Among many malfunctioning that can occur in cars, brake problems, worn tires, airbag deployment problem, ball joint, wheel bearing, and seat belt pre tensioner failures tops the list. This article talks about the signs of malfunctioning of automobile par

The invention of vehicles has both, pros and cons. While enhancing convenience and mobility, it brings along risk and liability. Machines wear out and they need to be examined in order to prevent disastrous accidents. Here are some of the failures in cars which can lead to deadly mishaps:

  1. Ball Joints failure:

Ball joints are spherical bearings that connect the control arms to the steering knuckles, allowing the front wheels to steer. They secure the frontal wheels and supports the weight of the car. Dysfunction of ball joint can result in collapse of suspension, causing a loss of steering control. The frontal wheel can fall off while turning the car.

Wellness of ball joints must be checked by looking for clicking, snapping or popping noises when you turn the steering wheel, or creaking, squeaking or thudding noises as you come to a stop. Excessive vibration from the front of the vehicle and drifting of steering on its own can also give an indication for ball joint failure.

  1. Worn tires        

Tread refers to the rubber on the periphery of a tire that touches the road or the ground. The weariness of tread depends on the usage of the tire.  It is important to not let your tire wear down to 2/32 inch (16 mm) as it affect a car’s traction, especially in wet roads. With low tread tires, loss of steering or braking control might be experienced when a layer of water prevents direct contact between tires and the road, runway, or other surface. Low tread tires are more vulnerable to punctures, which can cause sudden blowouts. This can lead to loss of control of a vehicle and spinning if the vehicle is turning, accelerating or braking.

To prevent this, the condition of the tires should be inspected regularly. Look for bulges or wrinkles in the tire sidewalls, unusual or uneven wear and cracks in the tread that may indicate tread separation or loss of air pressure.

  1. Airbag deployment problem

The basic function of an airbag is to inflate rapidly then quickly deflate during a crash or sudden deceleration. If a person is not secured in the car they will continue moving in the same direction (forward) with the same speed (the speed the car was going) when the car abruptly stops until a force acts on them. The greater the force, the severe the injury. The main purpose of an airbag is to minimize this force by providing a cushion of air between the passenger and the dashboard or windshield.

To check if airbag works or not, start the vehicle and check the airbag indicator light. The airbag is operating normally if the light comes on briefly and goes out. If the light stays on or flashes, there is a problem with the airbag system. When you are buying a used car, you can ensure that the airbag has not been deployed by checking the airbag cover and dash. The airbag cover and dash splits apart when an airbag deploys. Though the split cover and dash can be repaired, look for some unevenness and seams in it. Notice any repainting in the cover by comparing it with rest of the interior. Check the cover to see if it has the vehicle manufacturer's emblem and the SRS (Safety Restraint System) logo on it.

  1. Seat belt pre tensioner failure

A modern seatbelt pre tensioner forcefully pulls back to stabilize passengers into a safer seating position when the airbags deploy. It locks the seat belt in the event of a crash, allowing the occupant fall into a soft air bag only after the airbag opens up.


A pre tensioner failure can lead to extreme slack in the seat belt, allowing the passenger to have a sudden and forceful contact with the windshield, instrument panel or steering wheel. It can even eject the passenger from the vehicle causing serious injury or death. Hence, it is important to get your seat belt pre tensioner checked time and again.


  1. Wheel Bearings failure:

A wheel bearing is a set of steel balls held together by a metal ring. They help wheels spin fast with as little friction as possible. They wear out when exposed to contamination or due to insufficiency of grease. A bad bearing makes a grinding or howling sound which grows louder and higher-pitched with speed, and is loudest on the right side while turning to left and vice versa.

Wheel bearings should be repaired when noticed because faulty bearings causes increased friction, bringing the car to sudden halt . This can be fatal while driving at high speed.


  1. Brake Problems:

Among all other car problems, brake problems are one of the most known, obvious and dangerous.  It is crucial to get your brakes examined as soon as you find something unusual about it.  Crystallized brake pads and/or shoes, oil or grease soaked brakes, loss of power assist from the power brake booster, excessive overheating of the brakes are some reasons for failure of the brake system.

Few prominent signs your car will indicate to alert you it is time for a servicing are lighting up of red or yellow brake indicators on the dashboard, squealing/squeaking or grinding noises as you apply the brake, wobbling/ vibration or scraping when braking, soft pedal brake that sinks all the way to the floor mat as press on it, car pulling to one side while applying brake, burning smell while driving and bouncing of vehicle with sharp braking.

  1. Power steering failure:

Power steering is not a luxury anymore. A major problem faced in power steering is cars losing power assist. This doesn’t imply losing the steering but just the power assist, making the steering wheel drastically hard to turn. There can be sudden change of direction, particularly at speeds above 40 mph. The good thing is that you will still have control of your vehicle. Instead of panicking and feeling disconcerted, it is suggested to stay composed and remind yourself to use more effort to turn it.


To look out for power steering problems, listen for whining, moaning or shrieking sound when you turn the steering wheel. This indicates low fluid in your steering system pump. In addition to that, keep track of how much effort is required to turn the steering wheel. If you require a relatively greater effort to turn the steering wheel, your power steering system is going out. Also, check for power steering fluid leaks by looking for any stain of amber, pink or red color under your car parking area. To prevent these situation, notice the warning light coming on the dash (if you have a newer vehicle with electric power steering) and get it repaired in the service center as soon as possible. may throw the car into a skid, making it impossible to have control over the car.