How to Diagnose Your Car Problems?

Article by Christian A., on July 30, 2018

It is always a good thing to know that there is something wrong with your car as early as possible. Aside from the fact that this would limit the damage that your car has sustained, it would also lessen the cost of repairs.

Remember: the greater the damage, the greater is the cost. The hard truth, however, is that not everyone knows how to determine whether something is already wrong with their cars. So, how would you know if your car is having some problems?

Simply put, there is something wrong with your car if it doesn’t look, sound, smell and feel good. You just have to use your senses to know if your car is having some problems. Generally, if something deviates from the usual thing, there could be something wrong. But of course, you can determine where these problems are, and leave the specific diagnosis and repair to your mechanic.


Try to look out for something that doesn’t seen normal. For instance, if smoke is coming from under the hood, there could be issue with the engine. Likewise, while on the garage, try to see whether oil or some sort of liquid (fuel or brake fluid) is on the ground just beneath the car.

The presence of such liquid could mean some leakage in the system, and there might be a need to call for a specialist. This is especially so if you suspect that brake fluid is leaking from the car, as this is a safety issue.

Of course, the driver should always on a lookout on the instruments and gauges, as well as warning lights on the dashboard. Nowadays, the monitors on the dashboard provide a visual warning if something is wrong with the car. If something is blinking, there could be something wrong. The driver should always look out for the gauges for the fuel, tire pressure, oil, engine temperature and others. Likewise, the driver should try to see if the tires are flat.


As soon as the engine is turned on, it lets out some noise. This noise varies from when the car has just started, or the engine is revving up. The sound also varies while the car is being driven or is on a halt. Nonetheless, the driver should pay attention to how the car normally sounds in a given situation. Once the sound changes, a problem could be occurring.

In addition, the driver should try to determine if he or she is hearing some creaking or squeaking sounds, as they may suggest problems with regards to the suspension system. Backfiring noises, meanwhile, may indicate issues like a malfunctioning air intake valve or the presence of moisture in the fuel system. When the driver is hearing popping sounds, the problems could be worn out tires, loose hubcaps or drive belts. When the driver hears some weird noise during braking, the issue could be the brake pad.


Any bad, unusual smell inside the car could mean some issue. This is the case when the driver smells exhaust fumes inside the cabin. This isn't normal, and exhaust smoke could cause loss of consciousness or even death due to carbon dioxide poisoning. Other issue indicators include smells of gas, oil, coolant and even sulfur. The smell of burnt wood, burnt rubber, mold or mildew should be not taken for granted.


Before going out on a drive, the driver should briefly inspect a number of elements to ensure that they are working well. The driver should test the turn signals, AC controls, windshield wipers, and even audio system controls to ensure that nothing would go wrong during the drive. The driver may also hold a hand in front of the AC vent to ensure that it is blowing cold air.

If during a ride, the driver feels some unusual vibrations, like on the steering wheel and on the overall ride. When the steering is vibrating weirdly, there could be problems with the brakes or wheels, while a hard-to-turn steering wheel could mean issue with the steering components. On the other hand, a loose steering wheel might be a trouble with the tie rods or ball joints.

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Topics: tips, engine



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