Preventative Maintenance: 5 Common Car Problems and How to Avoid Them


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Keeping your vehicle operating is a major concern for many people who depend on their car to get to work, pick up children from school and other important functions. Unfortunately, cars develop mechanical problems that can cause them to break down at the worst possible time. Here are some of the common car problems that occur and what you can do to prevent a breakdown.

Brake Pad Repair

If you ensure that your vehicle’s brake pads are replaced on time, you will be able to avoid the rotor repairs that end up breaking your budget. Stay alert to the sound of a screeching or grinding sound coming from your wheels. You may not notice the sound easily in winter when the windows of your car remain closed. Some vehicle models use a chirping or whistling sound to warn you of the need for replacement. This sound means you should visit your mechanic to have the pads replaced. Your mechanic should check the pads during routine maintenance so you can schedule the work at your convenience.


Cooling System Breakdowns

Your vehicle’s cooling system is critical to its function and can be subject to a number of problems. The engine must be able to receive coolant during hot weather, and even in winter, normal function can produce high temperatures that can damage parts. Visually check your radiator on a periodic basis to take note of any leaks. Have your mechanic check the coolant levels whenever you have maintenance done, and keep an eye on your temperature gauges to ensure that your cooling system is performing as it should. Driving your vehicle when it has overheated can end up costing you thousands of dollars, so any sign of cooling system trouble should be tended to immediately by your mechanic.

Battery/Starter Failures

There’s nothing more frustrating than getting in your car to head out, and it fails to start. A number of issues can cause problems with engine starting. Battery problems are among the top concerns. Under perfect conditions a battery will last about six years. However, most people will have their batteries last for two to five years. Have your mechanic test your battery whenever you go in for a maintenance check, and replace your battery when needed. Starter failure can also cause breakdowns on the road. Inform your mechanic about any problems you are having starting your vehicle.

Engine Misfires

You may notice engine misfires when the spark plugs that power your engine become dirty and function poorly, leading to poor operation and eventual breakdown. Pay attention to your manufacturer’s recommended scheduling for routine maintenance to ensure that the mechanic catches problems with spark plug operation that can cause misfires and poor performance. This measure will allow you to keep your vehicle running at its best.

Exhaust Problems

The exhaust system on your vehicle performs the important task of removing harmful emissions that can affect performance and can even be a hazard to the inhabitants of the car. When your muffler is damaged, your engine will sound much louder. If you smell strong odors coming from your engine when your car windows are closed, you could have a hazardous condition that can affect your health and your passenger’s health. Take your car to the mechanic immediately to ensure that your exhaust system is performing as designed. Have your mechanic check your exhaust system during normal maintenance and have worn parts replaced as needed.

Your vehicle is a finely designed system that needs attention to regular maintenance to function efficiently. Contact your St. George car dealership if you have questions about your specific model of car. You can anticipate many common problems, so that they don’t result in an expensive vehicle repair when you can least afford it. If you work closely with your mechanic, you can keep your vehicle running well and keep your repairs costs down to a minimum.