4 Ridiculous Common Car Faults
As a car owner, you will no doubt be aware of the massive dirge of common car faults that can befall drivers at any given time.
Whether it’s a car garage giving you an eye-watering bill for a “simple repair”, or one of the common car faults where your car fails to start en route to your biggest conference of the year. Common car faults are a problem that most of us could do without.
While some of us driver cars that run with pristine authority, some drivers just cannot seem to get out of the street without something going wrong!
So… to try and get yourself prepared for auto life, here are five of the most common car faults you are likely to make or witness at one stage:
A Lack of Life
Battery problems are the bane of any driver’s existence.
Common car faults like draining the battery by leaving the lights on overnight can be a terrible mistake, especially if you can’t get to work because of a flat battery.
The problem is that you don’t hear of these common car faults regularly as you should – but they happen all the time!
Common car faults like this have been a long-term problem for many motorists over the years. The best way to dodge this problem is to buy a charge kit so that you can get yourself going in the morning, or to live next door to the world’s friendliest neighbor who happens to have a jump lead pack.
Doh! This is one of the most common car faults issues you’ll see on the roads. In fact, on any typical work week you’re likely to see at least one absolutely raging person standing by their car waiting for vehicle support to arrive, usually in the rain. A flat tyre can be dodged, by making sure you go for a car service regularly and getting your tyres checked out.
Ah, fuel – one of the most costly resources on the planet. Fuel problems are part of the common car faults pack. For a typical driver and the best way to deal with these problems is to make sure that you ALWAYS use the correct fuel in your vehicle. Sound stupid? Okay well hands up how many have put the wrong fuel in their car?
Common car faults can also entail damaged vehicle cables. This can be so infuriating because they can literally put you off the road. A car with damaged brake cables, a weak throttle cable or a useless clutch cable is effectively a massive danger on the road. Here’s some advice: get those cables checked pronto. Find a good garage and get those cables looked at and replaced.
Another suggestion is to try a buy a solid car from the get go. This may sound obvious, but you would be surprised at the level of poor electrics that are found in cars. However a good car garage should be able to sort you out with an easy and reliable fix fast.
To health and vehicle happiness,
Your fearless mechanic,
CHECK YOUR CAR BATTERY
You may think that checking the car battery every now and again should be a given.
But unfortunately, you’d be surprised just how many people fail to do it until it is too late.
During winter month’s car battery corrosion is likely to build up. So take some time out to check your battery posts and cables to make sure you have no problems.
It’s a cold winter’s morning and your running late for work, you dash to the car to start it up only to find out – it won’t turn over.
Although the problem could be a number of things, from my experience a worn out/corroded car battery can be a culprit.
If you don’t like the idea of your day coming to a grinding halt, then checking your car battery for corrosion is a must.
Nothing should come between your car and a good battery connection. The problem is, it only takes getting a touch of that crusty residue on your battery posts to prevent your “baby” from firing up.
Lets be straight… I don’t mean to state the obvious, but your car battery is used to start the car – it’s the “get go” for every function/system your car uses, so the more white crusty corrosion you have around your battery posts, the weaker the connection between your car and the battery. Car battery corrosion therefore either needs to removed, or depending on the condition of your battery perhaps replaced altogether.
If you head down to your local Halfords, you will find stacks of products available to help you clean your car battery. But the fact still remains you need to get your car battery clean, and keep it clean.
REMOVING THE BATTERY TERMINALS
The first naturally natural step would be to remove your car battery terminals.
Just the same way you can’t vacuum your living room properly without moving the perhaps the sofa, you can’t clean a battery post correctly without removing the car battery terminals connected.
Depending on the type of car battery terminals, you will probably need to use one or two wrenches.
Take a look at the terminals, should find that they should either have a nut one side and a nut on the other, or a fixed large square on one side and a nut on the other. If it has a large fixed square, you’ll only need one wrench.
However if you have a car battery terminal that has two nuts, grab one nut with something like a universal plier on one end, and use an open ended wrench or a small crescent wrench on the other – ideally a tool that fits snug will work best.
