For many, a car is a valuable investment. Owning a car can make work, school, and general transportation quicker and more convenient.
Because your car is something you plan to rely on regularly, and it can be a significant financial purchase, you most likely spent a good bit of time shopping and comparing it to ensure you got the best deal. Because of this, regular maintenance on the car to keep it running well is essential.
No matter how well maintained, however, problems can still show up with your car. Pay attention to these warning signs that it’s time to visit a mechanic.
Sometimes cars will leak some condensation in small amounts from a running air conditioner, which is normal. However, when you notice large amounts of water, oil, or coolant pooling beneath your car, it’s time to get it investigated.
Leaking oil could stem from a leaky or broken gasket and could lead to costly engine repairs if not handled promptly. Coolant leaks can mean your car is in danger of overheating and you may need to patch a hole. If you notice a large pool of water under your car, this can indicate that your engine may have overheated.
Your Check Engine Light Comes On
Don’t ignore this indicator when it comes on, as this is your car telling you there is something wrong, and you should bring it into the dealer or a mechanic right away. There, they will be able to diagnose what sensors the car’s computer is signaling to have an issue.
Often the problem is small, but if left unchecked it can get progressively worse and warrant costly repairs.
Your Car is Not Starting
A dead battery or a defective starter can cause your car not to start. Taking your vehicle into a mechanic can quickly diagnose the problem’s cause.
Luckily, replacing either the battery or the starter shouldn’t cost more than a few hundred dollars on average. It’s not cheap, but it’s on the less expensive side of things that can go wrong with your car.
Fuel system issues, bad spark plugs, or blocked fuel lines can cause your car’s engine to stutter. If you notice this problem, schedule a time to go into your mechanic as soon as possible. If this problem isn’t dealt with within a reasonable amount of time, it can cause serious engine damage.
Transmission problems are at the top of the list of common car repairs needed. When you put the car in drive, or change gears, if it feels like it is hesitating or not initiating smoothly, it could mean your transmission needs to be checked.
Often a transmission can be repaired or may just need to be flushed and filled with new fluid. However, if left unattended it can mean a costly replacement of your entire transmission later.
Your car’s exhaust system is designed to quiet the combustion system and remove harmful emissions from the interior, as well as prevent those emissions from entering our environment. If you see smoke funneling out of your car’s exhaust pipe, this requires a trip to the mechanic. Allowing a problem like this to continue can mean dangerous exhaust can be breathed in by the driver and passengers of the car.
Maintaining your car’s brakes is incredibly important for safety. Brake pads should be replaced as needed and in accordance with the make and model of your vehicle.
If you begin hearing screeching or grinding sounds when applying your brakes, see your dashboard brake lights come on, smell a burning sound when in use, or the brakes feel loose when you press down on the pedal, you should bring your car into a mechanic or brake shop as soon as possible. Delaying getting any potential brake problems checked can cause safety issues and potentially cost a lot of money in repairs.
Regular replacement and rotation of your vehicle’s tires is essential. When the tread begins wearing down on your tires, it causes less traction on the road and can increase your chances of a blown or flat tire. Both can be potentially dangerous situations.
If you notice your tires looking worn, irregular wear on your tread, or if you place a penny with Lincoln’s head down between your tread and can still see the entire head, it may be time to replace your tires. Bring your car into your local tire center, and they can check and replace your tires.