Take a look at the different cars you see on the road. Some are in perfect condition as they cruise down the highway. On the other hand, some vehicles are what we call “junkers,” and they’re barely making it from point A to point B. Many others fall somewhere in between on that spectrum. The thing is that some vehicle faults are easy to notice, and others remain hidden from view. It is important to educate yourself on the signs that indicate that your car needs repairs to help you quickly diagnose your car’s problems.
Here is a quick review of six signs that your car needs repairs:
Your Check Engine Light is On: Though it is the most obvious sign that something is wrong with the car, it is also the most ignored sign. Some drivers leave this problem unchecked for months as the car’s condition steady worsens. The check engine light is not a cause for panic, but rather a good indicator that you should have your engine checked eventually. It is important to remember that some cars will have a flashing check engine light, which is an indicator that something is actually very wrong. If your check engine light is flashing, you should immediately have your car serviced.
Smoke Coming From Under the Hood: This is another major sign that your car is in trouble. You should never see any type of smoke coming from underneath your hood. This is usually a sign that your car is on the verge of overheating, which can severely damage your engine if you decide to keep driving. It is always a smart idea to keep some coolant in the trunk of your car in case this happens to you so that you can quickly cool down your engine with a little roadside maintenance. However, it is important to note that this is only a temporary fix, and you should talk to a mechanic as soon as you can.
Leaks: Leaking fluids can also be a sign that your car is not in good health. Look for puddles underneath your vehicle after it has been parked for a while. A bright green fluid is your coolant, while a dark red/brown color is motor oil or transmission fluid. Both are a sign of serious trouble. As a side note, in the summer months when you usually run your car’s air conditioning frequently, it is normal to see water dripping from the front passenger side.
Noises While Driving: When your car starts making strange noises, it’s time to take your vehicle to the shop. A dragging or droning noise could be your wheel bearing or differential bearing wearing away. A grinding or squealing noise as you brake could mean that your brake pads need to be checked.
Difficult Handling: Sometimes there is a structural problem with the frame of your car that causes you to need to maneuver or turn sharply when you drive. However, less serious issues that cause problems with handling could include misaligned wheels or power steering fluid leaks.
When it comes to repairs, the longer you wait, the worse it will get. Car trouble can be costly and time-consuming. Consult with a qualified mechanic if you notice any of these problems occur with your vehicle.