Now be sure to remove the negative car cable first. Turn the outside nut counterclockwise until you have about 1/16-inch of unscrewed space on the bolt. At this point if you’re lucky, a slight twist will pull the car battery terminal connectors right off, but it might not be that simple.
If your car battery connectors seem to be a touch stuck, take a flat head screwdriver and gently insert it into the gap above the bolt in an attempt to pry the car battery terminal open.
NB: It’s not a good idea to try prying the terminal connectors off the posts in an upward motion, because depending on how stuck they are – you could end up pulling the posts totally out of the car battery itself. Not good.
If they’re still being stubborn, add a little brute strength perhaps using some pliers and they should loosen up.
So now you should be looking at the car battery, with the connector terminals fully separated. Depending on your end goal, now time to either clean the car battery components up, or replace the car battery altogether which would be a similar procedure of how you took the old battery out – with a few additions.
CLEANING YOUR CAR BATTERY POSTS
There are always a number of ways to get a job done, and cleaning your car battery posts of corrosion is one of them.
Now if you were on a desert island with a can of Coca Cola and your car (goodness knows how), an old adage will tell you that if you pour Coke over you battery posts it should remove the nasty white crusty stuff.
Ok, this method may work, but… the fact remains we are not on a desert island, so I would suggest using something a touch more… clean and effective to do the job.
If you check out your local auto store, you will be stuck for choice with the number of anti corrosion fluids available to buy – but don’t get it twisted, they are pretty much all the same.
With your battery terminals off, squirt the anti corrosion solution onto the car battery posts and the terminals, take particular care to target the inside of the terminal’s connectors.
With a little brush (a toothbrush is great), start working the solution into the car battery posts and the terminals, especially those stubborn spots. You probably notice that foaming will start to occur – it’s ok, as it’s the anti corrosion solution doing its job and it’s good to leave it on for a few minutes.
Rinse the car battery solution off with a little water, install anti-corrosion discs if you’re using them (see next step), re-install the terminals, positive side first and you’re ready to rock and roll – job done!
NB: For those of you a touch cash strapped, these anti corrosion eating fluids are nothing but simple baking soda and water, so feel free to make your own!
BACK TO THE OLD SCHOOL
Method 2: The Wire Brush
As a rookie, I personally like to take it back to the old school by using the tried and tested method of cleaning car battery connections. I like to think of it as the authentic way to get your battery posts and terminals clean, involving a touch of the good ‘ole elbow grease and a wire brush.
Okay… so you will need to pick up I would say a medium stiffness wire brush and some eye protection. The rule of thumb is, if you can bend the bristles back and forth easily, that’s medium enough.
Put your eyewear on, and to be extra safe perhaps a dust mask– brushing corrosion can sometimes cause it to fly around.
With the terminals off the battery posts, put some elbow grease into brushing the car battery parts. In particular, pay attention to the inside of the car battery connector terminals, if you have a smaller sized wire brush this should help make it little easier for you.
Work up a sweat until the corrosion has been completely removed, and you’re left looking at clean metal, and once clean, install anti-corrosion discs if you’re using them (see next step), re-install the terminals, positive side first, and you’re ready to roll.
Optional: The Anti-Corrosion Disc
I’m guessing that you would prefer your battery posts and terminals to stay clean for as long as possible.
That being the case, anti corrosion terminal protectors are specifically made for keeping corrosion away on car battery posts.
To my surprise, I’ve had a flutter with them and they kind of work – well to some extent. However with cars prone to car battery corrosion they didn’t work so great, so the choice is yours.
Using the discs is pretty self-explanatory. With the terminals removed; put the discs over the post, placing the red disc on the positive post and the green on the negative. Connect your battery terminals, positive first, negative after and you’re good to go.
I hope that helps.
But if you’re still not too sure, or would like a touch of assistance, feel free to get in touch – we’d be happy to help.
To health and vehicle happiness,
Your fearless car mechanic