Whether you drive a car right off the lot, or are cruising around in a classic, one thing you can be sure of: something will break sooner or later. With all those moving parts it's only a matter of time. In this article we'll discuss common items that malfunction, even with proper maintenance. Let's start with the most common.
Some are tougher than others and will last the life of a vehicle. Some might need replaced or rebuilt two or three times in the same time span. There are a few ways to tell if your transmission is in need of attention. The most common is when your transmission begins slipping or just plain quits. Slipping describes shifting that seems jerky, or rough. You may not notice it when going from Park to Reverse, but instead you might feel it as the vehicle is in motion. This could be solved by a tranny flush and filter change, but usually it means the gears are getting worn. Checking your transmission fluid is vital. The fluid is normally supposed to be red. A darker shade or even brownish color means the fluid is being run hotter than it should, which could cause slippage.
2. Ball Joints and Tie Rods
These control the steering of the vehicle. Really not only just the ball joints and tie rods, but many other parts can malfunction or break that control you're teering. Although there isn't a fluid or oil you can just add to your vehicle to prevent breakages, there are a couple ways to ensure extra life of these parts. One way is to avoid potholes, speed bumps and objects lying in the road. These put a huge amount of strain on your steering and suspension. Another way to possibly make your steering and suspension a part last a little longer is by watching for uneven tire wear. Uneven tire wear means something is beginning to wear or has worn out. If this is the case, have the part replaced as soon as possible to help the surrounding parts.
3. Electrical Problems and Malfunctions
This could be anything from a burnt out headlight to that pesky window switch that doesn't work anymore. Many people are afraid to tackle a simple fix such as a window switch or burnt out dash lights. In newer vehicles it can be somewhat confusing, but it should not sway a person from proper maintenance. Not only does it give a sense of accomplishment, but it’s also for your safety, those in your vehicle with you, and those of us who share the road with you. So please, feel free to ask people for help if needed.
One of the most underestimated parts on a vehicle. Not only do they have a huge impact on how the vehicle handles and steers, but they also help during winter months on snow and ice, and even rain. Worn tires are one of the most dangerous situations a person can have. Have your tires checked regularly. It's wise to simply look at them and check the air pressure every week or so. Tires don't have to be used often to break down. Even sitting in the garage for a couple weeks can cause damage. Safety first folks, keep them checked!