How Do You Figure Out What Is Wrong With Your Car?

Figure out your car problem using an on-board diagnostic reader, or by interpreting the car's smoke signals and noises. Knowing the colors of the car fluids may also help diagnose car problems related to fluid leakage.

Using an on-board diagnostic reader involves locating the port meant for the reader on the car's dashboard, connecting the reader to the port and reading the problem information on the reader's display screen. The screen may display the problem of the car or a code that implies the car's problem. To interpret the code, refers to the car's manual. However, this diagnostic technique is only applicable to cars manufactured later than 1995.

The car's tailpipe smoke color such as blue and white smoke emissions imply excessive oil burning and coolant leakage respectively. A hood emitting smoke may imply a radiator hose crack. Car noises that may indicate car malfunction include screeching while accelerating, which may imply a damaged fan belt that needs replacement. Screeching while slowing down implies worn-out brakes that need replacing.

Other car noises include wheel clicking, which may indicate a loose hubcap than need tightening; clicking noise in the engine, which may signify a damaged engine valve that requires replacement; and hissing, which signifies a leakage in the hose. A squealing engine may be a sign of a loose belt that requires tightening, or may imply a wet belt that needs time to dry.