Car Problems in Nigeria and Their Solutions

7 Common Car Problems in Nigeria and Their Solutions

Just like every other machine, a car is bound to have one problem or the other after being used for a while. It doesn’t mean the car brand is inferior or you’re not driving it well. It simply needs maintenance. Here are the 7 most common car problems in Nigeria and their solutions.


7 Common Car Problems in Nigeria and Their Solutions


#1. Dead or Discharged Battery

A car battery works alongside an alternator to start your vehicle. Generally, automotive batteries are designed to last long (except for electric cars). The battery of most cars that run on fuel usually becomes unusable within 3 to 5 years.

A discharged battery is what many car owners have. In such a case, the solution is to take it to a rewire and charge it.


Prevention and repair tips

  • If it’s a dead car battery, consider buying a new one.
  • If it’s discharged, get some jumper cables and another car battery to help jumpstart it. You can also buy a car battery jump starting device.


#2. Flat or Worn Tires

The primary cause of worn-out tires is friction. This can come from multiple sources, but the main determining factor is time.

If you travel long distances every week, your tires will be worn out faster than that of a friend who only drives his/her car to the office and back home.

A flat tire can also be caused by manufacturing defects, but that’s very rare unless you buy the cheapest tires in the Nigerian market.

As sad as it may be, the major cause of flat and worn-out tires is the poor quality of Nigerian roads. There’s no real prevention for this unless you can repair all the potholes present on your route.


Prevention and repair tips

  • First of all, avoid driving your car over sharp objects, as they can cause your tires to blow out. Avoid potholes if you can.
  • Secondly, always keep a spare tyre in your car. That way, you won’t be stranded as you can change the tyre yourself or call any car mechanic nearby.


#3. Fuel leaks

Fuel leakage is one of the 7 most common car problems that every car owner should be prepared for. Unlike some other car problems that start unexpectedly, fuel leakages usually start small before becoming a big problem.

Aside from increasing the risk of fire accidents, fuel leakages can also expose you to carbon monoxide (CO). Carbon Monoxide is very dangerous to human health if inhaled in large amounts.


Prevention and repair tips

  • Try changing your oil filter every 3 to 6 months.
  • Check for oil leaks from time to time
  • Wash the engine bay regularly


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#4. Squealing or Worn out Brakes

Most problems associated with car breaks are usually caused by friction and low manufacturing quality.

You can easily spot a problem with your car braking system. It will create squeaking or grinding sounds each time you apply the brakes. You can also notice a delayed stop.

A break problem should never be ignored, as it can lead to serious road accidents.


Prevention and repair tips

  • Take your car to the mechanic and allow them to properly assess your car
  • Buy new brake pads
  • Change your brake lines if applicable
  • Although many roads in Nigeria are bad, we have them in grades. There are bad roads, and there are worse roads, so you should know when to drive through a particular route and when not to


#5. Car Paint Fading and Chipping

This is another common car problem in Nigeria. You may experience this frequently if you usually park your car in open spaces. Your car painting will start fading out and chipping from multiple spots.

The major causes are ultraviolet rays from exposure to the sun, use of low-quality or powerful cleaning agents, corrosion and aging.


Prevention and repair tips

  • Avoid parking your car in open spaces
  • Don’t expose your car to harsh weather conditions like hot sun and rainfalls
  • Go to a car body shop and repaint your car to look as good as new
  • Use high-grade coating materials. Aside from looking good, they will retain their colour for a long time before fading sets in


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#6. Problems With the Exhaust Smoke

If your car’s exhaust is light or thin white, it is completely normal. This type of smoke is usually water vapour. However, noticing stronger colours calls for rapid attention.


Types of Smoke

1. White or Grey Smoke

This indicates that the coolant is being combusted along with the fuel. There’s a leakage in the Engine block, cylinder head or head gasket.

2. Blue Smoke

This colour of the car’s exhaust indicates that there is a leakage in the valve seals or guides. Also, the piston rings may have started wearing out, which will in turn make the engine oil penetrate the combustion chamber.

At the end of the day, the oil will burn together with the fuel, thereby causing the blue smoke that you’re noticing.

3. Black Smoke

Black smoke indicates excessive fuel being burnt in the combustion chambers. This is usually caused by a leak in the fuel injector, a stuck fuel pressure regulator or a restriction in the fuel combustion pipe.


Prevention and repair tips

  • Don’t use low-grade fuel and engine oil
  • Always observe your exhaust or have someone do it for you at intervals
  • Once you notice any unusual colour or smell, drive to the mechanic shop as soon as you can


#7. Problems With the Car Engine (Noises and Overheating)

If your car is old or has been abandoned for a long time, you may notice banging, rattling and splattering noises. Noisy engines can also be noticed if you purchased a low-quality used car.

Now let’s talk about overheating. Engine combustion generates a large amount of heat, which is designed to be cooled by radiators. If your cooling system has a fault, it affects your engine indirectly.


Prevention and repair tips

  • Don’t abandon a car for too long. Use it at least once a month to keep in good shape
  • Test any used car very well before agreeing to buy
  • Always check your radiators to see if they’re functioning well
  • If you notice anything amiss, consult a car mechanic


Also Read: Types of Roads in Nigeria and their Details


Wrapping Up: 7 Common Car Problems in Nigeria and Their Solutions

With continuous use, your car will develop problems one way or the other. It’s only a matter of time. As a car owner, it’s normal to have your own share of car problems. However, you can’t just ignore the diagnosis/repair as some car issues can compromise your comfort and safety while on the road.

To prepare yourself for such occurrences, take note of our list of the 7 most common car problems in Nigeria and their solutions. That way, you can cruise on while being confident in your car, driving skills and most importantly, your own safety.

AB Drives

AB Drives provides safe driving and defensive driving training in Nigeria. Follow us on Twitter or Facebook @abdrives4life.

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