Common Car Problems Every Driver Ought To Know About
Permit me to start with a fact. Did you know that according to NBC News, a car that was bought brand new, just pick anyone at random, has an average lifespan of 8 years. However, a well maintained car that was also bought new has a lifespan of 15 years. Almost double the lifespan of an overall average car.
This article, however, isn’t so much about car maintenance, although you could say that some of the things here are good for car maintenance. What this article is about is how to recognize some symptoms of faults in your car and what to do about them. If you observe these signs on time and make due repairs without delay, your car would fall in the category of the 15 years lifespan.
The good thing about this is that you may not even intend to use the car for as long as 15 years. But you would be confident that the car would be in good shape for whatever you want to do with it. Whether you want to sell it or give it out to someone.
Without further ado, here are some of the most common problems that you would find in cars that you should know about.
Suffice to say, your engine is one of the most important parts of your vehicle. The moment it develops a fault, it often costs relatively much to repair or even replace. That is why automakers specifically put a check-engine indicator on your dashboard, right in front of you.
When the check-engine light is blinking, it is mostly a signifier an engine misfire. There are a number of possible causes for an engine misfire. The moment you notice your check engine light blinking, find your way to a car mechanic ASAP.
Check-Engine Light Remains On
This is another engine problem indication that cannot be ignored. This may or may not be as serious as the blinking check-engine light indication but it shouldn’t be taken for granted all the same.
When your check-engine light remains on, it could have been caused by different things. It could be that your car has spark plug issues or a loose petrol cap. A faulty oxygen sensor could also keep your check-engine light on.
If you find out that the cause of the lit check engine indicator is an obvious thing like a loose petrol cap, you should fix this immediately. Otherwise, pay a visit to your car mechanic ASAP.
Your Car Wouldn’t Start
When your car doesn’t start, it is mostly due to your battery. Your battery powers all of the electric needs of your car. If your battery has issues, you aren’t going anywhere.
When this happens to you, it could have been be caused by a drained battery or corroded terminals. Try to clean the terminals and the cables connected to them. If this doesn’t help, visit your car mechanic but prepare for a possible battery replacement.
AC Air Smells Bad
If you have searched your car for the source of the bad odour in your car and you didn’t find a rotten egg or a dead rat in it, then your air conditioner is the culprit. Sometimes it gets so much that it becomes unbearable.
This is often caused by a faulty AC accumulator. Another symptom of a faulty AC accumulator is a rattling noise when you put on your AC.
If you notice that your car is responding sluggishly to acceleration, this is also a signifier of a faulty engine. A possible cause of this is an inappropriate air-fuel mixture. When this happens, all you need to do is clean your fuel injectors, air and fuel filters.
However, if the problem persists, see you car mechanic. It could be that the Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) has a problem. As a matter of fact, it could have been caused by a number of other things.
Smoke From Under Your Bonnet
This is never a good sign and it will never be. Firstly, your car shouldn’t have heated up to this level, especially if you have a working temperature gauge on your dashboard. The temperature gauge is really sensitive. The moment it senses that the engine is being exposed to inappropriate level of heat, it cries out by hitting the red marker.
Vehicle overheating is something that could happen when the cooling fan is not doing its job properly or not doing it at all. Check if your cooling fan is working properly. Afterwards, check to see if the engine coolant system is low on water. This could also cause an engine to overheat.
However, you should be careful when dealing with overheating issues in your car. This heat could burn and scar you permanently if messed with.
Your ride becomes less smooth, more bumpy
You used to cruise over potholes and bumps like they were nothing. You wouldn’t even feel the slightest discomfort. All of a sudden, driving over a tiny rock would jolt you around on your seat. This is a sign that your shock absorbers are in shock (sorry). They need to be replaced.
This is another common problem cars are faced with. It is possible that one fluid or the other is leaking in your car. The moment you notice this, check to see if it’s something you can fix yourself. Otherwise, let your car mechanic do the job.
Putting It All Together
It’s a good thing that you already know about some of the most common problems cars have and how they show it. You shouldn’t be slow to get these issues fixed. If you want to properly maintain your car and keep it in good shape, always pay attention to it.
Do you know about other common car problems?
