How Can You Diagnose Common Car Problems?
December 28, 2022

How Can You Diagnose Common Car Problems?

As you know, early diagnosis is extremely important for everything from health issues to the malfunction problems of electronic devices. In fact, we can explain this with a well-known idiom “strangle something at birth”. Due to today’s global chip crisis and gradually increasing car prices, it is crucial to preserve the overall quality of your car hood parts.

In other words, if you ignore the maintenance and repair of your vehicle, you might find yourself looking at new cars. This is because fixing serious damage to a car engine causes you to pay almost a small fortune. For this reason, if you want to strangle all kinds of car breakdowns at birth, you should be aware of significant information about how to diagnose car problems.


Even though professional mechanics are quite assertive about car diagnose and car troubleshooting, amateur ones can make an existing malfunction worse. At this point, we claim that if you learn how to diagnose car problems, you can solve them better than any inexperienced mechanics. Thus, those who seek an answer to the “whats wrong with my car?” question can succeed at car troubleshooting.

As a result, we will talk about how to diagnose car problems in this article. In addition, this article includes useful information on car troubleshooting. So, if you find yourself asking “whats wrong with my car”, you should feel lucky and keep reading us!

Look Around Your Car

One of the most practical ways to diagnose car problems is based on looking around your vehicle. When you suspect any kind of mechanical issue, you should check the warning lights on your dashboard. If something goes wrong with your vehicle, you need to look at the check engine light, tire pressure light, and oil light. These lights help you diagnose car problems.

As you know, tires and wheels are important parts of your vehicle. Tires in good condition contribute to the safety of your driving. For this reason, you should take a close look at your tires and check your tire pressure with your hand. Also, the tread depth of your tires is not enough, you will have to deal with poor traction and long breaking times. Let’s talk about how to check if the tread depth is sufficient or not.


All you need to do is to find a penny and stick it in the tread. If Abraham Lincoln's head on the penny points towards above the tread, you should know that your tires are worn-out. At this point, you need to replace them with new ones. With this kind of quick eye check, taking precautions for your tires also allows you to maintain the overall ride quality of your vehicle.

Moreover, you should look underneath your vehicle to check whether there are fluid puddles. Accumulative fluid puddles underneath your vehicle can reveal serious reliability and performance problems. They include brake fluid, coolant, or oil which should be fixed as soon as possible. Therefore, it is important to always look around your vehicle to diagnose car problems. 

Follow Your Senses

As human beings, we have five sense organs which are the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and skin. Luckily, other senses are as important as your sharp sight to diagnose car problems. For this reason, if you want to be very competent in car troubleshooting, you need to follow your ear and nose too. As you can guess, we will talk about what sounds and smells foreshadow different breakdowns of your vehicle.

One of the most possible sounds of the malfunction is creaking or clunking. We can define this sound as a significant symptom of worn suspension parts. For example, if you have a faulty suspension shock, you can hear clucking. In addition, when the grease of your suspension parts dries out, these parts cannot move smoothly. So, you will have to hear the same sound of creaking like an old stair.

Another sound of breakdown is squealing or ticking. It indicates a problem with a belt under the hood of your vehicle. When you hear a rapid tick, you should question the condition of your timing belt. This is because a loose one slips over the pulleys connecting it to other parts like camshafts. Thus, if you listen to your vehicle carefully, you will know how to diagnose car problems.

Let’s look at which smells help you diagnose car problems. One of the most dangerous smells for your vehicle is closely related to smoke or burning. For example, when braking too hard or too long, the brakes of your vehicle are exposed to overheating. For this reason, you can encounter a smoky smell. The source of smoke is also a fire, so when you smell it, you should consult a professional mechanic to prevent serious engine damage.


Another smell that indicates a breakdown for your vehicle is sulfur. When you smell out rotten eggs, your catalytic converter or battery can include a problem. Also, you should watch out for the sweet smell. It results from a coolant leak that prevents your engine from preserving the correct temperature. So, the coolant leak leads to overheating problems and serious engine damage.

Compare the Ride Quality of Your Car with The Previous One

We can define your own body as an effective tool that can diagnose car problems. When you keep your hands on the steering wheel and step on the pedal, you can feel whether something goes wrong. In fact, unusual vibration, abnormal resistance, and bumpy ride cause you to question “what's wrong with my car” anyway. So, let’s talk about them to diagnose car problems.

If you face slight shakes or vibrations while driving your vehicle, you should check your tires and wheels. Also, worn-out mounts and faulty suspension lead to serious vibrations and shakes. On the other hand, if you realize a pulling or leaning sensation during the ride, you should know that there is a problem with the tires, wheels, suspension, or steering of your vehicle.

As you know, brakes have an important role in the safety system of your vehicle. In general, almost all drivers are familiar with the sensation of their brakes. If you feel spongy or low brake pedal pressure, you should suspect low brake fluid. Therefore, when you compare the ride quality of your vehicle with the previous one, your own body and five senses can help you diagnose car problems.

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