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Nine most common repair faults in cars (and how to fix them) news item
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Nine most common repair faults in cars (and how to fix them)

Running a car of any age can be expensive but if you can identify any issues before they become serious, you’ll be able to save yourself some money and keep your car in tip-top condition. From glass cracks to a hole in your exhaust, here are the most common car faults and how to fix them.

Cracked windscreen

A chipped windscreen can quickly turn into a cracked windscreen. It’s a common fault that can happen when a stone hits your windscreen while travelling at speed.

The best way to fix a chipped windscreen is to have the chip filled in as soon as possible. If the chip turns into a crack, you’ll need to have you whole windscreen replaced. If you have a windscreen that needs repairing, Optic-Kleer can help.

The same goes for cracks in your sunroof or mirrors, get these fixed as soon as you can.

Clutch

A clutch or gearbox problem could manifest itself in a number of ways. The most obvious sign that your gearbox is failing is trouble getting into gear, especially reverse. 

Listen out for unusual grinding or squealing sounds when changing gear or pressing down on the clutch. 

If you’re worried your clutch slipping you can easily test this. Start the engine in neutral with the handbrake on then depress the clutch pedal. Shift into second or third gear and rev the engine to about 2500 rpm. Carefully release the clutch pedal while maintaining the revs. As the clutch engages the flywheel and pressure plate, the engine should stall. If the engine doesn't stall, then you can be sure the clutch is slipping.

To properly diagnose and treat any of these problems, take your car to the garage to be looked at by a professional.

Electrical faults

There are a number of cars known for their electric faults but the specific type of fault can vary widely. Usually these are easy to diagnose because part of your car will stop working properly. For example, if your brake lights don’t work even after changing the bulbs, you may need to replace a fuse.

Your lights can often be a good indicator of electrical problems. If they dim while you’re driving slowly then you could have a problem with the alternator. 

To better diagnose an electrical fault, head to your local garage as they’ll be able to plug your car in to get a better sense of the problem. 

Brakes

Brake pads and discs are consumable parts so they will need to be replaced periodically. It’s relatively easy to tell if your brakes need looking at, though. Listen out for any unusual noises and feel for your car pulling under braking.

Your brakes will be checked as part of any MOT or service but if you’re worried, take your car straight to the garage.

Flat battery

Any number of things could cause a flat battery, from leaving your headlights on to cold weather. 

It’s possible to recharge your battery or jumpstart your car but if you’re regularly faced with a dead battery, you may need a replacement.

Dead bulbs

A dead bulb is an MOT failure so you should regularly check your bulbs, including fog lamps and indicators. These are usually easy fixes, albeit often a little fiddly, and you can find videos online showing you how to change a bulb in your specific model of car. If in doubt, your local mechanic can do this for you.

Wheel balance and alignment

Your wheel balance and alignment can get thrown out by all sorts of things from hitting a pothole, to speedbumps, to taking a chunk out of your tyre when hitting a kerb. You’ll feel this through your steering wheel as either vibration or a pull. Take your car to the garage to get this problem fixed.

Suspension

A problem with your suspension could lead to all sorts of problems down the line so it’s important to get any issues looked at as soon as possible. Listen out for any knocking or banging sounds as you drive your car. You should also get your suspension looked at if your car is suddenly pulling one way or another, or if the suspension feels especially unforgiving. 

Exhaust

A small hole in your exhaust can be patched but if left, this could turn into irreparable holes and cracks that could mean you’ll need to shell out for a whole new system. Listen out for unusual noises such as blowing, or a louder-than-normal exhaust note.

If you have any problem with your car or a light has come on on the dashboard, you should get this checked out immediately to stop a simple fix becoming a costly problem. 

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