Even if you take good care of your vehicle, problems can arise at the worst possible moment.

We’ve all had situations where our cars didn’t cooperate. Maybe you’re on vacation with your family, and the vehicle leaves you stranded on the side of the highway. Or, you could be late for work, and your truck won’t start up in your driveway.

It’s never fun dealing with car issues, but you aren’t alone. According to the American Automobile Association, repairs, maintenance, and tires cost the average car owner 9 cents per mile over the vehicle’s lifetime

The problem is that it’s sometimes impossible to anticipate car issues, leaving you in a bad situation when they occur. 

Here’s a look at five of the most common vehicle problems you can run into as a car owner.

Key Takeaways

  • Car issues are part of being a vehicle owner
  • The more you drive, the faster the problems occur
  • Using an auto transport company for long moves can reduce the wear on your vehicle

 

1. Warning lights

Newer vehicles have plenty of warning lights that can appear on the dashboard. These lights can signal that a door is ajar, someone isn’t wearing a seatbelt, you’re low on fuel, or you’re running out of windshield washer fluid.

These warning lights can also let you know there’s a significant problem with your car, such as when the check engine light comes on. 

The vehicle’s engine control unit controls your check engine light. However, it doesn’t provide information on the specific issue, just that something is wrong. 

There are over 200 possible things that could cause your check engine light to illuminate, so you’ll need to purchase a code reader or head to your mechanic shop to identify and repair the problem. 

2. Flat tire

A flat tire could leave you stranded on the roadside installing your spare. It could also force you to call a tow truck if you don’t have experience changing tires or your car doesn’t have an extra one. 

Flat tires can occur for many reasons. Running over a screw or nail, for example, can quickly leave you pulling over on the highway. 

Tires wear down as they age, too. Once your tire approaches the end of its lifecycle, issues become more likely. 

You’ll want to keep an eye on your tread wear and always change your tires as they reach the end of their intended lifespan so you don’t leave yourself in a precarious position while traveling.

3. Dead battery

When your car doesn’t start, the battery could be the problem. Your battery is responsible for operating the car’s starter as well as multiple components like lights and radios.

A dead battery doesn’t always mean the battery is the issue, though. Your battery charges as the car runs via the alternator. A damaged alternator or serpentine belt could prevent the battery from charging and be the real cause of a dead battery.

If you can’t get your vehicle started on its own, using jumper cables is your best bet. When the jumper cables fail, it’s a sign that your battery is completely done or you have an issue with your alternator.

4. Worn brakes

Your braking system will wear down over time. Early symptoms of an issue include squeaking and squealing as you press on the pedal. You could also notice that your brakes aren’t working at optimal levels if the vehicle shakes as you try to slow it. 

More significant brake problems could involve grinding, which occurs when your brake pads are worn to the point where your rotors are being damaged.

Brake issues come in many different forms, so it’s a good idea to have them checked once a year and repair the problem before it has the chance to escalate.

5. Sputtering engine

One of the scariest issues you might experience in your vehicle is a sputtering engine. After all, your engine is what propels the car, so if it isn’t working correctly, you could be in for some significant repairs. 

A car engine contains a complicated series of components that combine fuel, oxygen, and a spark to function. A sputtering engine means that one of these components is misfiring or struggling, so you’ll want to address the problem as soon as possible to avoid serious issues. 

Long-haul trips

All of these car problems have one thing in common: They’re caused by driving your vehicle. Of course, the entire reason you purchased a car in the first place is to drive it, but if you can reduce the mileage you put on it, it’s possible to save money on maintenance and repair costs.

For that reason, it might be worth considering an auto transport service if you’re taking your car across the country. These services reduce the wear on your engine, brakes, and tires, helping you put off your next trip to the mechanic. 

Mercury Auto Transport is a vehicle shipping broker that can find you the best possible rates on this service. We’ll also put you in touch with licensed and insured carriers who will take proper care of your car. Contact Mercury Auto Transport today to receive a free quote within minutes.

