Sometimes, an engine indicator light will tell you exactly what is wrong with your car. But in many situations, the reason for your car's behavior may not be obvious and you may misdiagnose the problem. There are a few specific problems that are commonly misdiagnosed, so make sure that you consider each of the potential problems your car might face.
Car Drifts to the Side
Your vehicle might keep pulling to one side. This is often treated as a problem with your wheel alignment. If you have recently hit a pothole, you might believe that the event caused a wheel alignment problem, though hitting a pothole can also cause your tire to deflate. Oftentimes, if you diagnose the problem as a wheel alignment problem yourself, the mechanic will follow your instructions and make the proper adjustments. However, there may be the less expensive issue that one of your wheels is not as inflated as the other one. Have your tires checked before fixing the alignment of your wheels.
You Can't Start Your Car
If your car does not start, one of the most common problems is that the car has a bad starter. However, there are also some cases when the car has a bad battery. Before replacing the battery, a technician should check your alternator, since a bad alternator will cause a new battery to fail relatively quickly. The alternator supplies electricity to the battery to keep it charged. A car mechanic can charge the battery outside of your car and can then perform a load test to determine if the battery or the alternator is causing the problem.
The AC Isn't Cool Enough
When your air conditioner is not cold enough, many drivers will assume that they do not have enough refrigerant. But if you keep needing to add more refrigerant, this can mean that you have a refrigerant leak, which would mean that your car would need to be charged. A car is charged by having more refrigerant added to it. If your car is charged without being checked for refrigerant leaks, it may become overcharged, which can cause the compressor to become damaged.
Fluid Pools Underneath Your Car
If you notice a dark fluid underneath your car after you drive away, you will need to have your car inspected. Some motorists erroneously guess that the fluid is engine oil or a coolant. However, the fluid may be an automatic transmission fluid if it is bright red. Also, you can determine what the fluid is by finding out where your engine is leaking from. With a proper diagnosis—available from a mechanic after they've performed an auto diagnostic service—you can then have your car properly repaired.