car problems in Kenya and how to fix them

Just like you get sick sometimes, it is normal to find your car having a problem sometimes. It is important to know the kind of issue the car had and find out whether you can be able to fix it yourself or if it needs a mechanic. Find out the most common car problems in Kenya and how to fix them as discussed in our detailed guide below.

However, some of them might be a signal of something bigger which needs immediate attention therefore, be sure to have a mechanic examine them in case you are not satisfied with your trial.

Common car problems in Kenya

  1. Dents
  2. Damaged spark plugs
  3. The car won’t start
  4. Battery issues
  5. Cloudy headlights
  6. Electrical problems
  7. Problematic wiper blades
  8. Flat tyre
  9. Power window issues
  10. Fluids.
car problems in Kenya and how to fix them

Car problems in Kenya and how to fix them- a quick guide


Dents are often annoying and unpleasant. Some of them can be stressful to think about when you don’t have knowledge on how to deal with them. Luckily, you can easily fix a car dent at home if it is not advanced. If there are bends on the body or any huge damage, find a mechanic to fix it. However, for minor dents, you can simply fix them in a few minutes with the following simple guide;

How to fix a car dent:

Time needed: 30 minutes

  1. Press a proper amount of filler on a hard metal until it is well mixed

  2. Apply the filler until it completely covers all the scratches in the dented area.

  3. Apply a fill coat

  4. Sand the filler to match the car body contours

  5. Spray the place with a primer

  6. Spray the matching color paint

  7. Add a top coat spray(if available) to finish up.

This process might be a little difficult if you do not know how to match the colors well. Some colors are a combination of two or three paint mixtures that need a lot of keen attention to come up with. Be careful not to have a different spot of color on your car’s body.

Damaged spark plugs

Spark plugs are important parts of car engines. Without the spark plugs, the engine cannot start. Spark plugs are very easy to fix if they are not in the proper orientation. However, if they are damaged, they might need a whole replacement. Spark plugs are designed to transmit power in form of electrical signals to the engine chamber at controlled timing to start a spark that ignites the air-fuel. Spark plugs can go for a very long time without requiring to be changed. However, when they are worn out, you might want to look into their condition lest your car refuses to start. Spark plugs can be changed easily. However, you need the following tools to get the job done;

  • Gap gauge
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Swivel socket
  • Spark plug wire puller
  • A rag.
  • The most common signs of worn-out spark plugs include;
  • Poor fuel economy, engine misfiring, difficulty in starting the engine, slow acceleration.
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The car won’t start

There are different problems that can cause the engine not to start. Most of them are easy to fix at home and you can try a lot of different solutions before you can finally settle on having a mechanic come over to check it or maybe tow it to the auto repair shop. Here are the most common ways to fix this issue
Tap on the battery terminals
The terminals might have been corroded. This might cause little contact and transfer of electric current to the connectors. Try this a few times while attempting to start the engine.

Cycle the ignition key

If the ignition goes click when you start the car but does not start, you can try cycling the ignition key a few times in An attempt to start the engine. This is important in heating up the battery terminals which could start the car eventually if that was the problem.

Smack the starter if you have access to the starter motor

You can smack the starter terminals if you have access to the starter motor. This is more or less like tapping the battery terminals. It has the same effect and might be more effective than tapping the terminals.

Swap relays or unflood the engine

As much as this sounds complicated, it might not be that complicated after all. All you need to do is to press hard on the accelerator till it’s all the way down then try igniting the engine. This might help start the engine.

Press the accelerator halfway and start the engine

This is more of trucks your computer to start the engine. All you need to do is to press halfway on the accelerator and then try starting at the engine a few times. However, if it refuses to start, do not try harder as that might cause damage to the ignition system.
If any of these tricks won’t help start your engine, it means you have run out of options and you now need to call in a mechanic air have your car examined by a professional and fixed.

Battery issues

There are many batter issues that you can fix by yourself. If your battery is discharged, you can always fix that by jumpstarting it. This will help start your car in no time. However, if your battery is dead, you only need to replace the battery fully. This means buying a new battery and fixing it in place of the old one. However, you should make sure that the battery is fully charged before installation. This reduces the chances of technical damage to the electrical systems. Also, make sure the battery is always charged and minimize the chances of overhanging or undercharging.

Cloudy headlights

how to clean car headlights

Your headlights ought to be in perfect condition before you hit the road, especially before nightfall. In Kenya, it’s like going along the Limuru road without proper lighting on your car. You are bound to cause a major accident. Therefore, you need to have them clean before you even think of going on the road. It is not something that you need a mechanic to help you with. All you need is just a bowl of baking soda and something to clean with. Alternatively, you can use toothpaste. You can find more information about how to clean car headlights on our complete guide here.

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Electrical problems

Most electrical problems emanate from the fuses all around the car’s electric wiring system. There are several electrical fuses that you can easily access from the diagrams that specify the location. The fuses are easy to change and work around. However, most of the electrical problems might end up being complicated. In that case, you need to have a mechanic check them out and fix them. The fuses are easy to fix since you need no professional help or skills to do it.

