Auto Repair: Symptoms and Probable Causes

Symptom: Vehicle pulling right/left

Causes:

  • Tire wear
  • Needs alignment
  • May need after market parts toadjust caniber or caster
  • May need factory slogs removed to adjust alignment correctly
  • Some Dodge trucks and Jeeps need adjustable upper balljoints

Symptom: Vibration in front seat

Causes:

  • Bent wheel
  • Bad U-joint
  • Bent or out of balance driveshaft
  • Needs alignment
  • Bad tire – tire may not be round, etc.
  • Tires need balancing

Symptom: Overheating

Causes:

  • Low on coolant
  • Thermostat malfunctioning
  • Bad intake, leaking intake
  • Coolant old, dirty
  • Cracked block or head
  • Blown head gasket
  • Blocked heater core

Symptoms: Electrical problems, maybe engine won’t turn over fast enough to start

Causes:

  • Tired or bad battery (defective)
  • Bad battery cables
  • Battery cable ends
  • Battery needs servicing – servicing is designed to remove battery draining coorission
  • Alternator malfunctioning, sometimes cheap after-market alternator
  • P.C.M.
  • B.C.M.
  • Wiring bad, broken wiring
  • Animals getting into the wiring, living under the hood causing damage
  • Trailer wiring, boat trailer wiring – wiring messed up from track to trailer

Symptoms: Check engine light on

Causes:

  • Lost or bad gas cap
  • EGR system problejm
  • Catalytic converter bad – if left unaddressed can cause damage to engine
  • Vacuum leak
  • Lean or rich burn (will cause more costly repairs)
  • Notes: Diagnostics run about $70. Failed emissions about $70. Without doing a good diagnostic you are just guessing on the repair. You need to take the diagnostic code an d test the system to find the exact problem. A good diag is key. A code reader will only give you a could with (???) can cause you to replace parts that it might not need.
  • A check engine light or ABS light being on all the time will not allow you to know if a more serious problem happens.

Symptoms: Engine misfire

Causes:

  • Spark plugs, coil, injectors, spark plug wires, distributos cap or rotor – all can cause misfire code and if left untreated will cost more the longer you let it go.

Symptoms: Tire wear

Causes:

  • Lack of rotation is the most common cause for bad tire wear.
  • Needs alignment – Camber, caster or toe problems
  • Old or bad tires
  • Mismatched tires