Here is a list of the most common things to go wrong on any car, the sounds they make and links to help you get it fixed!
- Thumping or pulsing in your brake pedal. Cause: Warped rotors due to wear or overheating. Fix: Typical brake job is done every 50,000 miles with normal driving and costs between $500 and $1000 depending on the parts needed. DIY: The typical cost in parts for a normal brake job is between $150 and $300. Here is a great video of what a typical brake setup looks like with the rotor, pads and caliper: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtVPDXxb8Nc
- Not starting without lights on gauge cluster when key is on. Cause: Dead battery. Batteries are good for around 3 to 5 years and usually show signs that they are going bad. Signs: Longer time starting, dim lights, lights dim when turning on heater or radio. Fix: A new battery typically costs between $79 and $200 depending on the size and application. DIY: Cost to install yourself is $79 to $200, but many times places like Advance Auto and Auto Zone will install it for free!
- Check engine light, miss fire, running rough. Cause: Coil pack malfunction, spark plug, mass airflow sensor (MAF), fuel injector, fuel pump, etc. Fix: Cost all depends on the exact issue your car is having. Taking your car in to have it scanned is the first step. Once you have the cars computer read you will know what code (malfunction) the car is pulling. With the code you can determine if it is a coil pack or something else. Here is a video of what coil packs look like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kru22j5YGgI
- No start with engine cranking over. This is when your car sounds like it is starting and your turning the key to start, but it never fires. Cause: The most common cause of this is the fuel pump. It could be many other issues, but if your car was running great before it stopped running it is probably the fuel pump. Fix: An easy temporary fix is to take a hammer and hit the bottom of the fuel tank while someone is cranking the car over. Many times by hitting the bottom of the tank while cranking the car will start up again. Eventually the fuel pump will have to be replaced, but by this test you can usually tell if the fuel pump is bad. Here is a video of what a typical fuel pump looks like and where it is located: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNidDHKgOb8
- Thumping while driving, usually about 10 or 15 mph. Cause: This is caused by wheels being unbalanced. Each wheel is balanced with small weights called wheel weights. When you buy new tires or change out old ones the wheels are re-balanced. If a wheel weight falls off during driving your car will develop a hop or jump when driving. It can be very annoying and in some cases can be so bad that the car is un-drivable. Fix: This is one repair that you will need to go to a tire shop. The tire shop will remove each tire and re-balance. In some cases if you look at the edge of each rim, you can spot the mark where it will look like a wheel weight was attached.
- Squeaking from the front or back of your car. Cause: Worn front brake rotors and pads. When your pads begin to wear down many times it will cause a little piece of metal to rub up against the rotor causing it to squeak. Typical brake job is done every 50,000 miles with normal driving and costs between $500 and $1000 depending on the parts needed. DIY: The typical cost in parts for a normal brake job is between $150 and $300. Here is a video of the front brakes on a Chrysler, but is very similar to other cars: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1GWn03mHWQ