We all don’t like surprises when it comes to our cars, especially the kind that leave us stranded on the highway in bad weather. Below are the highlights from “Unwelcome Surprises” on how to prevent these problems.
1. Dead Battery:
Although the effect of a drained battery often shows up on cold mornings, it’s the high temperatures of summer that usually do the most damage. So a battery can fail at any time. Be sure to have the battery and alternator tested as part of an annual inspection.
2.Flat Tire or Blowout:
Any tire problems result from underinflated tires that overheat, due to low tire pressure. Keep all tires, including the spare, properly inflated to the automaker’s recommended pressure by checking them monthly. Also, inspect the tire sidewalls for bulges or cracks.
3. Fluid Leak:
Check the car’s fluid levels regularly, using your owner’s manual as a guide. Look for leaks on the pavement where you park. Black drips are oil; green, orange, or yellow are coolant; and brown or reddish oily drips can be transmission or brake fluid. Any of those can spell trouble and warrant a trip to the mechanic to inspect your car.
4. Worn out wipers or no fluid
Consumer Reports’ auto testers have found that wipers usually degrade in their first six months so it’s best to replace them twice a year. Simply get an extra pair of quality blades.
5. Blown Fuse:
When a fuse goes, it can disable a critical electrical system, such as the headlights, defroster, or antilock brake system, any of which could lead to an accident. What to do. You can’t prevent an electrical problem, but a blown fuse should be the first thing you check if one happens. Be sure to check your owner’s manual to make sure the fuses you buy are the correct amp rating and size. If the same fuse blows repeatedly, have a mechanic inspect the system.
6. Broken Drive Belt
It can disable the car’s water pump or alternator, leading to engine overheating and battery failure. And when it comes to maintenance, belts are easy to forget. How to prevent it. periodic checks under the hood. If a belt has cracks or the rubber is fraying or feels brittle, it should be replaced. If there’s a lot of slack in the belt, the underside is shiny, or you hear squealing while driving, it should be adjusted or repaired. Most drive belts should be replaced after about 96,600kms.
7. Locked out:
It is possible but hardly happens, but if it does some carmakers provide a valet key or a plastic key for emergency use. This can fit in your purse. Telematics services, such as GM’s OnStar, can unlock a car remotely.
Adopted From: www.consumerists.org/cars/2010/03/7-car-problems-that-can-leave-you-stranded.html