Some Vehicle Problems That Are Often Misdiagnosed

Posted on: 4 January 2019

The best way to get an accurate diagnosis for problems you're having with your car is to take it to a good mechanic. However, many car owners often make the mistake of thinking they can diagnose a problem on their own. This often leads to the wrong part being replaced, or a problem getting worse over time. Here are a few car problems that are commonly misdiagnosed by car owners and what they might really mean, so you know what to look for and what to expect from your mechanic by way of repairs that do need to be done.

Blown Engine Gasket

Gaskets are like seals that keep the chambers of the pistons of the engine shut. Gaskets can simply wear out over time and not keep engine fluids in those chambers, but signs of a worn gasket can be mistaken for other car problems. For example, coolant might spew out and then drip under the engine when a gasket is worn. When you see a puddle of coolant on the garage floor, your first thought might be that the car has a leaking radiator or a hose. This loss of coolant might also lead to the engine overheating, and you may assume this is a malfunctioning fan or thermostat. If all those parts are fine, check to see if your car needs a new set of gaskets instead.

Clogged Catalytic Converter

When you hear rattling from the exhaust system, you might immediately assume the problem is with the muffler. However, the filter that is part of the catalytic converter can cause rattling once it gets clogged. Air runs over this clogged area and causes a rattling, whistling, or humming sound, or excessive vibration from under the car. The catalytic converter usually needs replacing in this case. If you noticed this rattling sound, it is best to get your vehicle checked by a mechanic near you instead of trying to solve the problem on your own. 


If you start your car and it immediately stalls but then stops doing this after you've been driving for some time, you might assume you have a bad tank of petrol or that the car needs new spark plugs. This actually might be the oxygen sensor. This sensor tells the engine how much oxygen to pull in so that it can mix with fuel and create combustion. If the sensor begins failing, the car may not pull in enough oxygen when it's first started, causing it to stall. However, after driving for some time, there may be enough oxygen in the engine to compensate for that failing sensor, and the car no longer stalls.