We love our cars, don't we?
There is nothing better than getting in your car over the weekend and taking a cruise! Along coastlines, or through a mountain pass. Just taking it all in as our vehicles do all the work.
But then... a clunk, whizz, and vrrrrr come from the engine... what could be wrong? Can I fix it? And more importantly, how much will it cost? It stands to reason. Cars are made up of many, many thousands of parts all working in perfect harmony to get us from A to B. And when things go wrong, we get worried!
Luckily, we are far better off now than in the past. Cars are just infinitely more reliable now than they were 60 years ago. They also have so many more onboard systems that help detect problems even before they can become something more serious.
That said, do you think you have what it takes to troubleshoot a range of common car problems? In this quiz, we will give you a scenario or question and test your knowledge of what the likely cause of the problem is.
Sounds easy, doesn't it? Let's hope you know you catalytic converters from your oil pumps!
An engine that is totally dead and won't turn over could have a number of causes. The first thing to check is that the terminals are connected to the battery. You won't believe how easily these can actually come off.
That light should not be ignored! If it starts to glow, check your oil immediately. If the oil in your engine is too low, it can cause massive damage.
The head gasket is no longer making a seal and this is probably as a result of a cracked engine block.
The battery is not taking charge and either a cell is dead or your car's alternator is not working properly.
Fouled up spark plugs will not fire properly. This can certainly lead to your engine misfiring. In fact, it's a good idea to clean them regularly.
A wearing belt, which is generally easy to spot as it would have frayed, can be replaced fairly simply. That will solve your squeaking problem.
The alternator helps keep your battery charged. If it is not working, the battery will slowly drain of power. A dead alternator will eventually mean a car that is going nowhere. Luckily, they are fairly easy to replace.
A leaking radiator is a massive problem. If not fixed, coolant levels will drop, your engine will overheat and could seize. A quick fix is to use a radiator sealant, but ultimately, it will need to be replaced.
Worn brake pads are dangerous! As soon as your brakes begin to squeal or shudder under normal braking, the brake pads should be checked and replaced if necessary.
An overheating engine is no joke. If the radiator has no leaks and you cannot see coolant on the ground once the car has been standing, then the problem could like with the thermostat. This helps to regulate the engine temperature and if broken, can make the engine overheat.
If an engine is running too rich, too much gas is been pumped into it, and it cannot be burned effectively. Not only are you wasting money but it means the engine is not running at the optimal level either.
A flooded engine simply will not start. This is because the gas/air mixture is too rich. There is too much gasoline for combustion to take place. Wait 20 minutes an try again but do not press the accelerator when starting the car.
Most oil although black when new, will go a browning color once cycled through the engine as a lubricant.
Because the driver holds a steering wheel, effectively steading themselves, some vibration are not felt as much as they would be in the passenger seat. An intense vibration felt while sitting there is in all likelihood a broken motor mount.
The engine warning light can indicate a small problem or it could indicate a big problem. It's better to get it checked out as soon as possible.
A problem with the fuel/air mixture could mean that the engine runs poorly. The carburetor regulates this and should be the first thing you check.
A spark is needed for the engine to turnover as this helps ignite the fuel/air mixture. The broken distributor means that the spark won't happen.
If the battery is ok, the next thing to check is the starter motor. If the engine won't turn over, it may be jammed.
Diesel engines are very different to petrol engines. Glow plugs help heat the motor to help it start. If they are faulty, starting might prove difficult.
This is a SERIOUS problem. Stop the car before anymore damage is done, call a mechanic and hope the engine can be saved.
Believe it or not, sometimes wheel nuts do come loose. Make sure you check them regularly.
Mufflers suffer wear and tear doing their job of keeping your car quiet. If they get a hole in them, they no longer do their muffling, hence a louder engine noise as the gases escape down the tailpipe.
Yes, a faulty ignition coil can cause a car to run, even though it has been switched off and the key removed. No, it's not the previous owner's ghost.
It's that simple. A car engine uses oil for lubrication. If there isn't enough, thanks to an oil leak perhaps, the engine will seize. Sadly, there is no quick fix and hopefully it was noticed in time.
Fairly serious as your brakes stop you, don't they? It may be a problem with the hydraulic system.
The cabin air filter is found in the glove box in most vehicles. It helps clean the air coming into the cabin but can be clogged up with all sorts of nasties and then will start failing in its primary task. It is easy to replace.
As the new oil will flow through the oil filter, it too will need to be replaced to ensure the new oil stays clean and effective at lubricating the engine.
Not all cars have traction control. This system is great in keeping your car on the road but make sure you check it out when this warning light comes on.
A whirring or rumbling sound that increases as you speed up is a classic case of a worn wheel bearing. You will need to have it replaced.
A smell of rotten eggs is generally a sign that your catalytic converter is failing. It cannot convert the exhaust gases into sulfur dioxide.
The easiest explanation for fading lights is the fact that your battery is not been charged as the alternator is not working properly.
It is imperative to have your car's wheel alignment checked often. The slightest knock can put it out and that will lead to tires wearing unevenly.
Part of the cleaning system on the catalytic converter is a honeycomb cluster. This often breaks free from the housing of the converter and will then rattle. Replace the converter to fix this problem.
A car needs fuel to start, it's part of the ignition process. If a fuel pump has failed, it will not be pushing fuel into the ignition system and the car won't start.
If there is a fault within the starter motor, it can often drain power during the startup process. That would cause the interior lights to dim. Replace it before it becomes something more serious!