Top 10 Most Common Car Problems


As vehicles age, it’s not uncommon for mechanical issues to pop up more frequently than they once did before. This is due in part to overall wear and tear based on how often you use your vehicle, what you use it for, and how well you have kept up on its routine maintenance over the years.

Despite our every effort to reduce the amount of mechanical issues we have on our older vehicles, they are unfortunately, inevitable. That’s why when your car or truck has reached a certain age, you should considering whether or not doing heft repairs is really worth the time and money.

For everything that can’t be fixed, isn’t worth fixing, or anything in between, there’s More Cash For Scrap. We offer MORE cash for scrap cars than any other scrap car removal company in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley.

Top 10 Most Common Mechanical Issues on a Car


Vehicles don’t have to be old to start experiencing frequent mechanical issues. Some are newer vehicles, but high a really high number of kilometres on them. While others are not that old, but are prone to recalls and mechanical failures, which have a tendency to ripple throughout the vehicle for a variety of reasons.

Knowing what the most common car problems are, how to spot them, and what to do about them is critical in deciding whether or not to scrap your car or sell it.

The Most Common Mechanical Issues on Vehicles Are:

1. Engine Problems

Definitely the biggest problem people experience with older vehicles is an engine issue. The most common engine problem being overheating.

Engine overheating usually occurs as the result of another problem such as coolant leaks, a malfunctioning thermostat, a problem with your water pump, or low oil caused by burning or leaking oil.


All of these smaller problems can created one really big and expensive problem to repair. So, if you’ve noticed your oil levels are low, or that you have puddles under your car when parked, get your vehicle into a professional mechanic for an inspection. The trick to saving yourself thousands of dollars in repair is catching engine issues early.

In fact, many of the scrap cars we buy are the result of engine problems. Whether it’s a dead engine, an engine that’s burning oil or has several leaks, or simply isn’t firing right. Fortunately for our customers, we always pay MORE cash for scrap cars than anyone in Vancouver!

2.Brake Problems

Brake issues can happen to even the most well-maintained vehicle. However, it’s a common problem on vehicles with a higher number of kilometres, or vehicles that are older.

Although brake replacement and maintenance are a regular part of vehicle upkeep, when an essential repair is needed, it can be costly. Signs that you need to have your brakes service include:

  • Squealing
  • Grinding
  • Shaking while breaking
  • Squeaking
  • Thumping
  • Reduced braking power
  • Brakes that stick
  • ABS light is on
  • Check engine light is on

Another sign that something could be wrong with your brakes is if your e-brake isn’t supporting the weight of your vehicle well while parked on hills. When one thing goes, more usually follows. So, do yourself a favour and don’t ignore the signs of brake problems when they first present themselves.

3. Malfunctioning or Failed Starter


For whatever reason, it seems like the starter always goes when we are caught in one of Vancouver’s freak rainstorms, or when we are trying to leave a Christmas party before the snow gets too bad to drive.

Fortunately, there are signs and symptoms to watch our for when your starter is starting to go. Knowing what to look for is key in preventing yourself from being stranded at the most inopportune times.

Signs Your Starter is Going:

  • There’s a delay from when you turn the ignition key, to when your vehicle actually begins to start
  • You periodically only get a clicking sound instead of the sound of start up
  • A grinding or whining noise when you turn the key to start your car
  • The obvious, your engine not actually starting
  • Smoke and/grinding when starting the motor

Starters isn’t exactly a big issue when it comes to getting it repaired or replaced, but it’s usually a sign that your vehicle is aging, and things are starting to fail. When you’ve got a lot of miles on your car, and age stacked against it as well, it may be time to consider scrapping your car and getting a new one. More Cash For Scrap are the ones to call because we always pay MORE cash for scrap cars than any other scrap car removal company in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley.

4. Exhaust System Issues

cash for scrap cars

We’ve all heard an extremely loud vehicle racing down the street at one point or another. And sometimes, what we expect isn’t what shows up. What may sound like a loud powerful vehicle, can actually be something small, old, and experiencing exhaust system issues.

Additionally, some people actually get their vehicles to sound like that on purpose, so it may be an intended exhaust system issue! Either way, exhaust system issues are quite common, and need a professional mechanic to evaluate it, like our friends at Minit Tune & Brake in Kitsilano.

Here are some of the most common signs that your exhaust system needs some attention:

1.Rust – Rust leads to corrosion which leads to leaks. You can buy a spray to help protect your vehicle’s exhaust system from developing excessive rust prematurely. For those who drive more often and in wetter weather (like Metro Vancouver), you are more prone to rust on your exhaust system.

2.Leaks – As stated a moment ago, leaks can be caused by rust. They can also be caused by damage or loose components. Keeping your exhaust system free of leaks means keeping up on regular routine maintenance. Just like you try to avoid skipping your doctor’s visits, avoid skipping your car’s mechanic’s visits.

3.Block Catalytic Converter – A block converter can cause all kinds of issues with your vehicle. From poor performance and a serious lack of power to toxic fumes leaking into your cabin. If you start noticing a rotten egg type of smell in your car while driving, open your window, and get your car to a mechanic a.s.a.p.

4.Loose Mounts and/or Brackets – While these are necessarily catastrophic at the onset, they can lead to major repairs if not addressed in time. Fortunately, a loose bracket or mount is quite easy to notice as you’ll hear a rattling sound that is very prominent while driving.

5. Malfunctioning Sensors

It’s not unusual for a sensor to go on your car. It’s a delicate component that while small, does a lot for our car.

Sensors like the Throttle Position Sensor, or TPS for short, are responsible for controlling your vehicle’s speed. If you notice erratic acceleration, rough idling, or random surges while driving, it could be that your TPS needs replacing.

