Even if you have taken meticulous care of your vehicle, it is more than likely that at some point in your life as a driver, you will experience a problem with your car. As frustrating as it can be, in some cases, issues are impossible to prevent; however, there are many ways that you can keep the likelihood of an emergency at a minimum.
With this in mind, as professionals in insurance approved car repairs in Milton Keynes, rectifying car-related issues is what we do best. Whether you are a new driver or find yourself paying a fortune for constant repairs, our guide to the most common car faults will help you to keep your vehicle in top condition.
How To Steer Clear From The Most Common Car Faults
There is nothing worse than noticing a strange noise from your engine, damage to your tyres or a scratch in your paintwork. Regardless of whether you are to blame or not, in most cases, it is you that will need to cover repairs, which is super frustrating. However, through research, it is possible to add an extra layer of protection over your vehicle, steering clear from the most common car faults. Having offered vandal key scratch repairs in Aylesbury for many years, we have picked up a host of handy tips on how to avoid the following problems:
- Dents & Scratches
- Flat Battery
- Paintwork Problems
- Flat & Faulty Tyres
- Oil Leaks
- Worn Brake Pads
What causes the problem? With constant use and age, it is inevitable that your vehicle will begin to show signs of wear and tear. Unfortunately, as much as you try to avoid dents and scratches, it is often impossible to prevent small marks, making them one of the most common car faults. Whether it may be a noticeable dent from an accident or a small scratch from scraping your bag across the surface, for example, it is vital to rectify these issues as soon as possible. As your paintwork acts as a protective barrier over your bodywork, scratches and dents will expose the metal, putting it at risk of corrosion. In this instance, we highly recommend getting in touch with our experts in car body repairs in Milton Keynes, who will be able to restore your vehicle back to its original condition.
How can it be avoided? Although in some cases, scratches and dents can be unavoidable, there are several ways that you can keep the risk at a minimum. First and foremost, be sure to park your car in a safe spot, ideally away from any pedestrians who may need to brush past your vehicle. In car parks especially, opt for a quieter area where there is less chance of damage down to opening car doors, shopping trolleys or passersby. You should also aim to wash your car regularly, which will prevent a build-up of dust and dirt, both of which can scratch your paintwork. For a full guide on how to clean your car without scratching it, take a look at EveryDayShowCar.
What causes the problem? If you have jumped in your car ready to set off for the day, turned on the engine but nothing seems to be happening, then it is more than likely that you have a flat battery. This has become incredibly common amongst those whose car has been sat on the driveway for months while working from home during the pandemic. Along with lack of use, there are many other reasons as to why your battery is flat. Leaving your headlights on, damaged connections and extreme temperatures can all drain your battery, meaning that you will need to jump-start your car. Before jump-starting your battery, always double-check the battery’s condition; if there is any leaking, corrosion or other visible damage, do not go ahead and instead, contact a mechanic. If all looks in good condition, then you can use the handy video tutorial on Halfords to jump start your car.
How can it be avoided? It is possible to prevent a flat battery, and the key is to try to give your vehicle plenty of time to recharge. If you only drive short journies, then the distance does not allow your battery enough time to restore to its previous state. Every now and again, try to make some longer trips – half an hour should be enough time, so consider combining a few journies to extend your time behind the wheel. For those with a modern vehicle filled with gadgets, be sure to ensure all technology is turned off before leaving your car, including any items plugged into your USBs. For more top tips, take a look at Auto Express.
What causes the problem? Paintwork problems do differ from scratches and dents, and involve issues such as dulling, peeling and spotting; all of which are most common with age. However, if you live in a location that experiences constant changes in temperature, you may be more prone to paintwork deterioration. Moving from warm weather to colder temperatures causes the paint to expand and contract, eventually causing cracking and making your vehicle more susceptible to moisture damage. Other causes of paintwork problems include road salt which corrodes the paint, along with bird droppings which are incredibly acidic and eats away at the paintwork. It is recommended not to try to repair paintwork through DIY methods as this can do more harm than good. Instead, feel free to get in touch with our team to book in for paintwork repairs in Milton Keynes.
