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Common Foreign Car Repairs and their Symptoms

Checking and performing regular maintenance on your foreign car can help catch small issues before they become expensive repairs. Many common problems exhibit warning signs that observant owners can spot. Understanding these symptoms can help you decide when to seek professional automotive service versus performing basic DIY maintenance yourself. Here are some of the most common foreign car repairs and the symptoms that indicate they may be needed:

Transmission – One of the more expensive systems to repair, your transmission can show signs of trouble like slipping gears when shifting, hesitation between shifts, and unfamiliar noises like grinding or whining. Fluid leaks, overheating, and a burning smell are also bad signs. If you notice any of these symptoms, have a mechanic check your transmission fluid level, pressure, and condition. Flushing out the old fluid and changing filters can fix minor issues. However, severe problems may require transmission replacement.  

Image Alt Tag: Engine Oil being poured into a car.

Suspension – Strange noises, especially over bumps, are a telltale sign of suspension issues. Look for squeaks, thumps, or clanks coming from your struts or shocks. Uneven tire wear can indicate bent control arms or out-of-alignment suspension geometry. For DIY fixes, you can lubricate bushings and ball joints, and tighten loose tie rods and control arms. But struts, shocks, and ball joints often need professional replacement when worn.

Image Alt Tag: Advanced Suspension systems

Electrical System – Starter problems are common, exhibiting cranking noise but failing to turn over the engine. Alternatively, your car may turn over very slowly. This indicates a weak or faulty battery. Headlights or dash lights that flicker or dim also point to electrical issues. Fuses that blow frequently need troubleshooting. Many electrical repairs are DIY, like replacing batteries, light bulbs, and fuses. But bad wires, faulty switches, or random electrical gremlins may require a diagnostic check from a mechanic.

Image Alt Tag: Car electrical systems with a battery plug using a jump start cable

Brakes – The most obvious symptom of brake trouble is a grinding or squealing noise coming from your wheels. You may also feel pulsations in the brake pedal or a pull to one side when braking. The pedal could feel spongy or fade near the floor. And watching your brake fluid reservoir – if the level goes down, that means a leak. Replacing pads, fluid, and bleeding the lines is simple DIY work. But warped rotors, stuck calipers, or more severe issues require a mechanic’s help.      

Image Alt Tag: Brake Components of Foreign Cars.

Hopefully, by understanding these common repairs for your foreign car and their warning symptoms, you can catch small issues before they become critical – saving you both hassle and money in the long run. 

Practice routine maintenance on parts you can service yourself. But for complex repairs, trust a reputable auto shop like Signal Hill Foreign Auto Services with a track record of expertly servicing all makes and models for over 40 years. 

Our experienced mechanics can determine the best solutions for optimal performance, safety, and long life for your valuable vehicle.