I’m no stranger to strange car problems.
If something weird is going to happen to a car, there’s a good chance it’s going to happen to a car owned by someone in my family.
I had a 2004 Jaguar X-Type that wouldn’t rev past 3,000 RPM without the engine losing all power. My Grandpa had a Dodge Neon that wouldn’t run in the rain. My wife’s Subaru Legacy developed a high-pitched whistle somewhere near the sunroof, and, most recently, my older Audi filled up with water and now the tail lights won’t turn off.
Keep reading for the details, and examples of other strange problems people experience with their cars. As always, feel free to tell us your experiences in the comments section below.
The 2008 Q7 has a known problem in which the sunroof drainage tubes weren’t engineered properly, leading water to drain into the interior of the vehicle. My vehicle has had electrical problems with the tail lights since I bought it, which I mostly just ignored, except for when my dealer would temporarily fix them with new bulbs at each oil change.
Then I heard a sloshing sound coming from the rear, but assumed it was the spare gallon of coolant that I kept stored under the rear floor.
As it turns out, the sloshing sound was about 10 gallons of water that had filled the compartment that holds the spare tire. That also happens to be the location of wiring for the tail lights. After removing the water with a massive wet vac, the rear lights flashed like a police car, even with the car turned off and no keys in the ignition. That has led to a dead battery and the car now sits in my driveway awaiting a response from the good people at Audi.
My experience may be unique, but there are thousands of other problems that have happened to cars that make mine seem downright normal.
Here are some other strange problems:
After a few trips to the dealership and hours of countless research, I appear to be the only person in North America with a haunted passenger seat, the worst part is Richard (the ghost, I named him) sometimes will make the airbag service light pop up, causing me to briefly lose my mind, resulting in a downward haymaker to the seat, which seems to cure the problem for a few weeks. I’ve had the seat belt replaced, seat sensors, wiring, also the entire SRS system checked but Richard continues to plague me, maybe he is the spirit of the previous owner… I’ll never know.
I’m jamming out to the latest Taylor Swift song (don’t judge me), but when the jamming gets a little too intense I go to turn down the volume on the stereo. But for some reason, just doing that turns off the sound entirely — why does my BMW hate Tay Tay?
And this one,
Dodge truck with a blown heater core. Not uncommon, replace the heater core, and it’s on its way. Truck had the new heater core go out in a couple months, and then once again a few months later. Well that’s kind of odd… Started digging into it a little deeper, because a heater core can take about 8 hours to replace. Ended up putting a volt meter in the coolant. Sure enough, it was producing voltage, the coolant had electrolysis. Put a couple of grounds on the cooling system and new heater core, and hasn’t had a problem since then.
This is just scratching the surface of strange car problems, so tell us:
What’s the strangest car problem you’ve ever had?
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