Car repair is nothing new. As long as there have been vehicles on the road, there have been people to fix them when they are broken down. But as time went on, the car repair services themselves became more complex, and owners are more confused than ever about what was wrong and how to fix it.
This short guide details the five most common car problems, and what you can do to help.
1. Dead Car Battery
Your car's battery should last either three years or 50,000 miles, whichever comes first. While there are always exceptions to that rule, it's a good idea to get it changed around that time period just to ensure that you don't end up stranded in a parking lot somewhere. If you are, a tow truck or good samaritan may be able to give you a jump, then you may be able to drive it for a few minutes if you can to charge up the battery, but get it to a car repair shop immediately where they can replace the battery for you.
2. Broken Alternator
The alternator has two responsibilities. First, it supplies a charge to the battery so that it stays operational, and second, it helps distribute the energy to other electrical components in your car as needed. If it goes out, it can seem like a dead battery, but if a new battery drains also, it's probably the alternator. Switching it out isn't a huge issue (depending on the car), but it's still best to let a car repair mechanic diagnose and fix it.
3. Shaky Steering Wheel
If your steering wheel shakes, it can be more than annoying — it could be the sign of something much bigger. Depending on how soon after you start driving it starts, it could either be the wheel bearing, suspension, or tires that are out of balance. Car repair service shops have the equipment to be able to test all three.
4. Grinding Brakes
Like everything else on your car, your brakes will eventually wear out. When that happens, you'll begin to hear a squealing sound, and if it gets worse, it'll start to grind, possibly with metal on metal. This is not only damaging to your car but dangerous. Your rotors will wear out, which is expensive to replace, or your brakes may fail completely, causing an accident. It's best to get them checked and replaced by a licensed mechanic as soon as possible.
If you have any of these issues, reach out to a car repair service in your area.