The Three Most Common Car Problems and How to Fix Them

The Three Most Common Car Problems and How to Fix Them

Today’s cars have a lot of computers and sensors that can lead to some unusual problems if they malfunction. However, with some knowledge and the right tools, you can get almost any car back on the road again. 

The trick is knowing what those common problems are and knowing how to fix them. There are a few universal issues that crop up in every car sooner or later. Below, we’ll detail the three most common car problems that you’re likely to encounter and explain how to fix them.

These solutions are general advice only and won’t work for every car or problem. If you suspect that your car has another issue beyond these three, contact a mechanic for further assistance. With this information in mind, you should be able to handle the majority of situations yourself.

Check the Oil

If you’ve ever seen a car with a neglected engine, you might be surprised at just how black the oil inside the engine can get. This isn’t a mark of quality. Rather, it’s a sign of neglect. While some car owners religiously check the engine oil, many others don’t bother. This is a huge mistake. 

The engine oil isn’t just there to lubricate the moving parts inside the engine. It also serves as a vital filter. It traps dirt and other harmful particles that could otherwise clog the fuel injectors and cause expensive engine damage. If your car’s oil level is getting low, you can probably see it in the engine. 

If you see a lot of black, sludgy oil in there, chances are good that you need to put in a fresh batch. If you don’t, the engine will overheat, and the damage will be catastrophic.

Fix a Slow Shifting or Slipping Shifter

If your car’s transmission feels as though it’s struggling to shift gears, you might have a problem with the transmission fluid. It’s the stuff that allows the gears to smoothly and quickly change from one to another. 

If it’s low or has worn out, you’ll notice a problem in the way your car shifts gears. If the transmission fluid is low, you can add more of it. However, if it’s worn out, you’ll need to replace it. This fluid is often red and can be bought at any auto parts store. 

Just be sure to get the right type for your car. If your transmission fluid has dropped too low, you’ll see it dripping down the side of your car. If it’s worn out and bubbling out of the transmission, you’ll smell it and see it inside the car. Either way, you’ll need to get the transmission fluid replaced.

Tires: Flush, rotate, and repair

Air and fuel may be the two things that power your car, but tires are the only thing that connects you to the road. If your tires are in bad shape, your car won’t perform well. 

While you might not think about your tires very often, it’s important to keep an eye on them. The guy at the tire shop is often surprisingly knowledgeable and can spot problems that you miss at home. 

You should also be sure to rotate your tires every 5,000 miles. This helps them wear more evenly and last longer, saving you money on new tires. If your tires are worn, you shouldn’t ignore the problem. Instead, have them repaired or replaced before they become unsafe.

Battery: Test and replace

Your car’s battery is responsible for starting your car’s engine. If it fails, your car won’t start. While you can jump-start the car with another vehicle, you can only do this a few times before it’s damaging to both batteries. 

Unfortunately, batteries tend to die at the worst possible time. If you’ve just been in an accident, you might have a dead battery. If you’re in cold weather, the battery is more likely to die. 

To test your battery, you can use a voltmeter, or you can simply turn the key. If the voltmeter shows that the battery is below 12 volts, it needs to be replaced. If it doesn’t turn over when you turn the key, it’s dead and needs to be replaced.


The car is one of the most important things we own. It can be a great source of freedom and adventure. However, it only works if it’s in good condition. 

The trick is to know what those common problems are and knowing how to fix them. With this information in mind, you should be able to handle the majority of situations yourself.


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