Maintenance of your car is one of the most important aspects, if not the most. I wanted to start of this blog on the right foot by sharing five signs its time for a service. If your car is showing any of the below signs, do yourself and your car a solid and get that sorted! There are a couple of quirks you can ignore when you’re driving, but there are a few that indicate it is time for a service.
The Engine Warning Light
If your dashboard lights up with a yellow “check engine” light, book your car in for a service right away. There could be a range of engine issues. Many cars also have a little service light that will come on when it’s time for your next service.
Any new noises should be checked out before they become a serious problem. Some of the sounds you may hear include:
- Whining from under the hood – this usually signals a loose belt.
- Exhaust noises that are louder than usual – there may be a crack or hole in the exhaust.
- Metal-on-metal – scraping sounds have to be checked out, they could indicate that something is broken and causing damage to another part.
- Crunching gears – your car’s gearbox gets plenty of wear and tear, and parts and fluids regularly need replacing.
- Squealing when you hit the brakes – this usually indicates worn brake pads.
Steam or Smoke from Under the Hood
Steam is usually white in colour and is caused by problems with the radiator and overheating. If you notice smoke or steam you should get your car checked out as soon as possible. However, you’re not in immediate danger if there is no steam. Keep an eye on the car’s temperature gauge and if it’s sitting on maximum, pull over and let the car cool down before continuing. If there is blue smoke coming from under the hood, stop wherever it is safe and get someone to tow the car to a service station. Blue smoke is usually caused by burning oil and can be expensive if left unattended. Furthermore, excessive smoke from your exhaust can indicate an oil leak which could be caused by a variety of problems, such as:
- Worn piston rings
- Piston wear
- Worn engine oil seals
- Worn valve seals
- Head gasket failure
Pulling or Vibrating Under the Braking
This may be due to worn brake pads or discs, an issue with the steering, or a suspension problem. It is highly dangerous to drive like this, so you need to get the car serviced immediately. Such symptoms could also be a sign of worn out tyres, so remember to ensure that your tyres have the minimum required tread and that they are not wearing unevenly.
A Suddenly Uncomfortable Ride
Are speed bumps becoming particularly uncomfortable? If so, your car is probably riding low. You may even hear your tyres scraping on the wheel arch. If so, it’s time for a service. Any of these symptoms could be a sign that something is wrong with your shocks and suspension. These are just five of the signs that your car needs a service. To keep your vehicle in perfect condition, you should always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and be sure to have it serviced regularly.