Problematic wiper blades

Windscreen wipers are made out of degradable rubber which is bound to become less effective with time. As a result, it is recommended that you change them after every six months. It needs to be changed as soon as it starts to leave marks on the windscreen. To remove the old wiper, follow the guide below;

  • Press the stopper and unhook the old wiper
  • Separate the wiper from the metal arm
  • Remove the old wiper
  • Replace it with the new wiper
  • Gently elevate the wiper until the new wiper snaps into position.
  • After it’s safely installed, you will have successfully changed your wipers and therefore no major problems will arise from it.

Flat tire

Flat tires are a must-encounter problem for every motorist. It also happens to be the easiest to deal with. You need to note a few things though before you get to the real process. The vehicle must be in park mode and the engine should be off. After you’re sure of the two; you can now get started on the following process; You should have the following tools, lug nut wrench, spare tire, and car jack.

How to change a flat tire:

  • With the help of the car jack, lift up the car until the tire is about three inches from the ground.
  • With the lug nut wrench, loosen up the lug nuts in a half anticlockwise turns until they’re fairly loose
  • Lift the car higher and then loosen the lug nuts fully.
  • Remove the old tire, and replacing it with the spare tire
  • Tighten the lug nuts halfway
  • Remove the car jack
  • Tighten them fully to finish up the job.
  • It is that simple. Make sure you always carry a spare tire with you in case of any flat tires along the way.

Power window issues

The main issue with power windows is that they could be embarrassing and frustrating sometimes when they get slow. It is probably because the power window lubrication system could have lost the lubricant over time. All you need to do is lubricate them with dry Teflon spray. To fix slow power windows, buy a can of aerosol Teflon spray, use a long enough straw go aim for the bottom of the power window mechanism. Let out the spray in reasonable amounts until it’s evenly spread. Let it sit for a few minutes. Work the window all the way up and down a few times to get the spray in.

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car-fluids that-need-to-be-changed
car fluids that need to be changed

Your car has several fluids in its system and you should know how to go about the main ones in case of a technicality. The longevity of your car is greatly boosted by having the fluids replaced regularly. Additionally, the type of fluid product you select for your car will determine the workability and durability as well. The following table explains the major types of fluids in a car and how to change them.

Fluid typeFunctionHow to check and add/replace
Engine oilLubricating engine partscheck the oil level using a dipstick, and replace it if the level is below the recommended.
brake fluidTransmits the braking powercheck the level using the brake fluid canister, and find a mechanic to change it.
Transmission fluidcools and lubricates important parts of the enginemeasure the level using a fill tube, if not enough, add more.
coolantprevents corrosion, foaming, and depositionopen the radiator cap to check the level, find your specified type of coolant, and add the coolant until it reaches the recommended level.
Windshield washer fluidessential in cleaning the windshieldfind the windshield washer fluid, open the cap to check the level, add more if not enough and replace the cap.
common car fluids and how to change them

Car problems in Kenya and how to fix them- FAQs

What are common car problems?

Dents, Damaged, spark plugs, The car won’t start, Battery issues, Cloudy headlights, Electrical problems, Problematic wiper blades, Flat tires, Power window issues

How do you identify common car problems?

warning lights clutch not working, rough rides, car not starting abnormally loud vibrations and noise from the engine and smoke or steam from the engine.

What is the hardest thing to fix on a car?

the clutch, bodywork of a car, a bend on the body or the spark plugs, or any other internal components of the engine could be hard to fix in a car when they break down.

How can I teach myself to fix my car?

the easiest way to learn how to fix your car is to watch professionals do it over and over again, ask some questions, do some research on individual parts of your car and constantly try it yourself to familiarize yourself with it.

What are the most common car repairs?

they include oil change, brake fluid change, air and cabin filter replacement, brake repairs, and coolant system service. Be sure to check on these every time you want to use your car.

Which is the most reliable car in Kenya?

The most reliable cars in Kenya include; Mazda Bongo, Toyota town-ace, Toyota succeed, Mercedes Benz sprinter, and Nissan NV200. In terms of either engine durability or proper functionality, these cars can be very reliable to use especially in Kenya.

What are the major issues with motors in vehicles today?

The most common engine problems include; worn-out combustion parts, misfiring engines, dirty coolants, oil starvation, contaminated motor oil, and leakages.

What’s the most expensive car repair?

The most expensive car repairs are repairs that need entire component replacement, especially internal engine components. some of these include; transmission replacement, inverter replacement, inverter assembly, engine cylinder replacement /repair and hybrid battery replacement.

In conclusion, all of these problems might have a bigger problem behind them. If they ever get persistent in any way, it is advised that you make sure the car is properly checked again by a professional. Sometimes, you might damage other parts of the car while fixing others, so make sure you do it carefully enough to safeguard your car. Those are the major car problems in Kenya and how to fix them.

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