There’s a saying “look after your car and your car will look after you” and though its not meant to be taken literally, it’s the best way to keep your vehicle performing at an optimum level for a considerable number of years. Making sure your vehicle is serviced at regular intervals is a good way of ensuring trouble free motoring not to mention keeping your precious warranty in check but some knowledge on the behavour of your vehicle can go a long way.
Here are a few things you need to know about car problems if you detest costly repair bills. Some require more indepth knowledge of cars but most don’t. All are equally important so keep that in mind when reading them.
#1: Engine oil light turns on
Many spend their entire lives without having to deal with this issue. Admittedly, it’s a rare occurance but it is one, if encountered, can spell disaster for your engine if no action is taken.
The use of engine oil is vital to the survival of your internal combustion engine. It is used as a lubricant, forming a layer between the moving parts, most important of which being the pistons, and the cylinder walls thereby reducing the amount of friction between them. If there isn’t sufficient lubrication, components would heat up and cause the engine to seize. In extreme instances, your engine’s components might melt and fuse with the engine block, giving you a large chunk of useless metal that once served as an engine.
#2: Engine temperature is higher than normal
There could be many reasons for this, most common of which being that there is insuffient water in the radiator. To keep the engine cool, water and coolant is constantly being pumped throughout the engine to keep it at a steady temperature. Make sure you check that there is sufficient water and coolant in the radiator at all times. Never attempt to open the radiator cap if the engine has been running for a while. Shut the engine off and allow it cool down first.
Reasons for the decrease in water volume include a spoilt water pump, a leak in the piping, a leak in the radiator or the engine block itself. Whatever the case visit your service centre as soon as possible to avoid overheating issues.
#3: Engine takes a while to start up
A vehicle’s battery has a lifespan of about 2-3 years. When it reaches the end its lifespan, it looses the ability to maintain its original charge and as such causes engine start up times to increase. If you’ve got a zero maintenance battery, and you’ve had it for more than a couple of years, its time to buy a new one. In the case of batteries that require maintenance, make sure that the water levels are at the required level, if it is and you still encounter problems, the battery needs to be changed.
But before suspecting the battery to be at fault, make sure that the alternator is functioning properly.
#4: Steering wheel feels heavy
If you encounter this problem, first, make sure that your tyres are properly inflated. If they are, then turn your attention to your power steering system. Check to make sure that the power steering fluid(only applicable to hydraulic systems) in its reservoir is at the required level. If not, top it up based on manufacturer recommendations. If that isn’t the problem, there is probably an isssue with the sytem itself, to rectify it, take it to your trusted service centre.
#5: Knocking noises when making a sharp turn
Due to ware and tear, there will come a time when turning the steering wheel on full lock while making a turn, noticable knocking noises can be heard from the front. This could be due to a malfunctioning driveshaft. While this may not hinder driving performance for a while, it can pose problems not to mention noise polution, overtime. Consult your mechanic on how to go about fixing the issue.