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Signs That Point Out a Fault in Your Car

By Juhi Walia
18 August 2022, 11:13 AM

Cars are not maintenance-free. You’ll soon discover this life lesson if you don’t already know it. If you do your homework and stay on top of the maintenance, your car will reward you with a lifetime of reliable service. If you ignore the signs, they will come back to bite you in the form of breakdowns, expensive repairs, and safety risks. 

With years of use, they acquire small faults in their parts that can lead to significant problems down the line. While you can always call a mechanic to check out your car, it won’t hurt if you could do a self-check first. This way, you’ll know how urgent the matter is and be better prepared to deal with it. Coupled with your car insurance policy, you should have an easy way out to fix these problems when they arise. 

These faults are usually fairly easy to spot if you know what to look for, and fortunately, there are plenty of warning signs that indicate something is amiss with your car. We’ve compiled just a few here to help keep things in check:

The Car Shakes or Shudders When Accelerating

If this is happening without accompanying symptoms or peculiarities, it may be an early sign of brake wear out. This is especially relevant if the brake dust has turned red or dark brown. In this case, it means they’re way past their best.

Car Vibrates When Braking

This may seem like a normal phenomenon when braking at high speeds, but you should have your mechanic take a look if this happens often and the speed of your deceleration is not that high. The problem could be in the bearings.

Steering Wheel Shakes or Rattles When Hitting Bumps

This can point to something as simple as a loose steering wheel cover, but it could also be an indicator of a more serious problem with the steering rack. It would be best to get it checked out as soon as possible.

The Engine Makes Weird Sounds When You Accelerate

This may be a sign of worn-out gears, bearings, or even the pulley that turns the belt. It happens only when you start the car and then goes away once it’s warmed up, this clearly indicates worn-out timing belts.

Do not delay in getting it fixed as soon as possible because it may lead to expensive damage to other parts. And also, when there is an engine overload leading to serious damage, you may need to use your engine protection car insurance add-on because it's a major fault that will need to be fixed.

Spark Plug Wires Wearing and Tearing

You may need to replace the spark plug wires. They should ideally be replaced every 30,000 miles, but you can check them on your own if you’re confident with this process. And yes, it should be fine for you to do this yourself. If not, get a mechanic or an auto electrician to do it for you.

Excessive Emission of Carbon Monoxide

If the car emits too much carbon monoxide, it's a good idea to have it checked out as soon as possible. The three possible causes for this are:

  • The engine is running too hot or too cold

This can be due to a bad thermostat. Coolant leaks from the water pump or other parts that control coolant circulation. It could also be due to an exhaust leak. If you see any sign of leaking coolant, you should expect costly damage done to your engine every time you drive the car.

  • The check engine light comes on

If the car’s computer detects a fault, it will display this warning signal. If you see it, you need to check the error code out as soon as possible. Every car is different, so check this out first and then go from there.

  • The engine misfires or backfires

This can be due to faulty spark plugs or air leaks in the fuel system.

Rattle or Tapping Noises From the Engine

It could be caused by worn-out bearings and or lost bolts. If a mechanic can’t identify the source of that rattle, then it’s best to replace them all.

Squeak on Acceleration

A squeak can indicate an oil leak. If there is one, then you need to have it checked out by an experienced mechanic immediately, as it can lead to expensive engine damage.

Check Your Tyres for Uneven Wear

This is easy to do. All you need to do is get out of the car and walk around it. If you notice that one side looks or feels different from another, then it’s time to rotate your tyre. Also, make sure to never be scared to invoke your car insurance policy in the case of heavy accidental damage.

Brake Pads and Rotors are Wearing Out

This is a very simple thing to check out. You can look at them inside the car if you want, but keep in mind that if there is a noticeable difference between them, they must be replaced.


You need to invest in the right tools and learn how to fix things on your own. There’s simply no replacement for the expertise of a mechanic, and they can save you a whole lot of money if they know what they’re doing. However, you should be learning how to spot these signs because it will help keep your car running at its best until the time that you have it completely fixed.

Read more-


1. How do you find out if your car needs fluids?

You check the oil, coolant, and power steering levels. Sometimes there’s also a recommended minimum level that you should aim to keep in tyres on as well, but this will depend on what kind of car you drive.

2. Is it safe for anyone to do their car repairs?

There are plenty of things that any driver can fix on their own, but the more serious issues will require expert help. 

3. Can faults in your car lead to expensive damage?

Yes, unchecked faults often lead to extensive damage.

4. What is the most common car fault?

The most common car fault is a dead battery or flat tyres.

5. Can car faults easily be fixed?

Yes, car faults can be fixed once diagnosed.

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