So you've just passed your driving test? Great! You've just taken a huge step towards achieving personal independence. However, unfortunately, the learning doesn't stop once you've got your license. Rather, it's important to understand how your car works and be able to detect faults as and when they arise. Cars can have a vast number of mechanical faults, but to get you started, below are two of the most common mechanical faults and how to detect them:
Worn Brake Pads
Your car's brake pads are a vital piece of equipment that help keep you safe whilst on the roads. When you apply pressure on the brake pedal, the pads are brought into action and apply pressure onto the car's brake rotors. This pressure then creates friction, which slowly stops your wheels from turning and brings your car to a halt.
The intense pressure created by your vehicle on the brake pads can lead to significant damage on the material over time. This is because your brake pads bear the full brunt of your vehicle's weight and when friction is created, heat is dissipated which can damage the brake pad itself. If this damage is allowed to accumulate, your brake pads will eventually wear away altogether, leaving the metal backing plates to come into contact with your wheel.
Of course, this isn't desirable as the backing plates don't have the same frictional resistance of the pads and the metal on metal contact can lead to further damage. Therefore, it's vitally important to keep an eye on your brake pads and have them regularly replaced in order to ensure that your vehicle remains safe at all times. Thankfully, damaged brake pads are very easily identifiable by the few signs:
A high pitched screeching noise when you bring your car to a halt.
Steering wheel movement when you bring your car to a halt.
The car pulls to one side while you are attempting to drive in a straight line.
If you identify any of the above problems, take your car to a qualified mechanic to have your pads changed.
Damaged Timing Belt
Your car's timing belt, as the name may suggest, is responsible for synchronizing the rest of your vehicle's components and ensuring that your car works safely and efficiently. The timing belt is an extremely important part of your car as it is responsible for rotating both the camshaft and crankshaft, opening and closing valves, and ensuring that your fuel ignites in the combustion chamber.
Unfortunately, timing belts can snap without any prior warning signs, which means that they should be replaced regularly in order to keep your car running smoothly. With that said, there are a few tell-tale signs that the timing belt does need to be replaced:
You have difficulty starting the car. The timing belt is one of the most likely culprits if your car won't start in the morning. This is because the timing belt is responsible for synchronizing fuel ignition, and if this process is off, the car simply won't get going.
The car has heavy exhaust fumes. Cars that leak heavy exhaust fumes aren't just unsightly, they are dangerous. In many cases, the excessive fuel is a symptom of improper fuel ignition, which is again caused by damage to the timing belt.
- There are irregular engine vibrations. If your car feels somewhat shaky when it starts up, it may be due to a worn timing belt. If the belt is stretched or has fallen out of sync, it can throw off the entire rhythm of the vehicle, causing a noticeable difference in the engine vibrations.
Of course, while it's fairly straightforward to detect the above problems, it can be much more difficult to fix them. If your car experiences either of the above mechanical problems, consider taking the vehicle into a qualified mechanic's to get you back on the road in no time. For more information, contact a professional like those at Central Body Co Inc.