Every car may encounter numerous strange malfunctions. Many of them can scare you. Such situations are especially scary when you don’t own a car you’re driving. For example: you use a rental car.. Fortunately, some of the signs of a malfunction have nothing to do with breakdowns.
So, imagine you are a young driver who picked up a Sixt car hire in Leeds and have a leisure road trip around the United Kingdom. You stopped at a roadside cafe to have a snack, and then you don’t succeed to start the engine to continue the journey. At this point, many motorists may begin to panic.
But don’t rush to call the service. Some malfunctions that occur in all cars are not actually fatal. Often these are just functions that are developed by automakers in order to better protect passengers and the driver of the car.
We have collected for you the 6 most common cases when it seems that something has broken in the car, but in fact, everything is fine.
The battery is charged, but the engine can’t start
You get into the car, insert the key into the ignition switch, turn the key – the battery check is OK. Then you try to start the car, but the engine doesn’t work. What is the matter if the battery is in good condition?
In this case, check the position of the automatic transmission handle. It’s possible that the car can’t start due to the fact that the gear selector is not in the “Parking” mode.
The fact is that car manufacturers thought about your safety in the car by blocking the possibility of starting the engine if the automatic transmission is in the “Drive” or “Reverse” mode, since starting the engine in such a way can lead to the unexpected start of movement.
Thus, a car with automatic transmission can only be started if the gearbox is in the “Parking” or “Neutral” position.
Abnormal noise after cold start
After cold start, some car owners may be frightened by extraneous noises that can be confused with a breakdown. Usually this little noise comes from underneath the car.
In most cases, you have nothing to fear from extraneous noise. Typically, this is due to the expansion of the exhaust pipe of the car when heated. When you turn off the engine, the metal of the exhaust pipe compresses as the car cools down. When you turn on the cold car, the exhaust pipes expand, which is the source of extraneous noise.
You feel the extra effort on the steering wheel
When the car goes through sharp turns, you may suddenly feel like someone is holding a steering wheel. At such moments, many drivers think that steering failure happened.
But in most cases you have nothing to worry about. In fact, most likely, such sensations arise due to the operation of the electronic stabilization system of the car (ESP), which interferes with the movement of the car in order to prevent skidding in case of detecting a decrease in adhesion to the road surface.
The ESP also interferes with the movement of the car if the position of the steering wheel doesn’t match the direction of travel.
In this case, the stabilization system begins to slow down certain wheels in order to align the direction of movement. Also, in more modern cars, electronics can interfere with the position of the throttle pedal and even in the electric power steering. All this is necessary to avoid the car getting out of your control.
Strange fluid leak under the car
Some of us are panicky afraid of various leaks of liquids. It even comes to the fact that, having seen a small speck on the asphalt under the car, car owners begin painfully guessing about the source of the leak, being sure that it’s a leak in their car.
However, most often these are spots left by other cars. Also, very often people panic because of the stains that the air conditioner leaves under the car. In the summer, many drivers find signs of fluid leakage under their car, which turns out to be water.
This water is not a leak, but the condensate of the air conditioner, which was turned on when you were driving. Usually this condensate accumulates under a parked car, and this is normal. Don’t worry – this is a feature of the air conditioning system in the car.
The air recirculation mode is automatically activated
Sometimes, the automatic activation of an air recirculation system occurs. In this case, many drivers begin to think that this is a sign of damage to the air conditioning or ventilation system.
Don’t panic! Check the manual for your car. The thing is that in some car models the automaker has provided an interesting feature when turning the gearbox into reverse mode.
The meaning of this function is to prevent exhaust fumes from entering the car through the air conditioning system. After all, when you park at a slow speed, they can be captured by the car’s ventilation system and enter the passenger compartment. So the activation of air recirculation in the cabin is a simple feature of some cars.
The steering wheel doesn’t spin
This happens to all drivers from time to time. Suddenly, a steering wheel may be blocked without an inserted key in the ignition lock.
Most of inexperienced drivers are scared that, after inserting the key into the ignition, the locked steering wheel may remain in this position. No worries! This is not a breakdown. In order to unlock the steering wheel, rotate it in different directions, while turning the key in the ignition switch. Don’t turn the key too hard so as not to damage it.