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Overlooked Car Problems: Minor Issues That Could Lead to Significant Damages

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Some of the commonly overlooked car problems that could lead to significant damages if ignored include:

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  • The check engine light is illuminating
  • The license plate is unreadable
  • The gas warning light is very low
  • The exterior light is broken
  • The vehicle is not aligned properly
  • The motor oil is low
  • The windshield glass is cracked
  • The coolant level is very low
  • It is hard to start your vehicle
  • The brakes make weird noises
  • The tire pressure is not enough
  • There is a fluid leaking underneath the vehicle
  • There are some scratches on the exterior

Many inexperienced drivers ignore minor car issues thinking that the vehicle will fix itself at some point. However, these minor issues can lead to significant damages in no time, especially if you ignore them for extended times.

Most of us know the common car maintenance and probably never skipped oil change or tire rotation. However, some hidden issues might sound insignificant, but we as drivers need to familiarize ourselves with these issues before they get complicated.

This article walks you through all the common overlooked car problems that you need to be aware of and never ignore if you would like to extend the lifetime of your vehicle and prevent major breakdowns that could lead to significant repair costs.

What are the commonly overlooked car problems?

According to automotive experts, whenever you notice any strange behavior coming from your vehicle, it is critical that you take it seriously and never ignore it, thinking that you can deal with it in the next couple of weeks.

The faster you detect the problem, the easier it is for the mechanic to resolve the issue without installing major components. However, even if issues are minor, they can easily lead to significant damages that will most likely require installing major components costing thousands of dollars on repair if ignored for an extended time.

Let's take a closer look at some of the commonly overlooked car problems that you should never ignore:

1-    The check engine light is illuminating 

One of the first and most critical things that you should never ignore is the check engine light. Typically, your vehicle relies on the check engine light to bring your attention to certain internal problems that might be minor but could be linked to major issues.

Therefore, whenever you see a check engine light illuminating on the dashboard, you must pull over and stop the vehicle. Once you are safe, get in touch with your mechanic and see if you can continue driving the vehicle or get it towed to the nearest repair shop.

2-    The license plate is unreadable

You must have unreadable license plates all the time. This might be obvious to most drivers, but too many inexperienced drivers can underestimate it. In addition, any unreadable license plate can lead to significant fines, if not other legal issues. The good news is that you can't easily replace the license plate at your local DMV office if it has any problem, and the fees are not very big.

3-    The gas warning light is very low

Most automotive experts recommend that you never get your gas tank close to empty because this could lead to significant issues in the fuel system and other linked systems. Therefore, you must never wait until the gas warning light points to the very low indicator. Keep the fuel tank at least close to 1/3 all the time if you don't want to deal with carbon buildups or other internal problems.

One of the worst outcomes from a low gas or an empty gas tank is a damaged fuel pump. As you might already know, the fuel pump is one of the very expensive components in your car, and it requires intensive labor effort to get repaired.

4-    The exterior light is broken

The headlights are critical components to maintain your safety, especially when driving in dark areas or foggy weather. Therefore, whenever you notice any minor issue in the headlights, you should take care of it immediately before it gets complicated and cause safety problems. Luckily, exterior lights are not very expensive, which means that you can do their fair in no time without waiting, especially since it's something you can do by yourself without needing a mechanic.

5-    The vehicle is not aligned properly

Over time of use, the vehicle's alignment might get impacted, and you will notice that as you drive. For example, have you ever driven your vehicle noticed that it's leaning towards one side more than the other? This indicates that there is a problem with the alignment.

Problems with alignments are not limited to impacting the tires and causing significant damage Problems with the suspension system to require much higher repair costs than you imagined. Thus, keep an eye on the alignment and follow the scheduled maintenance in your vehicle's owner’s manual about when to check the alignment and what to do next.

6-    The motor oil is low

Your vehicle's engine requires oil to stay lubricated all the time and prevent engine overheating. Engine overheating is one of the worst enemies that could impact the engine because it leads to significant damages in a very short time.

It's critical that you maintain the optimum engine oil level all the time and never get to a point where your vehicle complains about the oil pressure. Depending on your vehicle type, you might see some warning lights on the dashboard, but if your vehicle is not modern, you'll notice some other symptoms indicating that the oil level is lower than the optimum point.