Other sensors like your O2 sensor are responsible for controlling your vehicle’s air to fuel ratio. When the sensor is malfunctioning, you’ll notice rough idles, poor engine performance, and a noticeable decrease in fuel economy. When you are experiencing any of these issues, get your car checked sooner rather than later.

6. Alternator Issues & Electrical Problems

This is a very common issue, and also one of the most dreaded for drivers and mechanics alike. When you experience electrical problems of any kind on a vehicle, it can be tough to diagnose. One thing leads to another which leads to another, and finding the source of the problem can be a nightmare. You’ll end up paying more in labour costs to resolve the issue than you ever will on parts.


Even a standard alternator replacement isn’t what it used to be. Once upon a time you could replace an alternator for a couple hundred dollars. Now, some vehicles cost upwards of $1800 to replace the alternator, and that’s IF that is the source of your electrical problems.

We see so many vehicles that come through our scrap car removal company that were perfectly good cars, until they suffered an electrical failure. If you are one of the unfortunate people to have a car with electrical issues, talk to our team today. We can offer you MORE cash than any other local scrap car buyers in Vancouver and the Fraser Valley.

7. Radiator Leaks


If you’re noticing random leaks that are green or orange, you could have a radiator leak. Also, if you notice your vehicle’s temperature gauge rising and the coolant levels dropping, you may need to get it replaced.

Without getting your radiator serviced at the first sign of trouble, you could end up with a dead engine due to overheating issues. The radiator is a vital part of your vehicle’s cooling system, and without it, your car can’t run properly.

Once your radiator goes, It only takes a few minutes for your vehicle’s engine to overheat. If you’re driving along and suddenly notice that your car’s temperature is steadily climbing, pull over immediately and allow your vehicle to cool down. Then, get it into a mechanic promptly.

8. Air Conditioning Problems

This is a very common problem that most of us won’t even address until it’s 40 degrees out in the midst of August in Metro Vancouver.

With annual forest fires now being a thing, you’d think the majority of us would be prepared to deal with excessive heat. Yet many people still fail to have their car air conditioning serviced before it’s too late.

Air conditioning problems can be very expensive to repair, or they can also be on the simpler side. It takes a professional to know exactly what needs replacing or repairing. Repairs can run anywhere from $300 all the way up to $3,000 for a complete air conditioning replacement on a vehicle.

If you’re experiencing any kind of A/C problems on an older vehicle and are expecting a massive bill from your mechanic to fix it, sell your car to us instead. We always pay MORE cash for cars with air conditioning problems than any other scrap car removal companies in the Lower Mainland.

9. Worsening Gas Mileage

When you buy a vehicle brand new off the lot, the salesman will generally promote the exceptional gas mileage it gets, along with any other bonuses that come from its fuel economy. However, as a vehicle ages, the gas mileage slowly starts dropping.

What was once 7.0L/100km is now easily 8.5L/100km in the city, and highway mileage is nowhere near what it used to be. That’s because a vehicle’s engine experiences build up in a variety of places including injectors, valves, pistons, and even cylinder walls.

Also, other unknown mechanical issues can affect your fuel consumption. Things like:

  • Malfunctioning sensors
  • Exhaust system issues
  • Clogged oil filter or fuel filter
  • Clogged or dirty fuel injectors
  • Clogged or dirty air filter
  • Damage to your piston rings
  • Wrong engine oil in your car
  • Brake issues like stuck brakes

If you have noticed that you’ve been spending more at the pump than you once did, you may need to get your vehicle checked for possible mechanical issues that could be contributing to reduced gas mileage.

10. Battery Issues

Without your car’s battery, your vehicle simply wouldn’t run. It works in synch with your car’s alternator to provide your vehicle and all the electrical components with electricity. So, needless to say, if your battery isn’t working correctly, neither will your car.

Corrosion on the connectors is a very common issue that can cause your battery to stop working properly, or at all. Corrosion usually happens when battery acid gets on the connectors and along the top of the battery. This eats away at the connectors and makes it impossible for the electricity to get through.

Most batteries are relatively inexpensive to replace, but some vehicles’ batteries cost upwards of $400. If you have the option to get a warranty with your battery purchase, do so. It could save you money in the long run.

Cash For Cars with Mechanical Issues in Vancouver

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With so many things that can go wrong with your car, Vancouverites are lucky to have a scrap car removal company like More Cash For Scrap.

We always offer MORE cash for cars with mechanical issues and electrical problems. Unlike some scrap car buyers in Vancouver who will deduct money off the price of your car depending on the issues it has, we don’t. We simply offer the most cash for cars in any condition and with any problems.

Want to Know How Much Your Scrap Car is Worth?

All it takes is a simple call, text, or email to find out what your junk vehicle could be worth. Provide our team with the make, model, year, condition, and location of your car. Then, we’ll present you with an instant cash offer right over the phone!

If you accept our offer, we’ll dispatch our free junk car towing service to come pick up your car that same day. We are also happy to accommodate specific days and times if you need them also. We operate 7 days a week, from 7:00am to 11:00pm, and even work on most statutory holidays as well.

Call us today and find out for yourself why we’ve been the #1 scrap car removal company in Vancouver since 2005.

Have a question, comment or feedback? Just ask or let us know your thoughts here:

  1. Nedplugs February 17, 2024 at 1:19 pm

    Bravo! This post deserves recognition. Kudos to the author for their exceptional effort!

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About the Author: scrapcar

Since 2005, we've specialized in turning our customer's scrap cars into quick cash. We buy vehicles in ANY condition and with ANY issues. We pay MORE cash for scrap cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans than any other scrap car removal company in Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, and Vancouver Island. If you want MORE cash, same day free junk car towing, and a reliable scrap car buying service, you want More Cash For Scrap.