Keeping your car on the road can be not only difficult and time-consuming, but expensive too. Modern cars now have many different parts that only specialists are able to completely repair or replace using special equipment and tools. We understand that things do break unexpectedly to even the most avid of car owners. This is why we have collated for you a list of our Top 7 Car Issues that we have seen come through our garage doors so that you know what to look out for to prevent you having a breakdown.
You may think that your vehicle’s battery isn’t necessary for your car if you don’t turn on your headlights or the CD player. However, your battery and alternator are integral components of your vehicle that are required to be in full working condition to allow the car to start. Modern cars and other vehicles now use acid or lead powered batteries which are more reliable than the previous design types. However, they still have their faults. They do have a lifespan of around 5 years, however frequent small journeys can cause the battery to not have enough time to charge and therefore run out of power more quickly. Similarly, if the connection between the battery terminal and the clamps is not properly lubricated, the connection can be weaker and mean that your car has less access to battery power, therefore lowering performance. Lubrication can also lower the chance of corrosion, which again, lowers the effectiveness of the connection and the vehicle’s power.
Your tyres are a very important part of your car. Having properly fitted tyres with plenty of tread and no bulges, scrapes or cuts in can improve the control of your vehicle and drastically improve your safety when travelling. However, bumps and damage to your car and its tyres can happen. Such as hitting a curb or driving over nails or glass can significantly damage your tyre and wheel and decrease the control of your car. Spotting this damage can be easy with visual checks and touching the outside of the tyre. Although, your tyre will wear gradually over time anyway which means you will need to replace them every 6 months, 10,000 miles or when you notice them wearing - whichever comes first. Less easy to spot problems with your tyres and wheels include slow punctures and your tracking being out of line. Slow punctures will mean that your tyre will gradually deflate over journeys. The gradual decrease will be so little that you most likely won’t notice until it is too late, such as on a long motorway journey. Your tracking being out of line is noticeable when you put your steering wheel straight but your wheels don’t all face straight. If you frequently use your car, you may not notice this straight away.
If you’ve ever purchased a new car or had to use a rental car, it can difficult to get used to it and all of its features, such as which lever controls the wipers or which fuel that it uses. One of the most common car issues that we see is people using the wrong fuel in their car. Putting the wrong fuel in your car at the fuel station can have a long-lasting effect on your vehicle and can drastically reduce its life. In older cars, if this were to happen, you could remove the fuel rather easily, however, modern cars now have special encasing around where the fuel is entered so that it prevents car fuel thieves. This means that you will require a mobile mechanic to come and visit you to remove the fuel from your vehicle using specialist equipment. Don’t worry if this happens to you as you would not be alone. This happens to over 133,000 drivers a year.
In addition to using incorrect fuel, your engine requires multiple components to flush the fuel through the engine to power it. If one of these components breaks, your engine will be unable to work and leave you motionless. Fuel leaks are also highly common in vehicles and can often go unnoticed before turning into a catastrophic and expensive repair. Small drips of fuel can corrode the fuel tank and create a larger hole for the fuel to leak from.
In many comedy films, we see a forgetful driver park up but forget to put their handbrake on. This is highly comical but in the real world, can be dangerous and very expensive to repair the damage caused. It is more common than you think in the real world. Your handbrake is prone to wear, meaning that it stretches more and has less braking resistance. This wear and stretching eventually cause it to snap and leave you without a parking brake, sometimes without even noticing! The wearing of the vehicle's handbrake is exacerbated by drivers yanking up the lever and turning it on at an extremely pressured rate. To spot a worn handbrake can be done by applying the handbrake on a steep hill (when appropriate). If you require pulling your handbrake up a lot, this could signal a worn handbrake that is close to snapping.
The aesthetics of your vehicle is one of the most important selling points of your car and is definitely one of the most noticeable to spot if there were damages to it. Whether it be passing another vehicle and getting a little too close to them or not seeing a post whilst parking, damages to your vehicle are highly common and can be expensive, with many car owners choosing to leave them unrepaired. Dents are one of the easier aesthetic damages to repair, with a plunger type device to pull the dent out. Scrapes and damage to the exterior paint of your car are more difficult, with some paintwork damage leading to your vehicle’s body material rusting which will decrease the durability of it.
Ensuring that you are seen in low light tunnels or at night is very important to guarantee your safety when driving. Similarly, your vehicles’ lights allow other road users and pedestrians to see you as you travel. Your vehicle has multiple lights, from headlights at the front of your vehicle to your indicators all around your vehicle. The law states that all the lights on your vehicle must be in fully working condition, with no cracks or gaps in the encasing plastic/glass. Broken or blown light bulbs is one of the most common issues with vehicles on our roads and is drastically being cracked down on by police. Luckily, repairing a blown bulb is usually a quick and simple repair that may not even require a garage to perform. However, if the casing that holds your light is broken, this will require more work to replace. Similarly, if there is an issue with your electrics, this can be a larger job to diagnose and repair, which requires specialist diagnostic equipment to determine the cause. You can perform simple tests to check whether or not all of your vehicle’s bulbs are in fully working order so you don’t get caught out one evening!
One of the most annoying car issues that are very difficult to prevent. One of the major causes of cracked or chipped windscreens is other drivers driving too fast over road surfaces with loose stones and them being flicked up into your windscreen. Other causes include collisions and vandals. Large chips and cracks can be an automatic MOT failure and result in your requiring to have an entire new windscreen being fitted. Small chips can be fixed relatively easy with the use of specialist equipment. This is highly recommended as soon as you spot the issue as heat changes, such as defrosting your vehicle's windscreen can cause the small chip to turn into a large crack across your windscreen.
If you spot any of the above-mentioned issues, we highly advise bringing your vehicle into a trusted and approved car repairs garage, such as AP Autocare. This is because we have top of the range diagnosis and repair equipment so that we are able to diagnose and repair almost any car issues on a wide variety of different car makes and models. We are one of the top car and other vehicle repair garages in Bristol. We specialise in French cars and German cars, such as BMW, Peugeot, Citroen, Audi and many others, with each of our car repairs team being specially trained in a wide variety of techniques. If you’d like to learn more about our repair services, please call us on 0117 963 8916 and one of our team will be able to book you in for repairs. Similarly, we highly recommend having your vehicle serviced once every 6 months to guarantee it’s performance. We are even able to advise on any repairs that your vehicle may need to keep you safe and moving on the roads.
Published: Monday 17th May 2021