Troubleshooting Auto Problems

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How to Troubleshoot Brake Problems

To check for brake problems, you step on the pedal and press it down while paying attention to how the pedal feels under your foot and evaluating the sensation. The following steps tell you what to feel [more…]

What to Carry in Your Car Toolbox

If you plan to do your own car maintenance and repairs, you need a toolbox to keep tools clean, in good shape, and all in one place. Look for a lightweight, plastic toolbox that fits easily into the trunk [more…]

Items You Should Always Keep in Your Vehicle

You can pack your auto repair toolbox with the best tools that money can buy, but all those fancy gadgets and gizmos won’t do you any good if they’re at home when your vehicle breaks down 30 miles from [more…]

How to Tell Whether Your Vehicle Needs a Tune-up

Tune-up intervals vary from one vehicle to another. Most older vehicles with non-electronic ignitions should be tuned every 10,000 to 12,000 miles or every year, whichever comes first. Newer cars with [more…]

How to Troubleshoot Catalytic Converters

The catalytic converter is a very important part of the emissions control system on your vehicle. It’s usually good for the life of a vehicle, but occasionally it does fail. The best thing you can do is [more…]

How to Troubleshoot an Overheating Engine

The first sign of a vehicle overheating is either when the needle on the temperature gauge pushes its way into the ominous red zone or the “Check Engine” or “Temperature” malfunction indicator light on [more…]

Troubleshooting Cooling System Leaks

When you find a leak in your engine's cooling system, you must decide whether to handle it yourself or to take it to a professional. The following sections cover the different types of leaks and give you [more…]

Troubleshooting Your Vehicle's Drive Train

If weird things start happening on the road, how can you tell whether your vehicle's transmission or one of the other parts of the drive train is in trouble? If this is the case, continuing to drive may [more…]

Troubleshooting the Clutch on a Manual Transmission Vehicle

Most drivers can expect their clutches to last 40,000 to 60,000 miles, but if you maintain your clutch properly, it can be good for the life of your vehicle, depending on the type of vehicle you drive [more…]

Troubleshooting Strange Sounds Coming from Your Automobile

You probably know how your vehicle sounds when it’s running properly. Listening to your car can help you troubleshoot problems. If you hear a strange sound, pay attention and react accordingly. [more…]

How to Assess Vehicle Squeaks, Rattles, and Vibrations

If your vehicle makes mysterious squeaks, rattles, or vibrations, troubleshoot the problem yourself first before taking it to an auto shop. You might save some money by checking and tightening the following [more…]

How to Assess Strange Automobile Odors

Car smells mean trouble, but you can use them to diagnose problems. The only odors you should smell inside your vehicle should come from smelly things that you’ve put in it. If you smell any of the items [more…]

How to Assess Smoke Coming from an Automobile

Exhaust coming from your vehicle's tailpipe should be clear. If you see smoke coming from your tailpipe, pay attention to the color of the smoke; you can use it to troubleshoot engine problems. It can [more…]

How to Diagnose Vehicle Engine Leaks

Pay close attention to leaks from your automobile's engine. Running a vehicle that’s drastically low on a vital fluid can cause severe damage. After you find the source of the leak, the following information [more…]

How to Assess Trouble by Checking Your Spark Plugs

You can actually read your spark plugs for valuable “clues” about how your engine is operating. If your plugs indicate that something is seriously wrong with your engine, ask a professional for an opinion [more…]

How to Tell If Your Car Is Getting Air

If you're troubleshooting engine problems, air is simple — and probably not the problem. Your vehicle gets its air through the cold air collector box, or air cleaner. Unless the air filter inside it is [more…]

How to Diagnose Vehicle Fuel Problems

If the engine turns over but doesn’t start running, the first question you need to answer is whether your fuel tank is empty. Even if your fuel gauge says that you still have some fuel, the gauge may be [more…]

Diagnosing Automobile Ignition System Problems

If your car is having problems, and you think that your engine is getting enough air and fuel, you’re probably having ignition system trouble. On traditional vehicles, the “fire” that lights the fuel/air [more…]

What to Do If Your Car Overheats

Cars overheat most often in very hot weather. It’s rare with modern vehicles, but even a well-tuned automobile can overheat. If you find yourself in stop-and-go traffic or climbing a steep grade on an [more…]

How to Diagnose Problems If Your Car Won't Start

If your car won’t start and you left your lights on after you turned off the engine, your battery is dead. But your conventionally fueled vehicle may not start for a number of reasons. The following list [more…]

How to Jump Start a Car

If your battery has died, you may be able to use jumper cables to jump start it from some good Samaritan's vehicle. If you can safely use jumper cables on your vehicle, make sure that the battery on the [more…]

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