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FAQs

We feel it’s important for you to know how we determined your quote. Quotes are based on what the market demands for cars to be moved at a given time. Each quote is compared with the current rates on the National Load Board before being sent to our customers and will be reviewed periodically through the process.

Other companies might offer you a lower price to obtain your business. This method is ineffective because if the car does not pay the correct amount of money, it will run the probability of not getting loaded or transported on time. You will not get this information from our competitors. Truck drivers always take the loads that pay the most first, leaving the loads that are mispriced to be moved last or not at all. We try very hard to avoid this with our customers by quoting a fair but realistic quote up front. Visit our How we determine your quote page for more information.

Understanding auto transport insurance is important and we think it’s valuable to explain how it works. As part of providing a great car transport service, it is our job to guarantee that the carrier we assign to pickup your vehicle is licensed and insured. Click here to check out our license.

When you go with Mercury to ship your vehicle, you can rest assured that the carrier assigned to move your car is fully insured and licensed with the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier and Saftey Administration).

Your vehicle is covered by the carrier’s insurance policy that is doing the shipping. Depending on the type and size of the truck/trailer that is shipping your car, the insurance policy can cover from $100,000 to $1,000,000 of damage.

We have also provided a checklist to explain what you need to do at both pickup and delivery in case there are any issues so, you can file a claim and know that everything will be taken care of.

It is rare but, time-to-time there may be accidental damage while in transit and it is good to know that your carrier’s insurance will protect your auto shipment in that event.

To view a sample BOL (Bill of Lading) and learn what to do in case of accidental damage, please check out our Condition Report and Procedure checklist.

When comparing auto transport companies, keep in mind that low-priced quotes often result in delays in getting your vehicle loaded. Choosing the right broker is vital to getting a reputable carrier for the lowest price possible.  

We feel it’s important for you to know how we determine your quote.

When you’re looking for a car shipping rate, you want to understand how auto transport works. Prices are based on seasonal market demands for cars to be moved at any given time. Each quote is prepared based on the season and the current national rates.

When comparing auto transport companies, keep in mind that low-priced quotes often result in delays in getting your vehicle loaded. Choosing the right broker is vital to getting a reputable carrier for the lowest price possible. Not all brokers are created equal in this talent.

Mercury does a thorough background check with each carrier for every shipment. We verify their ratings, references, and in addition, we obtain a certified copy of their insurance certificate, directly from the government agency that it is on file with.

You can have peace of mind knowing that the carrier shipping your vehicle is the very best and that there are no surprises guaranteed.

Mercury Auto Transport is licensed, Bonded and Insured. Our FMSCA Motor Carrier Number is MC647319.

While we do our best match your auto shipping needs with the most responsible carriers with the best track records, from time-to-time there may be accidental damage while in transit, it is good to know that the insurance of the carrier we locate for you will protect your auto shipment in that event.

Shipping a vehicle can be stressful if you don’t know what to do.  This is why we believe it is paramount to have our highly trained agents be your main point of contact from start to finish.

They will go over everything you need to know so you can relax.  In the meanwhile, we prepared this checklist.  This includes everything from pickup to delivery and how to make sure your car is ready for pickup.

When it comes to car moving, we want you to be ahead of the game!  For any questions and further assistance our agents are standing by, (800) 553-1828.  Please read our checklist to prepare your vehicle to learn more.

There are several ways you can ship a car.  The options include enclosed trailer, open carrier transport, flatbed truck, door-to-door shipping services, and to or from a terminal as well.  The most popular of the options is a 7 to 10 car open carrier.  These large trucks can accommodate almost any size vehicle including carsSUVstrucksjeeps, and vans.

Open car transport, door to door is also the best way to get the cheapest auto transport rate possible.  To learn more and see what transport method is best for you, please fill out our free quote form and one of our representatives will respond to you within minutes.  You can also call us at (800) 553-1828.

We present offers from FMCSA Licensed and Insured Carriers. When you accept an offer, we send your service agreement that guarantees the price, door-to-door service, and 100% bumper-to-bumper insurance. There are never any hidden fees or charges, guaranteed.