A couple on the side of the road dealing with a flat tire, one of the most common car issues you could experience.


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.



  1. Spot on with this write-up, I seriously believe that this web site needs a lot more attention. I’ll probably be back again to read through more, thanks for the info!

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