Whether you own a brand-new model or an old vehicle, you will need proper maintenances from time to time. Since it will not only keep your vehicle operating safely but also maximize fuel efficiency.
To have proper car maintenance and have no delay means you need to keep an eye on the warning signs that your vehicle is giving you of deterioration. And if you notice any warning signs, you can bring your car in for a tune-up and not lead to costly repairs. In addition, you have a responsibility to yourself and to other motorists to ensure your car is road-ready and safe.
Here are some of the top signs that your car is due for maintenance that you should not ignore.
1. Change of Oil & Other Fluids
Regular oil changes (every 5,000-7,000 kilometers) keep your engine cleaner, so it will last longer. You can check your owner’s manual for the recommended distance for the oil change. But keep in mind that it’s just a recommendation, it could be varied and depends on your vehicle’s age and your driving style. There should be no reason to avoid an oil change, it’s easy, quick, and inexpensive. Other fluids that need occasional changing include engine coolant, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and transmission fluid.
2. Funny Noises Your Car Makes
Strange noises are no joke, you should pay attention if your vehicle is running or sounding differently than it usually does. No matter what it sounds like, if the noise is abnormal and persists, bring your vehicle to a mechanic for checking the issues. Knowing some of the basic noises can help you communicate more effectively with your mechanic, or have your mechanic run a test drive to get a firsthand to listen to your car to find out the cause of the noise. To have the issue fixed and not get worse as soon as possible can prevent a much bigger problem along the road.
3. The Dashboard Lights
If you see any light flash on your dashboard that you don’t normally see, it’s better to check your car’s owner manual to identify what the light means. Check engine light is the most common warning light on the dashboard. The engine lights can indicate a broad range of issues. If you see a blinking check engine light, get your car into your mechanic as soon as possible. It’s not a good idea to ignore warning lights, even everything else is normal. Since sometimes it may lead to serious problems and expensive repairs.
4. Low Tire Pressure
When your tires have low pressure, light comes on that often looks like a pair of parentheses with a squiggly line at the bottom. Usually, you will see this warning light in the fall and winter when the temperatures drop. Typically, you lose 1 to 2 PSI of tires pressure for every 10 degrees the temperature drops, since cold air contracts so it creates less pressure inside your tires. The good news is, it’s not difficult to solve this problem. As many gas stations offer an air pump that can easily refill your tires.
5. Squealing Brakes
Brake pads naturally wear down, since they are meant to be replaced after as part of routine maintenance. On average, brake pads should be replaced every 60,000 to 80,000 kilometers, but that number can differ depending on driving conditions and styles. If your brakes are squealing, your brake pads are probably already worn down. It’s not a good idea to wait to replace the brake pads since worn-down brake pads are not safe. It can also damage your rotors if your brake pads get too low. In addition, when your pads get too low, your brakes could overheat and fail then leading to unable to slow down or stop your vehicle and leaving you in a dangerous situation.
6. Other Urgent Signs Your Car Needs a Mechanic
We list some common signs that indicate your car needs maintenance, but some situations need your urgent attention and get your car checked by a mechanic.
Other than your car stops running, steam or smoke coming from under the hood is obviously warnings that you should pay attention to immediately. Typically, steam is a sign your car is overheating. If you see steam coming from under your hood, pull over as fast as you can and check your engine temperature dial. If you see smoke coming from under the hood, it’s often the result of burning oil. You should need to pull over immediately to avoid destroying your vehicle and get your car towed to a mechanic when it’s safe.
If you found your car is slow to start or stalling when it idles, head to a mechanic quickly. While it may be still possible to get around with your car, you are putting yourself and others at risk. That’s the sign of a problem with your battery, alternator, or other electrical systems, or your spark plugs or engine. But no matter what’s the cause, you should get your car into a mechanic without delays.
Learn more about the benefits of buying from Carnex. We believe that all clients deserve to know the good and bad of what they’re buying. Because we wanted to know these when we bought cars. That’s why at Carnex.ca, we will proudly display every detail every step of the way. Browse all the best cars, automobile buying tips, auto insurance, young drivers, driving techniques, auto industry trends from Carnex Blog.