When your car isn’t running the best, it can leave you wondering what is going on. And unless you’re a seasoned mechanic, that is a difficult question to answer.

To help, we created a shortlist of common car problems that many drivers experience (some at their fault…).

Remember, car problems vary from car to car. What may be a common issue in a Subaru isn’t a common issue for a Ford. The same goes for a commuter car and a farm truck. What we are saying is — always get your car problems checked out by your local mechanic, no self-diagnosing here.

Common Car Problems, Northwest Auto of Houston

10 Common Car Problems

From dead batteries to flat tires to squeaks when you brake, these are just a few common car problems many drivers experience.

1) Flat Tires

One of the worst feelings as a driver is feeling your tire going flat. Whether from a sharp object in the road, your tire pressure being off, or regular wear and tear over time, flat tires are a common problem for drivers.

And one that drivers should be ready to handle. Time to watch a few YouTube videos on changing a tire, making sure you have all you need in your car (have you seen your jack lately), and know the right protocols to staying safe when pulled off on the side of the road.

2) Dead Batteries

Left your lights on overnight? You may find yourself with a dead battery in the morning. Or perhaps it’s a super cold morning, and your battery was on its last leg. Either way, without the juice, you won’t be moving anywhere.

3) Overheating Car

Especially in the Texas heat, this is one of the common car problems for drivers in the South.

And it could be several things. From issues with your radiator, to your water pump, to not enough oil in your engine, your car is running hot for a reason. So it would help if you run it straight to your local mechanic.

4) Decline in Fuel Efficiency

Right off the lot, cars have their best fuel efficiency.

But, as time goes on from wear and tear, dirty filters, and full trunks, fuel efficiency goes down. So while improvable with regular maintenance, eventually, everyone’s fuel efficiency goes down. It’s up to you how quickly (and drastically) that happens. Performing services every 30,000 miles (throttle body and fuel injection services – brake and power steering flushes/services), the aforementioned will definitely help to keep your vehicle be as efficient as possible.

5) Noisy Brakes

Your brakes have an essential task — stopping you either slowly or suddenly (put the phone down please). When you notice something “off,” it’s a good idea to get your brakes checked out.

And as a wear-and-tear part, it’s not uncommon to experience changes in your brakes. They all need replacing at some point.

6) Shaking Steering Wheel

A shaking wheel is one of drivers’ common car problems. It could strike at any time, when starting your car, when coming to a stop, when speeding up — it all depends on the root cause (because there is a number of things that can cause that).

7) Failed Emissions Test

Many US states require emissions testing to keep your car registered, and this includes Texas. And while similar, every state has a specific set of rules and standards your vehicle must meet to stay on the road.

Luckily, after failing the test, you should get a rundown of what is wrong to fix it and get back on the road.

8) Fast Oil Consumption

Notice your car has been GUZZLING down oil lately? You’re not alone.

Even though it’s a common issue in cars, it shouldn’t be ignored as it is an indicator of underlying problems – (have you gotten your oil changed and filter replaced lately?) or a problem with your engine’s health, it’s time to take your car in.

9) Cracked Windshields

You’ve got a chip or a crack? Bummer. And while it may seem super small, it’s still an issue (and even a ticketable offense if the crack is in your line of sight). So make sure to schedule a repair quickly.

Many insurance policies cover one windshield replacement or repair a year to encourage drivers to fix the issue when it’s small. Contact your insurance provider to see what benefits they offer.

10) Warning Lights

Notice a new dashboard light on? First, take a look at your owner’s manual. Is it telling you that your tire pressure is low? Or that you have an issue in your engine?

From there, it’s time to call your local mechanic. Because while you may know where the issue is (thanks warning light), you may not be able to tell what exactly is going on.

Schedule a Car Repair with Your Mechanic

Car problems are a fact of life, and some common car problems are more prevalent than others. But the simple fact remains: if something is wrong with your car, see what you need to do it fix it. And that means a stop at your local mechanic. Give Northwest Auto Center of Houston a call at 280-894-8880 to make an appointment.