Common Car Faults: 3 Emerging Studies

Grab your seatbelt, car owner! 

I’m about to uncover the mystery behind three of the most common car faults.

What is the common failure in cars? Worn tires, dead batteries, and overheating engines. These issues will paralyze a vehicle in its tracks.

If you’re the typical owner who knows little about cars, don’t worry. I have you covered with simple insights and advice to keep you from getting overwhelmed.

Common Car Faults 1: Worn Tires

common car faults

The Importance of Proper Tire Maintenance

Proper tire maintenance prevents common car faults while guaranteeing safety and performance.

Tires are the only point of contact with the road, making them essential to ensure a smooth and secure driving experience. 

Here are a few reasons why we should always practice tire maintenance.

Maintaining proper tire pressure is vital. Underinflated tires can increase rolling resistance, reducing fuel efficiency and causing premature tire wear. 

Conversely, overinflated tires can result in a harsher ride and uneven tread wear.

On average, 32 psi (pounds per square inch) to 35 psi is the correct tire pressure when a tire is cold, reports 

Regularly checking and adjusting tire pressure to the manufacturer’s recommended levels ensures optimal performance and extends the lifespan of tires.

CIC Pro Tip: This handy little gadget rides everywhere with me right inside the glove box. It’s a tire’s best friend and can be seen on Amazon now. I highly recommend that you take a look.

Monitoring tire tread depth is essential for maintaining traction and stability on the road. 

Worn-out tires with shallow tread can significantly impact the ability to stop quickly, especially in wet or slippery conditions. 

Checking the tread depth regularly and replacing tires when they reach the legal minimum limit is crucial for overall safety and ensures proper vehicle handling.

Identifying Signs of Tire Wear

Knowing how to identify tire wear signs and determine when to replace them is essential. 

Tire wear can significantly impact the performance and safety of a vehicle, so here are a few key indicators to keep in mind.

Pay attention to the tread depth. Tires have built-in tread wear indicators that are small raised bars in the tire’s grooves. 

When the tread wears down to the same level as these indicators, it’s a clear sign that the tire has reached its minimum usable tread depth.

Regularly inspecting the tread pattern itself is crucial. If you notice uneven wear on specific areas of the tire, it may indicate alignment or suspension issues.

Another essential aspect to consider is tire damage. Inspect the tires for cuts, bulges, or any visible damage. 

Cuts or punctures can weaken the tire’s structure and lead to potential blowouts, while bulges indicate internal damage. 

If you notice any of these signs, it’s vital to replace the tire promptly to maintain safety on the road.

Common Car Faults at a Glance

Common Fault Description Effects
Worn Tires Tires with reduced tread depth and uneven wear.
  • Reduced traction, especially in wet or slippery conditions.
  • Longer braking distances.
  • Increased risk of hydroplaning.
  • Compromised handling, particularly in turns.
Dead Batteries Battery depletion due to extended inactivity, age, or electrical issues.
  • Inability to start the vehicle.
  • Loss of power to electrical components (lights, radio, power windows, etc.).
  • Potential need for jump-start or replacement.
Overheating Engines Engine temperature exceeds safe operating levels, often due to cooling system issues.
  • Engine damage, such as warped cylinder heads or blown gaskets.
  • Potential for complete engine failure if not addressed promptly.
  • Risk of being stranded on the road due to engine shutdown.

Common Car Faults 2: Dead Batteries

Knowing the Signs of a Weak Battery

It’s imperative to recognize the signs of a weak battery. The vehicle’s battery is critical in starting the engine and powering various electrical components.

Here is one of the typical indicators that a battery may be losing its strength.

Slow engine cranking. If you notice that the engine is cranking slower than usual when starting the car, it could be a sign of a weak battery. 

A healthy battery provides sufficient power to start the engine swiftly, but a weak battery may need help to deliver the necessary current, resulting in a sluggish crank.

Continuously dim lights and electrical issues. A weak battery can also manifest through dimming headlights, interior, or dashboard lights. 

The electrical system may not function fully when the battery’s power is insufficient. 

You may also experience issues with other electrical items, such as power windows or the radio, not operating as they should.

The Importance of Routine Battery Maintenance

Routine maintenance ensures a vehicle’s battery’s longevity and reliable performance. 

Here are two key reasons why car owners should address battery maintenance.

Longevity and Performance. Proper maintenance can significantly add to the lifespan of a battery.

NAPA AutoCare recommends testing a car’s battery at least once a year, especially if it’s over three years old.

Regularly cleaning the battery terminals and ensuring they are corrosion-free helps maintain good electrical connections.

