Car Wise: 2 Simple Emergency Fixes When Your Car Is Having Problems

Posted on: 26 August 2015

Car issues can happen anytime, and it may happen when you are no where near your mechanic. The first thing you should have is the number to your towing specialist, just in case the following 2 emergency fixes do not work for you.

1. The Air Filter Emergency Fix

The air filter allows air to enter the engine (debris-free) so that foreign debris won't harm your engine. Air is important for the overall performance of your vehicle because it provides the vital air-to-fuel combination that generates horsepower. An extremely dirty air filter can hinder your car's ability to work in a few ways, like the following:

  • Loss of power might be noticed even with a light load
  • You do not get your usual gas mileage

To see if this is your problem, pull over in a safe location away from traffic. Turn off your car, and let it cool down enough to work on it easily. Open the hood and look for your air filter, which is usually on the passenger side at the end of the air duct from the throttle body.

The air filter is under a rectangular plastic casing, which is usually secured with simple screws or snapped on. Remove the casing. Lift the air filter from its location, and clean it with a clean rag if it looks dirty. You can also lightly tap it on a hard surface to see if you are able to loosen up some of the debris stuck on the air filter, and place it back. Secure the filter in place with the screws, and turn your car on to see if that helps.

Try to get your car to your mechanic should the vehicle improve to make sure you have no other problems.

2. The Overheating Emergency Fix

Heat is vital element used by your vehicle to keep it going. But this heat can also become intense, at which point it could damage your vehicle or hinder it's ability to drive. This could happen for many reasons, like a clog, too much debris in the coolant, or you are simply out of coolant. When you are out of coolant, all you have to do is add more; or add some water until you can get to your mechanic.

You should also know some signs of an overheating engine:

  • Temperature light turns on
  • Leaking coolant from under the vehicle
  • Temperature gauge is higher than the normal range
  • Bubbling noises
  • Burnt smell, somewhat sweet
  • Smoke or steam from under your hood

One thing you can do--besides adding more water or coolant--is turn on your heater while you drive, as it may help keep your car cooler. Do not forget to let your car cool down before you attempt to drive it. Remember to keep to the right of traffic just in case the heater blows cold air, which means that your car is still overheating. You will need to call your towing specialist at this point because your car needs to be serviced before it can be driven again to avoid costly damage.  

If your car is having problems and neither of these fixes seem to help, contact a local auto repair shop, such as Tom's Husker Automotive Inc.