When this happens, you must top off the oil and ensure that it's not anymore. Keep in mind that if there are some internal or external leaks in your vehicle, the oil level will remain low, which means you must take care of the leak to resolve the issue.

7-    The windshield glass is cracked

There are many reasons for the windshield glass to get cracked. For example, you might be driving behind a large truck, and a small stone makes its way to your windshield and breaks it. However, minor stones often won't cause major problems, and it will all be just a small chip on the glass.

Inexperienced drivers think that the minor chip won't be an issue and can take care of it later. However, minor chips in the glass can become bigger in no time. Depending on your driving speed, the glass might break suddenly, causing hazardous situations not only for you but also for other people driving with you.

8-    The coolant level is very low

Like the motor oil, your engine relies on the cooling system to cool down when the temperature exceeds a maximum threshold. Depending on your vehicle's type, the car might throw a warning light on the dashboard, complaining that the coolant level is not enough.

You must pull over and stop your vehicle immediately whenever you notice this warning lightly. Continuing to drive the vehicle might lead to significant problems in the engine, which requires significantly High repair costs.

9-    It is hard to start your vehicle

It's not rare to deal with situations where your vehicle doesn't start properly. Unfortunately, the issue varies significantly depending on the root culprit, which means you must keep an eye on other symptoms to give yourself a hint on what's going on.

If you notice that difficulty starting becomes a common issue in your vehicle, you must take it seriously and consult your mechanic to detect what's going on. And sometimes the issue could be related to an old battery or probably a faulty alternator. Whatever the reason, it should be taken care of immediately.

10- The brakes make weird noises

The braking system is one of the very critical systems in your vehicle, and you must maintain it all the time to prevent safety issues. Most brakes problems start with weird noises coming from the brake pedal or other components within the braking system. Whenever you notice any of these noises, you must have your vehicle serviced immediately. These noises indicate an internal problem related to either minor or probably major components in the braking system.

As we indicated earlier, whenever you hear any weird noises coming from your vehicle, whether from the braking system or any other components, you should take it seriously and resolve the issue because the earlier you detect the issue, the easier it is for repair.

11- The tire pressure is not enough

Your vehicle's tires are the first components interacting with the road, which means that you must keep them working all the time properly. In addition, you must have the optimum tire pressure to prevent impacting your vehicle's fuel economy and efficiency.

When the tire pressure drops below a certain threshold, you get two situations that have to do with your safety. First, that's why your car will throw a warning light indicating that you must inflate your vehicle tires immediately. Second, failing to care for your vehicle's pressure leads to safety problems for you and other people driving on the road.

12- There is a fluid leaking underneath the vehicle

Your vehicle relies on a long list of fluids to work efficiently. When there is an internal or external, your vehicle's performance will be impacted, and, in some instances, some major components might get damaged.


Therefore, despite the type of fluid leaking underneath the vehicle, you must take the situation seriously and get the issue resolved. If fluid leaks underneath the vehicle, it's not necessarily a significant problem because sometimes the AC system might leak some water, which is not an issue. Thus, you won't know for sure until you consult your mechanic and confirm that culprit.

13- There are some scratches on the exterior

Although most of the mentioned overlooked car problems have to do with major components, sometimes car scratches might be overlooked, and people underestimate the impact of these scratches on their vehicles. Car scratches won't cause safety problems spots they impact the vehicle's overall value.

Imagine that you are ready to sell your car to another potential buyer; what will happen if the buyer sees major scratches? The buyer will immediately think that your vehicle hasn't been taken care of and what's showing on the exterior decades that there are some potential problems under the hood.


Taking good care of our vehicles is a huge responsibility, and many inexperienced drivers think that by doing the basics, they can maintain their cars. However, many overlooked car problems could lead to significant damages if not taken care of immediately.

This article walked you through some of the most overlooked car problems to bring your attention to and help you extend the lifetime of your car. For example, you must pay attention to any fluid’s leaks, dashboard warning lights, chips on the windshield glass, and others.

No matter how much effort and time you put towards taking care of your car, your vehicle might get to the point of time where it's very hard to repair it. When that happens, it's not the end of the world because there's always somebody to buy your vehicle and pay the top dollars for it, which is cash cars Buyer!

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  • Describe your car’s type and condition
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