Toyota Camry Prices in Nigeria (December 2019): Brand New, Tokunbo And Nigerian Used
When we’re talking about the most popular car brands in Nigeria, Toyota is probably on top of the list. This isn’t surprising as Toyota is known for their manufacture of consistently high-quality vehicles that can glide across all kinds of Nigerian roads with minimal damage. Not only are Toyota cars strong and durable, but they also always have sleek looks that make them count as luxurious vehicles too sometimes.
Toyota boasts of many vehicle models that are currently rampant in Nigeria today, and Camry is one of them. Apart from Corolla which is also a very popular Toyota model in Nigeria, Camry is probably the most used. Talk about efficiency, effectiveness, fuel economy and affordability, Camry offers all those. It comes as no surprise that it has remained among the bestselling Toyota brand in Nigeria since 2010.
Toyota has kept up with the supply of reliable cars to Nigeria. Nigerians, in turn, repaid the confidence in full (with some extra change on top) by purchasing the car brand in mass. There’s hardly any state that you wouldn’t find Toyota Camry cars for sale in Nigeria. We even dubbed some Toyota car models some really interesting nicknames, and the Camry isn’t left out of the fun. The 1991-1996 Camry models were called Orobo. 1997 to 2001 models were tagged pencil while the 2002 to 2006 models were called Big daddy. You may not find a lot of these cars for sale in Nigeria anymore. You must have heard of muscle, what we call the recent Camry models starting from 2008 to 2011.
Toyota Camry Prices
Before we go ahead, you should know that these prices are the current prices at the moment, December 2019. These prices could be changed at any time, depending on a lot of factors. However, the prices in this article would be constantly updated to keep up with any changes. Good?
Brand New Toyota Camry Prices in Nigeria
As it is not likely that Toyota stops manufacturing this model, considering its success, you would always find brand new Toyota Camry cars around. Although you might not find the brand new versions of the older models of 2009 and earlier, there are still the brand new versions of the later models for sale in Nigeria.
When buying brand new cars in Nigeria generally, a lot of expenses add to the price of the car itself. For example, the exchange rate at that moment, custom clearance fee, tariffs, and all those.
So, all things put together, buying a brand new Toyota Camry in Nigeria costs within the range of 25 million naira and 30 million naira.
Tokunbo Toyota Camry Prices in Nigeria
Much more than brand new, buying a foreign used (or Tokunbo, as we call it) car is preferred by a lot of people in Nigeria. We prefer to purchase tokunbo cars because of their affordability and accessibility. You don’t have to go through as much stress as you would endure if you were buying a brand new car.
There isn’t a shortage of used Toyota Camry cars for sale in Nigeria. When it comes to how tokunbo Toyota Camry models are priced, the things that are put into consideration involve criteria like mileage and car condition.
Here are their prices
|Year Range||Price Range|
|2005-2007||N1.5 million – N2.7 million|
|2008-2012||N2.7 million – N4 million|
|2013-2016||N4 million – N16 million|
Nigerian Used Toyota Camry Prices in Nigeria
Now, these are the really cheap ones. Not only are they cheap, but there is also even lesser stress attached to buying them when compared to buying tokunbo or brand new cars.
And as you would expect, the condition of the car plays a huge role in determining its cost.
|Model Year Range||Price|
|1996 – 1998||N300,000 – N450,000|
|1998 – 2001||N450, 000 – N800,000|
|2002 – 2006||N750,000 – N1,100,000|
|2007 – 2011||N1,500,000 – N2,000,000|
|2012 – 2014||N3,200,000 – N5,000,000|
|2015 – 2017||N5,000,000 – N7,000,000|
Toyota Camry: What you should know about it
Toyota Camry is available in 5 different trims L, LE, SE, XSE and XLE. The different trims are there to cater for the different preferences of their users. The mid-sized car is big and comfortable enough to contain 5 people with ease. To add to passengers’ comfort, the Toyota introduced Bluetooth phone pairing in the 2007 and later models. The more recent ones even have screens in them.
Well, some complain that the interior is not as big as some other midsize cars in its category but the beautiful interior makes up for this.
With a Toyota Camry, you can get on the road and enjoy its great engine performance, which boasts of more than 260 horsepower. The precise handling is also another good feature of the car. You also know that you have something on which you can rely heavily on any Nigerian road. The car’s great fuel economy is just another point on the long list of why we love this car.
