If you own a car, then you know just how useful your vehicle is. It is every car owner’s nightmare for their car to suddenly develop a fault that would render them unable to use it. It is for this reason that car maintenance and repair is paramount and should be prioritized by vehicle owners.
Proper car maintenance contributes to the overall health of the car and drastically increases the chances of it having a long life. Proper car maintenance does not just prevent annoying hiccups, but it also enhances your safety behind the wheel. The last thing you need is a car that won’t respond when your safety is on the line.
So how do you know if your car needs to visit the auto repair shop? A better question might be, how do you know it’s time? Below are signs that show you need auto repair:
Strange noises coming from your car could mean several things, but it most likely means there is a problem brewing that needs to be checked out. Below are some noises that indicate that your car needs to be looked at:
- A humming sound from underneath the bonnet – This is most likely the result of a loose belt. It can prove problematic and can cause overheating and problems with the battery.
- Crunching noises from the gear – The gearbox needs to have parts replaced often because of a lot of friction that happens in it. Crunching noises when you change gears means it’s time to get your car serviced.
- Groaning from the engine – This typically means that your car is idling. In this case, the engine is most likely misfiring and in need of immediate attention. It could turn out to be easy to fix and may require you to replace spark plugs. On the other hand, it could also turn out to be a big problem with your engine and how it’s handling the air/fuel mixture.
- Louder-than-usual exhaust noise – This might mean there’s a crack in your exhaust. This type of damage is relatively easy to fix but should still be checked out to curb possibilities like your exhaust pipe falling off.
- Metal-clashing against metal – Scraping sounds must be checked out immediately. It could mean anything, and that’s what makes it more dangerous because something could be broken.
A significant sign that your car needs to be looked at by a mechanic is if it is leaking fluids. Leaks are easy to notice; they will show up wherever you park your car.
The color of the liquid determines what type of leak it is. Here are the ones to be worried about:
- Oil leaks – Oil leaks range from light to dark brown. When you have an oil leak, it means your car is having problems with either degraded engine gaskets, oil seals, oil pan leaks, or faulty connections. Avoid driving your car if it is low on oil as a result of leaks because it will overheat and make things much worse.
- Transmission fluid leaks – Transmission fluids are colored red or green, making them very recognizable. Transmission fluid leaks are typically a result of a gap in a car’s transmission.
- Coolant leaks – Coolants regulate the temperature of a car’s engine components, preventing rust, and stopping the cooling water system from freezing. If you have a leaky coolant, then it is likely that the problem is from a hole in the radiator or hose attachment points, or a blown head gasket.
Excessive Smoke From Exhaust Pipe
It is normal for your car engine to release exhaust through your car’s tailpipe; This is how it is built to function. The problem arises when your vehicle is releasing excessive amounts of exhaust smoke compared to its usual amount. It could potentially be an engine-related problem. Like with leaks, the color of the smoke can be used to identify the problem and achieve a proper diagnosis.
- Blue smoke – Blue-colored smoke release from your car’s tailpipe means that your engine is burning oil. It shows that you have not been changing your oil and oil filter regularly. However, it might be a sign that your piston rings or turbochargers are damaged.
- White smoke – White smoke is generally caused by a build-up of condensed water vapor in the car’s exhaust system. It could also mean that your engine has been overfilled with oil. Other possibilities are that the engine is burning coolant; there is a blown head gasket, cylinder head damage, or a cracked engine block.
- Black smoke – This is the most harmful type of smoke, not just to your car’s health, but to the environment as well. It shows that the air filter is worn out.
Your car does a lot of work, and it needs to be attended to now and then. It is crucial to have it looked at regularly, even if there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with it. But more importantly, if you notice any of the above signs, you must get your car checked immediately.