Early Signs of Car Problems

Monday, June 2, 2014

Know the signsWe do not want to replace car parts while they can still function, but we also do not want to wait until the car breaks down while we are driving. So what are the early signs that some car part should definitely be repaired or replaced?

  • The indicators that light up and then die when you turn on the vehicle are there for a reason. If you turn on your vehicle and the "check oil" or "check engine" light remains on, drive to your nearest service station to have a technician identify the problem.

  • Fluid leaks or stains under the car does not only mean those fluids must be replaced. It means a technician should diagnose why it is leaking. If the stains are green, it is radiator coolant that is leaking. Without this your engine will overheat.

  • We all know what our cars' engines sound like when they are working properly. If there is any grinding, crackling, popping or hissing sound coming from under the hood, there is a problem. This excludes soft ticking sounds that are quite common.

  • If there is a grinding sound when you change gears, you may need to change the transmission fluid, or the transmission itself. Transmission problems can also be signalled by erratic movements in response to your commands. These can include slow movement when the engine is cold, slow acceleration, stalling or struggling on take-off, and so forth.

  • The smell of fuel that comes through the windows is normal, but a burning smell that enters the vehicle with the windows closed is worrying. It signals that oil or coolant is leaking, that drive belts or accessory belts are damaged or loose, or that there is some other damage.

  • Tire or wheel troubles are detectable via excessive wheel vibration while driving, uneven tread wear, and cracks or blisters on the sidewalls. Check the tread-wear indicator bars that run across the treads, and replace the tire when the tread wears down to these bars .

  • Squealing or grinding sounds when you brake suggest the brake pads, rotors or callipers need to be serviced or replaced.

  • Blue smoke from under the hood means that oil is being burnt along with the fuel, while white smoke means Water  or antifreeze is burning. 


If you ignore these early warning signs of car trouble, you might pay dearly when a manageable problem spirals out of control.