Common Car Problems & How To Handle Them Like a Pro

Anupama Nair
Published in
7 min readDec 12, 2022


One of the biggest concerns that first-time car buyers have, is servicing and maintenance. This worry is only exacerbated when it comes to the second-hand car market. The constant wondering of what could go, how to fit it, and how to handle it without rushing to the service center, often pushes buyers away from their purchase. But with the right kind of information, you can equip yourself to handle most problems.

Car problems can be a huge nuisance and inconvenience, but they don’t have to be. With the right knowledge and approach, you can handle most car problems like a pro. From minor fixes to more complex issues, learning how to identify and address common car problems can save you time, money, and frustration.

This article will provide you with the information you need to diagnose and fix the most common car problems and keep your car running in peak condition.

What are the most common car problems?

Bad brakes — Sometimes you need to pump the brakes to stop the car. If they squeal, make a grinding noise, or don’t work at all, you need to get them looked at right away. -

Transmission issues — A bad transmission will make it difficult, or even dangerous, to drive your car. You may experience a delay when accelerating or you may have trouble going up hills. You may even hear a clicking sound when you shift gears.

Engine troubles- If your engine runs poorly, has a lack of power, knocks, knocks, or makes other unusual sounds, it may be time for a new engine.

Tires — Bad tires will make your car handle poorly, increase fuel consumption and make you more likely to get into an accident.

Alignment — You will notice a car pulling to one side if the alignment is bad.

Shocks — You may feel bouncing or the car may seem to be bottoming out.

How to identify car problems & Solve common issues

Bad brakes

If you have to pump the brakes to stop your car, it could be a sign of poor maintenance or a faulty brake system. You want your brakes to stop you in a controlled manner without any pumping required. It could be due to a lack of maintenance or bad weather conditions

If your brakes are bad, you should have them checked. You may be able to fix the problem yourself with a visual inspection and minor adjustments. If you have to pump the brakes to stop the car, you may need to bleed the brake system.

To ensure your brakes are working properly, you should have them checked at least once a year. You should also inspect them visually every time you get your oil changed. If you have worn pads or rotors, have them replaced before the problem becomes worse. You should also regularly flush your brake fluid.

Transmission issues

If you experience a delay when accelerating, you may have a transmission problem. You may also notice your engine revving higher than normal. You may also see a warning light on your dash indicating a transmission problem.

To prevent transmission problems, make sure you regularly have your fluid changed. You should change it every 40,000 miles if driving in hot weather and every 30,000 miles if driving in cold weather.

Engine Troubles

Can we start with a bad joke? The if the “check engine light” is on, you’ve got engine troubles!

On a serious note, to identify a bad engine, listen for knocking, ticking, or pinging. You should also be aware of the smell of burning oil. If your engine is running poorly, you may notice a lack of power, especially at higher RPMs or when going uphill.

You can prevent serious engine issues by changing the oil regularly, keeping the engine clean, changing spark plugs as necessary, and replacing the air filter as required. You can also install a fuel filter to prevent contamination of your engine.

If you do have your check engine light on, pull up your car’s user manual. Observe the flashing, pulsing, or patterns on the check engine light, and identify the corresponding issue. If it involves the emission, check if there’s any debris blocking the pipes. It may also be a good idea to pop the hood and check on the engine oil.

In some cases, it may also be a sensor malfunction. So it’s really up to you to know if your car feels different to drive. The best way forward is to drive it to a service station.


Bad tires will make your car noticeably less responsive, increase your fuel consumption and make you more likely to get into an accident. You should check the tread depth on your tires to ensure they meet the minimum legal requirement.

Make sure to check the tread depth on your tires to ensure they meet the minimum legal requirement. You can also rotate your tires to prevent uneven wear.

If your tire is visibly low on air or has a rupture, it’s a good idea to swap out your tires immediately. Here’s a video to help you out

Bad alignment

When the alignment is off, you will feel the car pulling to one side. This can be dangerous if you are driving on a road where other cars are present. You may also notice decreased gas mileage.

Alignment is something you can not fix on your own. If your alignment is off, you will need to drive your car to an alignment shop or service center as soon as possible. Make sure to take a small drive around your parkway and identify the adjustment you’d have to make while driving.

Bad shocks

You will feel the car bouncing if the shocks are bad. You may notice the car bottoming out when going over bumps. Scrapes, thuds, and booms are common when it gets bad.

Bad shocks can not be fixed at home (unless you have a full-fledged garage at home).

When to take your car to a professional

If you feel unsure about taking care of a problem yourself, you may want to consider taking your car to a mechanic.

If you are dealing with a major car problem, such as a broken transmission, it can be beneficial to pay a mechanic to fix your car. If you are dealing with a minor problem, such as a broken tail light, you may be able to save money by fixing it yourself.

You can often find guides to fix car problems online, which can be helpful if you are unsure how to handle the issue. If you are dealing with a major car problem, such as a broken transmission, it can be beneficial to pay a mechanic to fix your car.

This will ensure the repair is done properly and you don’t cause additional damage to the car. If you are dealing with a minor problem, such as a broken tail light, you may be able to save money by fixing it yourself.

Why are young buyers not-interested in going to professionals?

The car service industry has a reputation for being unreliable and less trustworthy. Enterprises that begin offering car services must overcome the lack of trust among customers. Like many other sectors, the car service industry has a bad reputation among consumers. Consumers often associate car services with subpar work, stiff penalties, and hidden fees. They also fear that a car service provider might not show up for an appointment. As a result, large numbers of customers are hesitant to use car services. This is a huge challenge for any fast-growing company in the sector because car services are all about convenience.

In a sector where most of the work is carried out manually, using physical tools in a semi-organized manner, ensuring quality is an uphill climb. More often than not, the biggest challenge is the inability to measure quality. Service standards are set, and SOPs (standard operating procedures) are drawn up and revised frequently. But there is no way to ensure that these standards are being met, apart from enlisting additional manpower to manually monitor processes.

Do we have a solution?

Yes! Several second-hand car dealers and one of the leading car manufacturers in India have adopted a new technology that brings about traceability and transparency in the car service industry. This solution allows managers and customers to view their entire car service procedure clearly. Choosing a vendor that has such transparency can alleviate much of your worry.

Astra is Vicara’s motion-technology-based solution that improves the efficiency of maintenance & repair operations through accurate analytics. Data is collected for all activities performed, it is matched up to the standard, and the collated information is presented to managers and stakeholders via a visual dashboard.

How it works:

  1. Motion sensors are added to commonly used tools such as wrenches, jacks, and more
  2. The sensors collect data on actions performed, their accuracy, idle time, and time is taken for execution
  3. It can also accurately measure and confirm how well the repair actions matched the standards
  4. Data collected from sensors are constantly shared via the cloud
  5. Floor managers and decision-makers can see live data on performance through an interactive dashboard

Love it?

Tell your car dealer about it!

Read the Case Study Here

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