How can it be avoided? The easiest way to protect your vehicle’s paintwork is to ensure that you are using the correct products when cleaning. Avoid using household cleaning detergents as these often include ingredients that are harmful to the clear upper coat on your paintwork, which is responsible for protecting against damage. Instead, use a reputable car shampoo, which is has been explicitly designed to care for paintwork. Once you have washed your car, be sure to take a little extra time to apply a quality wax. We suggest choosing a paste or liquid wax instead of a spray as this ensures a more even coverage.
What causes the problem? There are many potential problems that you may experience with your tyres; some are down to general wear and others caused by a puncture, for example. On the other hand, if you notice a flat tyre, it is more than likely that it has resulted from either poor road conditions, over-inflation or a leak in the valve stem and tyre bead. In order to inflate your tyres, you unscrew a valve; this is otherwise known as the valve stem. Even the smallest damage to your valve stem can cause air to leak out of the tyre, causing it to go flat.
How can it be avoided? While you cannot quite predict when you will drive over a sharp object on the road, with adequate care, you should be able to limit the likelihood of preventable tyre problems. This will include regularly checking your tyre pressure and rotating your tyres every 5,000 to 10,000 miles. We also recommend taking the time to take a quick read through your driver’s manual to find the maximum weight that your vehicle should carry. Through staying within this limit, you can avoid putting too much pressure on your tyres, keeping them in optimum condition for as long as possible.
What causes the problem? Oil plays a vital role in your engine, responsible for keeping the components clean and lubricated. However, in some cases, the oil can begin to leak, which comes alongside by far one of the most dangerous problems, an engine fire. Most engine leaks are caused when the engine gasket starts to deteriorate, but the issue can also be down to the oil drain plug or oil filler cap, so you will likely need to carry out several different checks to find the root of the problem. Again, if you are unsure, then the best solution is always to visit a mechanic.
How can it be avoided? With regular maintenance, you should be able to prevent an oil leak. This will involve ensuring that the oil is changed around every 3,000 miles or six months, whichever of the two comes first. For an easy guide on how to do this, take a look at Dummies.
What causes the problem? If you have ever seen a driver pulled over in the layby with steam streaming from the car, then it is more than likely that their vehicle has overheated. The most common cause of overheating is leaking in the cooling system, whether this may be the radiator, head gasket, hoses or any other component. Another reason may be because the driver has not put the correct coolant in their vehicle. Your car must be topped up with the right concentration of coolant; the wrong ratio of coolant to distilled water can lead to overheating. If you are unsure which coolant you need, simply ask your mechanic next time that you book in for a service, and they will be able to tell you.
How can it be avoided? It can be tricky to predict when your vehicle is going to overheat, especially if the cause is down to faulty internal components. This means that the only way to minimise the likelihood is to ensure that the coolant is regularly checked and topped up where necessary. Particularly if you are travelling long distance during the warmer months, be sure to check the coolant levels before setting off. If you are not too sure how to do this, not to worry, Prestone has put together a super helpful article on understanding your cooling system.
What causes the problem? The purpose of brake pads is to provide your vehicle with enough friction to slow down and stop, meaning that they play a pivotal role in the mechanics of your car. However, if your notice that your vehicle pulls to one side or begins to make an unusual noise while braking, then it is likely that they are becoming worn. Worn brake pads can be the result of driving techniques or faulty internal components. For example, in some cases, pads wear down due to overuse of the brakes, but they can also become damaged because of seized caliper components or hydraulic system problems. As the cause can be complex, we would always recommend consulting a mechanic if you suspect a problem with your brake pads. They should then be able to let you know the root of the issue to make any necessary changes.
How can it be avoided? The most effective way to prolong the lifespan of your brake pads is to take extra care while driving. This will involve taking it easy when braking; if you know that there is a traffic light, roundabout or junction approaching, begin to slow down in advance. The worst thing that you can do for your brake pads is to constantly go heavy on your brakes from high speeds.
Keeping Your Vehicle In Full Working Order!
Over time, it is inevitable that your vehicle will begin to show signs of wear and tear, especially if you regularly drive long distance. However, there are particular problems that can be avoided with a little extra care. Knowing the most common faults that you may experience, along with how to detect them, you can act quickly, scheduling repairs before they have the chance to grow. If you notice any issues but are unsure of the cause or how to rectify them, then the best route is always to get in touch with your local mechanic. They would always be more than happy to check the condition of your vehicle before recommending any necessary repairs.