you do?

If you notice anything leaking, or puddles under your car, you should have it checked out. These kinds of problems usually just get worse the longer you wait, so don’t let it get out of hand. If something does happen and your car stalls, keep calm. Turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers that there is a problem. Half the time the embarrassment that comes with holding up traffic is one of the worst parts of the experience. Push your car to the safest place possible without adding more risk in the process, then, unless you already know how to fix the issue, call a tow truck.

Dead Battery

This one happens to pretty much everyone. Whether your kids left a light on or it just got too cold, sometimes the battery just doesn’t have enough charge to start the car.

So what do you do?

This one is pretty easy… as long as you have jumper cables. One of the things every car should keep in the trunk is jumper cables. Then it’s just a matter of finding someone to lend you a charge. Connecting the batteries is pretty easy: pop both hoods and locate the battery, then connect the black clip first, followed by red to the charged battery. Follow the procedure for the dead battery. Start up the first car, and it should provide enough charge to get the other one going. Finally, especially if it was completely dead, make sure your car runs for a little while to get a full charge. In most of these cases, prevention is the best solution. Keep a close eye on your car, and pay attention to how it’s running, any new sounds, shaking, etc. With any luck, you’ll never even have to use these tips. If you do have a problem though, be prepared for it.

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10 May, 2019

Preventative Maintenance

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