Step By Step Instructions On How To Change Your Car Engine Oil Yourself
Your engine oil is one of the most important things you need to look out for in the car. Without the oil to lubricate the constantly busy parts of your engine, your engine could be in trouble. That is why this piece is dedicated to how to change your car engine all on your own.
Now, you’re probably asking. Why do I need to change my engine oil? Well, here why:
Why You Need To Change Your Engine Oil
- Your engine consists of parts that are continuously moving and rubbing against one another. Without the engine oil to lubricate and smoothen things out among the parts rubbing against one another, friction could take over. And when friction takes over, it’s always bad news.
- After constant use, the oil wears out. You could say it gets tired. It isn’t able to lubricate the engine parts as it used to, it becomes really dirty, and it reduces in quantity. And if nothing is done, it would lead to the friction problem in the first point above.
- Well, it wouldn’t kill you to maintain your car yourself, would it? With proper car maintenance, you could escape some common car problems.
Now that you know why you ought to change your oil periodically, the next question that is probably on your mind is “how often should I change my oil?”
This is dependent on quite a lot of things actually. It depends on how old your engine is, the way you drive, the path you drive on, and many other factors. However, it is safe to change your car engine after every 3000 to 5000 miles you put on the car for non-synthetic oil. With synthetic oil, you could push the limits and hit about 10,000 miles before you change your oil.
Needed Tools and Materials
Of course, you don’t intend to just dive under your engine and suck out the engine oil with your mouth. Or wait. Do you?
As usual, you need the right set of tools.
- Rubber gloves
- A jack. And depending on how to level the ground is, you may need a jack stand too.
As for the materials, you would need
- The oil, of course.
- Oil filter
- Oil drain pan or just any container to collect the oil in
Without further ado, let’s get you to change your engine oil.
Step 1: You need to check the type of oil needed
Check your car manual for the type of oil your car engine uses and buy that particular oil type. However, of you can’t find your manual or you didn’t buy the car new, using just any type of oil isn’t a bad idea too. As long as it isn’t a low-quality oil.
Oil producers often make their oils differently. Some add some extra stuff to make the oil do some more stuff. You know, all those branding jargon. That is why there is always a recommended oil by your car manufacturer for your car. However, it isn’t necessary to follow this step.
Step 2: Let the oil warm-up
You want to drain the oil in your engine when it is warm, not when it is hot or cold. If you just used your car, you could just turn it off and leave the oil to cool down. If the car has been sitting around for more than an hour, you should just start the car and leave it idle for about 10 minutes. This gives the oil enough time to warm up.
Warm oil flows easily. Cold oil doesn’t. Hot oil flows easily but it could burn you badly. Get it?
Step 3: Jack up your car
Here’s the next thing you need to do. Jack up your car or drive it onto a ramp that gives you access to underneath the car. Whatever you do, make sure the car sits well on the jack and is very stable. I don’t recommend that you use those flimsy jacks that come with your car.
Step 4: Draining the oil
You may have to crawl underneath your car to find your drain plug. Don’t worry, it’s just less than 1 meter from the front of your car. The drain plug is often located underneath the oil pan which is also underneath your engine.
Next, slide the drain pan under the plug and open the plug with a fitting wrench in a counterclockwise direction. Make sure the drain pan is big enough to contain the oil without spilling. You should wait for the oil to drain out completely. Close up the plug after you’re done.
Step 5: Replace the oil filter
After draining the oil in the oil pan, the next thing to do is to locate the oil filter and replace it. The oil filter position varies from car to car. It shouldn’t be too far away from your oil pan though.
Place the drain pan beneath the oil filter before you remove it by turning it in a counterclockwise direction. The oil filter is usually black, blue or white. You’ll know recognize it when you see it.
On the new oil filter, dip your hand in the replacement oil and smear the oil thinly on the gasket of the filter. You could say it is done to prepare the oil filter to get to work. Pour some oil in the oil filter too. Screw the new oil filter tightly into place.
Step 6: It’s time to pour in the new oil
You can get out of underneath your car now. Your time underneath the car is over. Locate the oil cap on top of the engine. Open it, place a funnel and pour in the new oil.
Screw the oil cap tight and check for any leakages underneath your car. If there are, try to clean it up. You are supposed to use the dipstick to check the oil level about 5 minutes after you put in the oil. But while you wait, you can go to the next step.
