A dashboard in a car is a really useful device. It will tell your speed, how your engine work, whether your kid in the back has fastened his seatbelt or how cold it is outside while you sit in a warmed cabin.
But there are some places on a dashboard that drivers would like to forget about. These places can infuse fear in their hearts and give them sleepless nights. Many do forget about them but that only increases the surprise once they remind about their presence.
Obviously, we’re talking about warning lights that pop up whenever something wrong is with our car. These kinds of errors and malfunction are the most common in pre-used vehicles, as shown in many vehicle history reports. Very often, it’s just a lamp or a message that doesn’t tell much and we begin to wonder how much we’re going to spend on a repair this time.
Well, that is something your mechanic will tell you but here, you can learn what are five most common reasons for a warning light to pop up are, what you will need to do about them, and how much should such repair costs.
Problem with an oxygen sensor
Let’s start with an oxygen sensor. It is a sensor that measures the amount of unburnt oxygen in the exhaust. This information is sent to a computer which calculates how much gas left is in the tank.
Should this sensor go haywire, it will send incorrect data, making the computer come up with a wrong calculation. What are the possible outcomes of such malfunctions?
On the one hand, the computer may calculate that you have barely any gas left while the tank is half-full. On the other hand, you may be driving along a highway happily knowing you have plenty of gas left while your car suddenly decides to die on you. Well, the tank is still full, the problem has to be under the hood. Do you see where it leads?
Not to mention faulty sensors may lead to a drop in gas mileage. So what can you do? Most commonly, the only way is to simply replace the sensor. Sorry, nothing else you can do here.
Common car problem with a gas cap
You would be surprised that another very common car problem is a missing or damaged gas cap. As you know, when you want to refill your gas tank, you have to first open a small panel, and then you unscrew a cap.
Now, many drivers really lose them or damage them in some way. However, they often think that it’s no loss as there is still a covering panel and gas won’t spill out anyway. If you think in this way as well, you are wrong. Think of your chemistry classes, what did you learn about liquids?
That’s right, they constantly evaporate, regardless of the temperature (warming them up just speeds up the process, not starts it). So without a gas cap, your gas tank would be slowly but steadily evaporating. So you will waste a portion of your gas.
While this does not affect the state of your car, it affects your wallet. So get a new cap. It’s only a couple of pounds. Maybe you will get one for free if a mechanic will have a spare he doesn’t need. There is absolutely no reason why you should postpone this quick fix.
A serious problem with a broken catalytic converter
Unfortunately, there are also more serious malfunctions that can be equally common. One of the most feared is definitely a broken catalytic converter. This is a device that is used to reduce the harmful effects of the exhaust fumes of your car. Usually, it is made of very expensive metal, such as platinum.
OK, so we have a broken car part with a very precious metal used in its production, how much is it going to cost? A lot. Maybe even £1000 or more. But there is good news. According to experts, a catalytic converter should never fail just by itself. If it breaks, it is most often because of another failing part, such as spark plugs.
Therefore, if you are able to keep your car in a good shape, if you follow a schedule of controlling your car, and if you make any necessary repairs without greater delays, most probably you don’t have to worry about the converter. It will serve you well as long as you will take care of your car.
Malfunction of the mass airflow sensor
Number four on our list is the mass airflow sensor. This is also a common issue found on pre-used vehicle history reports. Airflow sensors malfunction is also more serious, although not as serious as the previous item. What does this sensor do? It measures the amount of air present in the engine and decides how much fuel should be supplied to it.
Again, as it was with the previous sensor, there are different possibilities when it comes to the exact nature of a malfunction. The engine may draw too much gas or too little. You should feel it as quick surges during acceleration or drops of power respectively. It causes a very bad fuel economy so fix it asap if you care about your wallet.
The reason for the most common car problem is.. spark plugs
Finally, there are good old spark plugs. These little devices ignite the mixture in the engine, causing small explosions that move the pistons. Should they misfire, your engine will lose power as not all pistons will be working as they should.
As it was already mentioned, malfunctioning spark plugs may lead to more serious failures in your car. So have this fixed, but be careful. Sometimes mechanics are ripping customers with a few times the higher price per plug and replacing all of them. “just to be on the safe side”. Do not fall for this, replace the plug on your own. If you don’t know how to ask uncle Google.
So here it is, a list of five common car failures. Now you know why you shouldn’t wait for the repair as well as how much should it cost. And remember that taking good care of your car usually eliminates the vast majority of potential problems you may have with your car. And that equals bags of cash and worries saved.