While it may be tempting to wait to have your car repaired, there are several things to look out for that could save you a lot of hassle and money. Whether it’s your engine or wheels, it’s always best to be proactive. Even the smallest issue can turn into a big one if you let it go.
One of the most obvious things to check for is the dreaded check engine light. This is usually a sign that you have an emission system problem or a fuel injector that is not working properly. If you see the dreaded red light, be sure to get to the nearest auto repair shop as soon as possible. Continuing to drive at this point can lead to serious damage, so be aware of this and do whatever it takes to fix your engine.
Aside from the check engine light, you should also be paying attention to other small, but arguably ominous, indicators of trouble. These may include strange noises and vibrations. Squeaking brakes are usually indicative of low fluids, while grinding noises indicate that your vehicle is getting worn out. The steering wheel could be bouncing around when you accelerate, or it could be out of alignment.
Another thing to check out is the temperature indicators. Many modern cars have a temperature indicator that will notify you of any changes in temperature. You may even be able to detect the problem from the dashboard.
Of course, you should have your vehicle checked by a qualified mechanic. While you’re there, make sure to check out the radiator hoses and heater control valve. Some signs of more serious issues may include an AC leak or oil leaking from under the hood.
There are several other notable things to be aware of, including warning lights on the dashboard. In addition to the dreaded check engine light, you should also be watching for the warning lights that indicate oil or coolant levels, and the aforementioned dreaded “check-me-mister”. Lastly, you should be checking your tires for wear and tear. Having new tires is a good idea, as they can help you get more miles per gallon.
Although it’s not as glamorous as a new engine, you should check your vehicle’s power steering and exhaust systems for problems. For example, if your vehicle is making a squeaky noise, it could be due to a faulty power steering pump or a leaky exhaust system. Likewise, if your gas pedal starts vibrating, it may mean that a faulty exhaust system is leaking into the gas tank.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask your mechanic about other things you might not have thought of. Hopefully, you’ve taken the right steps to avoid major issues, but if you’re still feeling nervous about your car, take it to an auto repair shop. They can give you a quick and accurate diagnosis and recommend any necessary repairs. Take a proactive approach to your car’s maintenance, and you’ll be rewarded with a reliable ride for years to come.