Owning a car takes a lot of work. From regular maintenance, to cleaning, to replacing broken parts, the process of keeping your car in tip-top shape might seem overwhelming. The trick of car ownership, though, is rather straightforward: solve the small problems before they become big ones. Even tiny, seemingly insignificant issues can lead to bigger, costlier problems. So what are the ten most common failed vehicle components? Keep reading to learn more about common problems with many of the cars on the roads today.
1. Gas Caps
While this may seem like a no-brainer, it is amazing how often gas caps go missing or wiggle loose. Whether the gas cap goes missing simply because you forget to secure it after filling up your gas tank or it loosens over time from bumpy roads, a loose cap can lead to a decrease in gas mileage and even other, more serious problems. The good news is that fixing this problem is usually easy, quick, and inexpensive.
2. Burned Out Lights
Like any bulb, the lights in your car only last for a certain amount of time. The more you drive your car at night, the quicker your bulbs will burn out. The trick here is to replace a light as soon as it burns out because the other remaining light will draw more power, causing it burn out quicker. Ideally, you should replace both lights instead of just one for that very reason.
3. Spark Plugs
This common component can fail and cost you dearly if not taken care of quickly by a professional. By not replacing a faulty spark plug, you run the risk of reducing your gas mileage and even damaging more important components in your vehicle.
4. Intake Manifold Gaskets
When an intake manifold gasket is compromised, air and fuel leaks out of your engine. This can cause emission problems and even reduce your car’s gas mileage. Once again, this is a rather simple fix that your mechanic can handle for a relatively low price.
5. Miscellaneous Sensors
Chances are that the diagnostics of your vehicle are largely monitored by computers. This means that you have multiple sensors on your dashboard, any of which can go off at any time. Sometimes these sensors are faulty, alerting you of a problem that doesn’t really exist. In cases like this, it is best to play it safe and take the car to a mechanic so that they can help you determine whether or not the problem needs to be addressed.
6. Catalytic Converter
Catalytic converters help regulate your vehicle’s emissions. Oftentimes, these parts fail when a smaller component stops working and the problem isn’t addressed in a timely manner. This is just another reason why it is important to not neglect your vehicle’s maintenance.
7. Belts and Hoses
You can often tell if a hose or belt is cracked or broken simply by listening to your engine. If you hear a squeaking or high-pitched squealing, it is time to change your belts and/or hoses.
Squealing brakes or brakes that hiccup can be a dangerous sign that your brakes or brake pads need to be replaced. Don’t hesitate fixing your brakes at the first sign of wear and tear, as doing so is critical to your safety.
9. Electrical System
Everything from your stereo to your lights is a part of the electrical system. Unfortunately, one faulty wire can lead to electrical failure. If you notice a problem, have a trained mechanic investigate the problem immediately.
The transmission of your car is perhaps one of the most costly components to fix, but it is also one of the most integral to the operation of your vehicle. If you notice a change in how your car handles or shifts gears, have it checked into immediately.