A good connection prevents voltage drops and ensures efficient power transfer between the battery and the vehicle’s electrical system. 

Keeping the battery secure and preventing excessive vibration can help prevent internal damage and preserve its overall performance.

You are avoiding any unexpected breakdowns. A well-maintained battery is less likely to fail when you need it the most.

Common Car Faults 3: Overheating Engines

The Causes of Engine Overheating

Understanding the causes of engine overheating is essential for maintaining the health and performance of a vehicle. 

Here are two common car faults that can lead to engine overheating.

Cooling system issues. The cooling system plays a critical role in regulating the engine’s temperature. If any component within the cooling system malfunctions or fails, it can result in engine overheating. 

Some potential causes include a malfunctioning thermostat that fails to open and close properly and a worn-out water pump that fails to circulate coolant effectively.

Also, a clogged radiator prevents proper heat dissipation or a leak in the cooling system, leading to a loss of coolant. 

Checking coolant levels, flushing and replacing coolant as recommended, and addressing any leaks or component failures are vital to prevent engine overheating.

Adequate airflow is essential for keeping the engine cool. If there are obstructions or issues with the airflow, it can lead to overheating. 

Common causes include a malfunctioning cooling fan that fails to engage or turn at the appropriate speed, a clogged or blocked radiator due to debris or dirt accumulation, or a faulty belt that drives the water pump.

Routine Engine Maintenance to Prevent Overheating

Routine engine maintenance is vital for preventing engine overheating and ensuring the smooth operation of a vehicle. 

Here are two critical aspects of engine maintenance that can help prevent overheating.

Regular cooling system inspections. The cooling system is at the forefront of preventing engine overheating. Regularly inspecting the cooling system components is crucial. 

Check for any signs of leaks, such as coolant puddles under the vehicle or a sweet smell in the cabin. Inspect the radiator for any clogs or obstructions, ensuring proper airflow. 

Monitor the coolant levels and quality, topping or replacing it as needed. It should be translucent regardless of the coolant color used, states AxleAddict.

Additionally, keep an eye on the condition of the radiator hoses, water pump, and thermostat, ensuring they are in good working order.

Timely oil changes. Engine oil plays a vital role in regulating optimal engine temperature. It lubricates the internal moving parts, reducing friction and heat generation. 

With time, engine oil breaks down and loses its effectiveness. Following the manufacturer’s recommended intervals, regular oil changes are crucial for maintaining proper lubrication and heat dissipation. 

Old or dirty oil can lead to increased friction, which can generate excessive heat in the engine. Adhering to a regular oil change schedule can help prevent engine overheating and ensure the engine operates at its best.

CIC says, “Stay proactive and safe on the road; your car will thank you!”

Congratulations, car owner! 

You’ve now equipped yourself with the knowledge to avoid three common car faults.

Regular maintenance and a keen eye for warning signs are vital in preventing costly breakdowns and ensuring your car’s longevity.

Car Info Club FAQ’s

What are the common signs of a failing or weak battery?

Owners often want to know the common indicators that a vehicle’s battery may fail. 

Understanding the signs of a weak battery, such as slow engine cranking, dimming lights, or difficulty starting the car, can help them identify when it’s time for a battery replacement.

How can I prevent engine overheating in my car?

Engine overheating is one of the common concerns for the owners, so they often seek advice on preventive measures.

Troubleshooting car problems can be manageable if approached systematically using basic knowledge. 

They may inquire about maintaining the cooling system, checking coolant levels, identifying warning signs, and taking appropriate actions to prevent engine overheating.

What are the leading causes of tire failures, and how can I avoid them?

Tire failures like flats or blowouts can significantly concern car owners. 

They may ask about the primary causes of tire failures, including factors like tire wear, improper tire pressure, road hazards, and driving habits. 

They may also seek feedback on how to avoid common car tire issues, such as regular maintenance, proper inflation, tire rotations, and avoiding hazardous road conditions.


Meet Steven, a passionate car enthusiast who has been living and breathing cars for over 50 years dating back to a toddler! With an abundance of mechanical experience under his belt, he is an expert in all things automotive. Steven studied basic auto mechanics and vocational auto mechanics for four years at J. Sterling Morton East High School (1973-1977). He has hands-on experience as an auto detailer, auto service department writer, auto parts department assistant, auto interior upholsterer, auto mechanic, and auto assistant service manager (1977-1984). He now serves as the Chief Writer for Car Info Club and loves to share his enthusiasm and knowledge with others. Steven is highly knowledgeable, always friendly, and absolutely loves talking about cars.

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