Step 7: Start your engine
When you start the engine, check your dashboard to see if the check-oil-pressure light is on. If it isn’t, you’re good to go. If it is, it simply means there’s probably a leak somewhere or the oil level is just not high enough. Leave your engine on idle and check for what is causing the light to be on.
Don’t forget to check the oil level with the dipstick to confirm that the oil is on the appropriate level.
Well, that wasn’t so hard, was it? You can save yourself some money by doing this yourself. By the way, you should prepare to get dirty when you do this. There are other car problems you can solve yourself, like, fixing your power steering wheel.
And that’s all I have for you on how to change your car engine oil yourself. Do have a great day.
Save Time And Money: 5 Things You Can Repair In Your Car By Yourself
Cars could be funny at times. You sometimes feel there’s something major going wrong with your car. When you then visit your car mechanic, they just do some minor adjustments that don’t take up to 10 minutes and they charge you. You begin to feel kind of silly because you know you could have carried out that repair by yourself and still have saved time and money.
If you’ve ever been a victim of this, you are, without doubt, in the right place. I’ll be mentioning some common car problems and how to quickly resolve them yourself without wasting time and money. Do you feel you aren’t so great with do-it-yourself projects? There’s nothing to worry about. These repairs don’t necessarily require expertise.
Before You Attempt Any Repairs
It is almost impossible to repair anything in your car if you don’t have the right tools to do it. With the right set of tools and equipment, you can easily make the necessary repairs that your car needs.
The tools you would need for these repairs include
- A jack
- A wrench
- A complete set of screwdrivers
- A tire pressure gauge
- And if you don’t want to get your hands dirty, a pair of gloves.
Without further ado, let’s head to the interesting part.
1. Replace Your Battery
The battery is the power source for all the electrical works of your car, including your ignition system. Without a properly working battery, you can’t start your car. Luckily, replacing your car battery is one of the simplest things you can do on your car.
The first thing to do is to remove the cables that are connected to your battery. You can do this by first loosening the bolts that were used to tighten the cables to the terminals. Make sure you remove the black cable first. This cable is often the one connected to the negative terminal.
Lift out the battery when and put in the replacement. That’s all.
2. Replace Your Wipers
When you notice that your wipers are not moving across your windshield as smoothly as they used to, this suggests that they need to be replaced.
Replacing your wipers is quite easy. However, you must first find a wiper that fits your windshield. Go to where they sell car parts and buy the specific replacement wipers for your car brand, model and model year.
After you do this, all you have to do is remove the old wipers. Some wipers can be removed by pulling a latch or pushing a button on the base of the wiper. Some others need some pinching and pulling. You can then fix in the new wipers.
3. Clean or Replace Your Engine Air Filter
The way your car engine is designed, it mixes fuel and air together before the spark plug creates a spark that starts the combustion process. The air that is sucked into your car is usually filled with a lot of impurities. Your air filters are there to clean out these impurities.
Replacing your air filter is a simple process. All you have to do is to open your car bonnet, locate the air filter box, remove the old air filter, and replace it with the new.
Before disposing of the old air filter, however, check to see if it’s not too dirty. If it isn’t, you can just make sure you clean it properly and keep it for future use.
4. Replace Your Headlights
Dim headlights are not safe to use. You shouldn’t manage them like that. The moment you find out that your headlights aren’t as bright as they used to be, they need to be replaced.
All you have to do is to buy the same headlight bulb that was designed for your particular car. Just like the wipers, the bulb has to be precisely for your own car make, model and year.
Simply unplug the old bulb and plug in the new one.
Caveat: when you’re plugging in the new bulb, make sure you don’t do it with your bare hand. This could cause the bulb to not last for as long as it should.
5. Change Your Tyres
Do you have flat tyres? You don’t need a vulcanizer to change them for you. As long as you have a spare tire (as you always should), and the right set of tools, you’re good to go.
Firstly, use your jack to lift up your car at the side where you have the flat tyre. Remove the wheel cover to expose the screws that hold the tyre to the car. Loosen these screws, replace the tyre and screw it back up. Ensure it is tightly screwed. Put the wheel cover back in its place and you’re good to go.
Another common repair you can carry out on you at is fixing your power steering wheel.
Now that you know the common problems that could happen to your car and how to carry out the appropriate repairs, don’t you already feel good about yourself?
It is always a good thing to maintain your car. A car that is well maintained serves you well.