Sometimes in life, it’s time to take preventative action. When you pay careful attention to your vehicle’s issues—and even its unique noises—you set yourself up for success. In a perfect world, we’d be able to do complete checks of our own cars with ease. However, in the real world, we often need the help of a professional to ensure that our vehicles are getting the proper care they need. When we’re proactive about taking care of our cars, we can often head off all kinds of issues—before they ever occur. In this spirit, here are five of the top signs that your car needs to pay a visit to the mechanic.
Lights on the Dashboard
Because of trigger-happy sensors, unfortunately the “check engine” light has become a running joke for many who choose to just not heed the warning. However, your vehicle has these warning indicators for a reason. Although nothing may be wrong with your automobile, at the very least, it has a problem with its sensors. This is enough to warrant a trip to the dealership or mechanic, allowing you to have the issue diagnosed before it progresses into anything more serious. If you are considering buying a vehicle, heed these warnings seriously and don’t necessarily trust the owner that the engine light means “nothing”.
If you neglect to replace your brake pads for too long, you create a safety hazard. It is never, ever a good idea to put off getting new brakes. In addition to the potential safety crises, the issue can worsen, affecting your rotors and calipers. These can be extremely expensive to replace, so it’s best to nip the problem in the bud and just get new brake pads whenever you hear that signature squeal every time you tap those brakes. The sooner you see your mechanic, the better.
There’s a reason why the auto repair show Car Talk often featured the callers mimicking the noises that their vehicles made. Squeaks, squeals and other sounds can tip off a mechanic as to what’s happening under the hood or elsewhere. When it comes to car noises, one could write a book on what each one means. However, your mechanic won’t have the opportunity to check out that strange thud if you never take your vehicle in to be be evaluated. Even if the sound seems intermittent and isn’t that pronounced, take careful note of when you hear it and then give your repair shop an accurate account of when it tends to make itself known. Is it when you accelerate or when you brake? Does it happen when you’re going around corners or even making your way uphill? These are all important factors that will help the issue to be diagnoses.
If you are smelling something out of the ordinary, then you will want to waste absolutely no time in getting your vehicle to the shop. A strange smell is almost always a sign that something serious is brewing, so your best bet is to bring the vehicle in as soon as possible. Smells can be attributed to a wide variety of factors, and many involve integral parts of your vehicle. It’s always better to address the issue before it becomes a dire situation. When you bring your car into the shop after smelling something strange, you reduce the chances of finding yourself in a dangerous situation after breaking down.
When You Hit Milestones
If you notice that your vehicle is approaching 100,000 miles, then it’s probably time to swing by your mechanic’s shop and see if there’s anything you can do to keep it in perfect running order. When your car approaches various milestones, your manual will usually advise you to have certain tests and upgrades performed. However, so many of us do not even look at our manuals, so it’s best to just keep your eye on the odometer and take heed of when it might be time to take it in. In other words, there’s really no such thing as being too enthusiastic about bringing your car into the shop.