5 Car Troubleshooting Ideas When It’s Not Running Right

Charlotte Miller

Updated on:

Having trouble starting your car? Or is it just acting different lately?

Whatever the problem is, we can help. In the following car troubleshooting guide, we list 5 of the most common automotive issues you may be experiencing. We’ll tell you what’s causing the telltale symptoms and what you can do to fix it.

Besides, this guide will only take you 5 minutes to read. And doing so could spare you from a full breakdown and an expensive tow to the nearest body shop.

So, what are you waiting for? Read and try out these troubleshooting tips to get your car running again.

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  1. The Engine Keeps Cranking

If you’re having trouble starting the car and the engine keeps cranking, it’s probably a starter battery issue. Whether your battery is dying or your starter is faulty, the engine doesn’t seem to be getting enough voltage to start properly.

Most of the time, replacing the battery will fix this. If it doesn’t, have your starter checked.

  1. A Sputtering Engine

An engine that always sputters when it runs usually indicates a problem with the fuel/air mixture. There needs to be the right ratio of fuel and air mixed together for your engine to run correctly.

Common causes of this are a dirty engine air filter or a crack or a faulty fuel injection system. Try changing the air filter and getting an oil change to see if the problem gets better. Otherwise, have a professional look at it.

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  1. Shaky Steering Wheel

If your steering wheel is shaky, something might need replacing. For instance, a damaged suspension system will cause the wheel to shake just after you pull out of your parking space.

If it only happens at high speeds, though, your tires probably just need to be balanced. Get your tires balanced and see if the problem is solved.

  1. Squeaky Brakes

Do you hear a loud screech every time you slow or stop your vehicle? That sound is your brake pads warning you that they are too worn down. If you don’t replace them soon, they can damage your brake drums.

It’s quite cheap to have them put in professionally. But it’s also easy to save a little money by doing it yourself.

  1. The Check Engine Light Is On

The check engine light means something different for every vehicle. It might just mean you are due for your next oil change. 

See if your user manual has anything to say about it. Otherwise, take your car to a professional.

Don’t Forget This Car Troubleshooting Guide

Don’t get stuck helpless on the side of the road. Remember these car troubleshooting tips and use them whenever your car is feeling under the weather.

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