COVID-19 UPDATEWe are still open! Steve's Imports has made some adjustments due to COVID-19 to protect our employees and you, our customers.
All normally face to face interactions will be via the phone to encourage social distancing, due to this we are accepting card payments via phone amongst several other measures.
Click here to learn more about our changes in policy, for everyones protection

Regular service and maintenance of your vehicle go a long way in ensuring it continues to run smoothly throughout the years. Keeping your vehicle regularly maintained will save you money in the long run by preventing or catching possible issues early on! It is also a sure way of keeping you and your loved ones safe whenever you get behind the wheel. Whether you’re driving an older vehicle or a newer model, it’s crucial to keep an eye out for sudden changes in your vehicle’s performance. Here are some common car problems you should look out for:

Dead Battery

When it comes to unpleasant car surprises, a dead battery has got to be at the top of your list. This may be caused by a faulty alternator, ignition switch, or fuse. Alternatively, it could simply be because of the overuse of electrical car components like your headlights or radio. If you find yourself stuck on the road without power and there’s no one with jumping cables, look around for someone to help you push your vehicle out of the roadway and away from traffic. You can then call someone you know to come to jump your vehicle, or you can call a tow truck or a roadside assistance service!

Alternator Failure

If your vehicle doesn’t start or runs for a few minutes only to die on the road, you could be experiencing an alternator failure. A replacement becomes inevitable in such situations because you will have some expensive repairs to look forward to if you leave things as they are. Make sure to contact a local repair shop and schedule an appointment.

Cooling System Issues

If you find yourself stranded due to overheating, there is a good chance a radiator leak is an issue. Coolant leaks can either result from hoses or the cooling system itself, and they can lead to severe engine damage if left unattended for too long. You’ll know this when you check the engine light. You need to check your coolant levels regularly and keep a lookout for any green or pink-colored fluids. If your radiator fluid’s color is milky, this could also point to an internal leak in your cooling system, which should be checked by a mechanic promptly for a possible oil change.

Radiator Leaks

You can check for car radiator leaks by looking for wet spots under your vehicle or gently rocking it back and forth while using the spray hose as an indicator. If there is a leak, you should see white-colored fluid oozing out from underneath. It’s best to call a professional to examine your vehicle and fix any leaks.

Brakes Squeaking/Grinding

Try to determine the exact location of the squeaking or grinding. That worrying sound may originate from your brake pads, rotors, calipers, or even from the suspension. If the noise seems to come from behind the wheels, it’s possible your brakes need replacing. Any noises originating from the front probably mean that your rotors need attention.

Brake Pads Wear Out Too Quickly

If your brakes are past their expiry date, get them replaced immediately or else you risk causing some serious damage to your car, and not to mention it is extremely unsafe to drive around with a worn-out brake system. This could mean that your pads are not of the desired quality and are wearing out sooner than they should. It is something that needs immediate attention and can be solved by investing in a good parts brand.

Loose Steering Wheel

A loose car steering wheel may indicate that your tie-rod end is broken and needs replacing right away. This is an essential part of your steering system, and if it is damaged, it could be very dangerous. While driving on the road and the wheel starts to shake or vibrate excessively, this could be due to loose lug-nuts. Get this checked as soon as possible in an auto repair shop near you.

Flat Tires

Punctures are one of the most common road incidences. Get this checked as soon as you can because if left unattended, a hole in your tire could get much worse and cause irreparable damage to the tire or even your axle.
If you find that your tire is rubbing against the wheel spokes, it might be time for an alignment. Alignment issues tend to wear out tires very quickly and can cause other damages to your vehicle. Maintaining your vehicle’s alignment will make your tires last a lot longer and will save you money in the long run!


These are just a fraction of the things that can go wrong with your vehicle. If you don’t feel comfortable working on your car, maybe it’s time you found a good auto repair shop near you. Getting a qualified technician to check on your vehicle regularly is good for identifying issues before they turn into more significant problems. It also allows you to save money by dealing with car problems at an early stage. Some of these issues are avoidable if they are diagnosed and addressed early on. If you’re located in the Portland area, visit Steve’s Imports for any car issues you might be having or looking for a good auto shop to maintain regular maintenance on your vehicle! Call us today!


What are the most common causes of auto repair services?

It is challenging to say, but wear and tear usually causes the most common car issues. From changing brake pads, replacing tires, and adjusting tire pressure to sticking a screwdriver into the front of your engine, these are all things drivers need to do at some point.

What auto problems take a long time to repair?

According to online reviews, ignition repairs take the longest and can be quite tricky. If there’s a particular component inside your operating systems, like a sensor, that gets stuck; this means you have to replace it, which may take up to two days in auto repair shops. Talk to your service provider, and they’ll be able to give you a timeline depending on the severity of the issue.

What are the signs of a bad engine?

If you see water or oil leaking from your bonnet, this is a sure sign of a bad engine. Leaking oils are not a good sign and mean you’ll need an oil change pretty soon. Water is another issue because it could also come from your cooling system, depending on how badly damaged it is. Experts highly recommend checking the engine light to see if it’s flickering.

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