A Guide To Troubleshooting Your Broken Down Car

Your car has just shuddered to a halt, now what?. Here is the ultimate troubleshooting guide to solving your car’s problems.
Sherryn
de Vos
Published: Monday, January 30th 2017
General
You have just hit the highway, pushed your car up to 120kms/hr and suddenly, nothing. Your car jerks to a sudden and unexpected stop, or you slowly glide to a stop on the shoulder of the road. Make sure you get your emergency lights on immediately, find a safe spot to stop and get out of the car. Your safest option is going to be out of the car should someone hit it. Now, it's time to try and determine what could be the cause of the breakdown. 
CLICK BELOW to read about the essentials you should have in your car in case of a breakdown.

A Guide To Troubleshooting Your Broken Down Car

This guide makes troubleshooting your problems a bit easier and prepares you in case you ever find yourself in the situation mentioned above.

"My Car Jerked And Stopped"

This could be due to fouled spark plugs, clogged fuel lines, or fuel filter, or the main computer simply not operating. The best way to ascertain what could be the problem is by checking the lights on your dash. You never know, maybe you simply forgot to put in petrol and your car has finally run out of juice.

"I Feel Like I’m Not In Control Of My Car"

If there is a loud droning noise accompanying this, you could have a flat tyre. It happens to all of us. You hop into the car and, for some reason, it feels like you cannot steer the car. A flat tyre also makes a loud droning noise while driving and you feel like you cannot accelerate. 
CLICK BELOW to read a comprehensive guide on how to change a tyre.

"There Is Steam Pouring Out Of Your Bonnet"

This is definitely a sign that your car is overheating. There are several ways to diagnose this problem. Steam, or water vapour, will be pouring out of the front of the car. It is quite easy to differentiate the difference between steam and smoke, so don’t panic. Also, check the needle on your temperature gauge. Another sign might be an unusual smell coming from the engine. Overheating can be caused by various things including; late timing, a plugged radiator, slipping accessory belt, collapsing bottom radiator hose, low oil levels, or low water levels.

"Okay, This Is Definitely Smoke"

Not only does this happen to Ford Kuga’s, it can happen to other cars too. We strongly recommend that you get out of the car as soon as possible. There are two types of smoke to look out for. Blue smoke: This is mostly caused by oil leaking within the engine, which is being burned along with the fuel. This is highly dangerous. Turn your car off immediately and seek professional help. You will most like need to have worn and damaged seals repaired. White smoke: Instead of oil getting into the fuel supply, water condensation or antifreeze is the guilty party. If the white smoke is coming out of the front of the car, it does mean that the problem has existed for a while, and you might not have noticed the smoke coming out of the tailpipe.

"There Is a Tapping Or Popping Noise"

Cars mostly make noises that you don’t need to be concerned about. Do pay attention, however, if it is new and persists. If there are sharp, popping noises, for example, it could most likely be the detonation taking place within the engine's cylinders. Gasoline igniting prematurely in the combustion chamber of the cylinders could be the cause. This can potentially result in expensive piston damage. So, make sure you listen out for this. You can never be too careful. If your car is making any other noise, we found a handy website for you. It is a comprehensive list of recordings of unusual car noises to diagnose what your problem could be.
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"There Is a Heavy Smell Of Rubber Burning"

If you haven’t been doing any street-racing or doughnuts in a parking lot recently, there could be other reasons for this. Once again, this could be pinned down to drive belts, or accessory belts, around the engine. They could be damaged, loose, or worn out, or it could mean that a rubber hose is touching something hot. If this happens, it could result in the pipe melting and, whatever fluid it's carrying, being shot all over the engine.

"My Lights Keep Dimming"

If you feel like your lights are unusually dimmed, or you are having problems starting your car, it could be the alternator. This is mostly an inexpensive problem to fix, so make sure you do it before you get in any serious trouble.

"The Car Is Just Not Starting"

If the battery is fine, this could be your starter motor. The starter motor drives air and fuel into the cylinders to kick-start the car. If this is failing, you are just not going anywhere. Getting a starter motor replaced is not too tricky and you should be sorted out quickly.