Troubleshooting Guide

Choose your car’s symptom to learn what could be wrong and how to fix it.

Whether it starts with an ominous rattling, the smell of gas or a warning light on your dashboard, unidentified car trouble can make your stomach churn.

RepairPal makes it easy to find a trusted mechanic to look under the hood for you. But troubleshooting your ride first is helpful because you’ll know how urgent it is to schedule a repair, what to expect from your mechanic, and how to communicate the issue clearly.

Troubleshooting quizzes

Take a quick quiz to learn what your car's check engine light may be signaling.
Narrow down the cause of a car that won't start by answering a few short questions.
Common symptoms
You don't need to be a technician to keep track of your car's health - you just need to be vigilant about any unusual changes. When you do notice something, use all the clues you can: where it's happening, when it's happening and all the symptoms involved.
Car warning lights
Dashboard warning lights are a way for your car's internal systems to signal a potential issue before the problem escalates. When these appear, notice what's happening and when it occurs (or if it's constant). You may be able to diagnose the problem on your own, but sometimes a certified technician will be necessary.