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What's Wrong With My Car?

By: Tracy Wilkinson - Updated: 26 Nov 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Car Problems Car Fault Engine Won't

Key won't turn.

If you're sure that the key is the right one for the car (we have to ask!), then it could be that the key has worn out. If you have a spare, try that. If not, you'll have to go to a professional mechanic and get them to look at it for you.

On the other hand, what can happen is that if you park with the wheels turned to one side and take the key out, there is too much pressure put on the steering lock to allow the key to turn. To fix this, you need to force the steering wheel in one direction, then in the other and try and turn the key at the same time.

This should relieve any built up pressure, and allow your key to turn.

Engine won't start.

When turning the key you may hear nothing at all, a strange clicking sound, or even a series of clicks. Sometimes you'll hear the sound of the engine cranking, but it goes very slowly.

Common causes for this problem is a weak or dead battery or dirty or corroded connections that lead to the battery.If the battery is dead, you will be able to tell by turning your interior lights on, then trying to start the car. If the light dims or becomes so when you turn the key to start the engine, then your battery is dead and you will need to jump start it, or recharge the battery (if you are at home), before taking it to a garage for testing. If you've just left the lights on and your battery has drained, you will need to drive around to recharge the battery, but you shouldn't need to get professional advice.

If the interior light is bright when you turn it on and doesn't change or dim when you turn the key, it's likely that your battery is ok.

If this happens, then you may have a problem with the ignition switch or connecting wiring or there could be a problem with your starter motor. If you think it could be any of these things you should get the opinion of a professional mechanic.

Car does not move although in gear

If you drive a car with manual transmission, when you release the clutch the car should move. If the engine races but the car does not move at all or slowly when in gear, it might be time to replace the clutch. Some cars will need a clutch adjustment but it might be that the friction surface of the clutch is burnt and if so it will need to be replaced.

My front wheel vibrates when I drive over 50mph.

This is usually caused by a front wheel being out of balance. If you can feel the vibration only in the seat, it's more than likely a rear wheel. Even so, it's a good idea to have all 4 wheels balanced at the same time and you will probably be quite surprised at the difference that it will make to the way the car drives.

My car drifts when I let go of the steering wheel.

First thing you need to do is check the tyre pressure on all your tyres then drive it again. If your car drifts to the right in the right lane and to the left in the left lane, then it's probably normal as many roads rise in the middle to stop water collecting in them when it rains.

You should have the wheel alignment checked too, and your mechanic should check for worn or bent front end parts that can cause drift and let you know if there are any other safety concerns.

When I drive over a speed bump, my car bounces before settling again.

This is usually down to work or damaged shock absorbers or struts. It can happen slowly over a long period of time and it can be difficult to notice that there has been any change - but by replacing them you will see a real difference in the driving quality of your car.

There is fluid on the floor under my car

If you're not sure what kind of fluid your car is losing, take a piece of white cardboard and place it under the vehicle overnight. In the morning, you'll be able to tell (or at least your mechanic will) what is leaking by the colour of it.Common fluids are: amber - light yellow - brake fluid, clear - power steering fluid or water from the air con, light or dark brown - oil, and bright green - radiator cooler, although obviously these can differ depending on where your service is carried out and what brands they use.

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When using my central locking with the key the drivers side door and back Door (drivers side) don’t lock.Both passenger sides do. I can lock the drivers side door with my key but have can’t lock the back door. Any ideas would be appreciated. Many thanks.
Rpick - 26-Nov-17 @ 1:35 AM
Any one any idea what could be wrong with my car? It starts fine, revs well but barely moves in 1st and 2nd gear then gets some life in it in 3rd - 5th. It's a manual Zafira 2002. Any thoughts would be welcome. Thank you
The chef - 20-Jan-17 @ 10:17 PM
@randolf - get it checked by an independent mechanic. If you feel you have paid too much for the vehicle or that it was not 'as described' take it back to the seller.
SaferMotoring - 6-Jan-15 @ 12:59 PM
Just boughtmerc 270 on a 52 plate after 2 hour drive noticed engine temperature never got above a couple of degrees thought it may be head gas get but when opened expansion cap only a few bubbles and a dribble of overspill car had only been standing 5 minutes bit worried I've bought a pup
randolf - 2-Jan-15 @ 9:37 PM
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