Knowing when your car is in immediate distress, and requires repair as soon as possible, is an important part of vehicle ownership. Not only does it keep your car in good repair for as long as possible, having this information can save you a lot of time, stress, and money. If you notice any one of the following issues with your car, bring it in for repair as soon as possible. Increased damage and unsafe driving conditions can follow if you fail to do so.
The biggest sign that something is wrong with your car is the check engine light. This one tiny lightbulb is wired to hundreds of internal systems, constantly monitoring each one for any sign of damage. When the check engine light pops on, it means you should have your car serviced as soon as possible. There may not be cause for urgent or immediate alarm, but you should still make every effort to have the car checked out. The issue could be something that could become worse, and more expensive to repair, over time.
If the check engine light is flashing, you need to bring it to a service station immediately. This is a sign that there is a serious issue with the car. Failure to address this issue as soon as the light begins flashing could result in damage to your car. In extreme cases, it could even put your safety at risk.
Smoke from Under the Hood
There should never be smoke coming out from under your hood in any circumstances. It does not matter how hot it is outside, it is not normal for you to spot signs of smoke when driving. In most cases, under the hood smoke means that your engine is over-heating. There are numerous issues that can cause over-heating. To prevent the issue from becoming worse, pay attention to your temperature gauge. If it starts to go up, pull over and turn the engine off for as long as it takes to cool off before resuming your drive. Whenever possible, contact someone for roadside assistance, just in case the engine problem is too far gone to continue driving your car safely.
Strange Noises While Driving
Pay attention to the sound your car makes when you drive it home from the dealership or immediately after having it serviced. This is how your car should sound like all of the time. Any strange noises not normally heard while you are on the road are signs that something is wrong with your car. For example, dragging or droning sounds from your wheels mean that you need to have your bearings checked. Grinding or squeaking noises typically indicate brake issues. Clunking sounds may mean that there is something wrong with your transmission. Whatever the sound is, you need to have the car inspected as soon as possible to be sure that it is not representative of something much more serious.
Some car owners put off repairs as long as possible, which can be incredibly detrimental to the car, and your safety. Paying attention to the signs noted above is the best way to keep your car in good repair.