Common Car Problems and How to Address Them

Poor Brake Performance

One of the worst feelings you can have behind the wheel is not trusting your car’s brakes. If you hear a loud squeaking or squealing sound, it is time to check the condition of the brake pads. If you feel or hear grinding, the brake pads have worn down completely and need immediate attention. Vibration during braking, brake fluid leak, soft brake pedal, diving to one side when braking, and other common car problems are signs your car should be serviced as soon as possible. An ASE-certified mobile mechanic can perform a brake safety inspection and replace brake pads, calipers, rotors, and other braking system components.

Bad Battery

Car batteries must be replaced every few years to ensure optimal performance for your car. Unfortunately, over time, batteries begin to fail, becoming one of the most common car problems. Sometimes, not even a quick boost from jumper cables will help, leaving you to ask, “What is wrong with my car?” So, check your car battery regularly and call a mobile mechanic if you notice any signs of a bad battery. These signs include a sluggish start, corrosion, low battery fluid, battery leak, swollen battery case, check engine light, and weak lighting.

Power Steering Failure

Changes in your power steering can be unsettling and dangerous, especially when steering becomes difficult or vibrates while driving at high speeds. So, it is important to identify the source of the problem as quickly as possible. Damaged wheels or tires, bearings, suspension, and other issues can cause vibration. However, if the steering is sluggish or you hear whining or squealing when you turn, it is most likely failing power steering components. Power steering issues are common car problems with straightforward repairs, such as power steering pump, hose, or fluid replacement.

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Bad Alternator

At some point, we all have to ask, “What is wrong with my car?” The answer is often a bad alternator. Alternators convert mechanical energy into electrical energy to feed your car’s battery and the electrical systems your car uses to function. A failing alternator transfers the energy inconsistently, causing various system malfunctions. If you have trouble starting the car, stalls, the headlights flicker, dash lights turn on, or you notice strange sounds or aromas, your alternator could be on its way out. Schedule a visit with a mobile mechanic to check and replace the alternator before it completely fails.

Old and Leaking Oil

One of the most common car problems arises from old or leaking oil that can make your car run sluggishly or cause engine components to fail eventually. Oil issues can cause many problems that limit a car’s performance, such as fuel economy. Old oil becomes a thick sludge that makes your car work harder, putting stress on various systems and parts. Further damage to the engine can occur if sludge is allowed to develop or oil leaks are left unrepaired. So, if you notice deteriorating performance, a burning smell, blue or grey smoke from the exhaust, ticking sounds, or the check oil light is on, it’s time for an oil change and service.

Cooling System Failure

Roadside breakdowns are never fun, especially when your car overheats due to cooling system issues. Cooling system issues are common car problems that can wreak havoc on your car’s inner workings if left unrepaired. For example, the cooling system could fail if your car’s temperature gauge shows high temperatures, you see smoke rising from under the hood, white smoke out of the exhaust, or the coolant is low or leaking out. Scheduling a mobile diagnostic can help identify coolant leaks and if the cooling fan, thermostat, sensor, radiator, or other cooling system components need to be replaced.

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Worn Suspension

Without suspension, you and your car would be in for a rough and tumble ride. So, a healthy suspension is necessary to keep you and your car in one piece. Shock absorbers soften bumps in the road, where struts support steering and alignment. Signs of failing suspension include a bumpier ride, misalignment, oil-covered shocks, irregular wear on the tires, vibration, knocking or rattling sounds, steering wheel shaking, diving when braking, and rolling or lurching during turns. If you notice these signs, book a mobile mechanic to diagnose the issues and make repairs on the spot so you can get safely back on the road.


Sometimes our cars let us know it’s time to have them checked out in weird and wacky ways. For example, you might see, hear, or smell something out of the ordinary with your car yet can’t find the source. So, rather than wait for it to get worse, it’s a good idea to have a mechanic look at it as soon as possible. A mobile mechanic can identify common car problems through diagnostic services, make the repairs, and get you back on the road safely with the peace of mind your car is running at peak performance.