Who wants to take their car to the mechanic for maintenance or repairs? You don’t want to visit the service shop more often than you actually need to. But driving a car that makes funny noises or having the dashboard light switch on can be scary because you don’t know what happens. If your car doesn’t run properly, it may be the moment to see a mechanic.
Don’t ignore the red flags because the last thing you need is the vehicle breaking down and having to fork it out for costly repairs. Catching the signs that point out an issue can prevent minor problems from developing into bigger ones and save you time and money.
But before diving into the pool of signs that tell you to take your car to a mechanic, let’s find out how often you should service it. Auto experts state that you need to service your vehicle every 12 months or 12,000 miles.
Here is when to call your mechanic.
The dashboard warning lights are yellow
Luckily, most cars can tell when they need an expert check. The dashboard warning lights are an obvious sign that you need to see the mechanic to check what’s not working. When a yellow check engine light appears on the dashboard, take the car to the service shop as soon as possible because there is a list of engine problems that can turn it on. Some vehicles also have a service light that tells you when the next service is due. To identify it on the dashboard, check its manual because it includes information about what each dashboard light means.
The car makes strange noises
Your car isn’t supposed to make strange noises when you drive it. When you start hearing something different, check it out. Here is a series of sounds that signal a mechanical issue.
Squealing noises that sound like high-pitched squeals when you turn the ignition usually point to a cambelt issue. Most times, it’s a loose or worn cambelt, and it’s crucial to replace it as soon as possible. If you hear squealing noises when you press the brakes, they can indicate that the brake pads are worn.
Whining cries from under the bonnet also signal a loose cambelt (but they can also be a red flag for other issues like an overheating battery).
Scraping noises tell you that you need to take your car to the service shop because it may have a broken part scratching or damaging others. For example, when the tyres are scraping on the wheel arches, you’ll also notice a less comfortable ride.
Uneven engine noises can indicate both easy-to-fix and complex issues with your engine.
Too laud exhaust blasts shouldn’t be ignored because they usually tell you that the exhaust pipe is broken or loose, and it can fall off.
Noises, when you change gear, are usually red flags for serious issues, and you won’t miss them as they’re quite turbulent.
You notice a stalling in the car’s power
You may notice that it’s getting more and more difficult to speed up or drive the same distance with a full tank of fuel. Both these situations tell you that something is wrong, and a professional mechanic has to check the car. Also, you shouldn’t ignore the instances when the car is stalling even if you’re in the right gear because they often tell that’s a hidden problem that requires your attention.
You experience unusual brake activity
Pulling or vibrating under the brakes usually indicates that the brake pads or discs are worn, the car is experiencing a suspension or steering issue. Your braking system should not show any resistance or oversensitivity signs. If it does, take it immediately for a check to a service shop like Bloor West Auto EuroMechanic because it’s not safe to drive a vehicle with an unresponsive braking system.
There are mystery puddles of liquid under the car
Before you take the car to a mechanic, make sure no exterior factor caused a mystery puddle of liquid under the vehicle. Cars sometimes leak water through condensation in the air-conditioning unit during hot days or exhaust during colder ones. These instances are harmless and don’t require expert check-ups. However, if you notice that there’s coloured liquid in the puddles under the car, it can have a more severe issue. Brown liquid usually indicated that the power steering is leaking oil or fluid and brake fluid in more serious cases. If you suspect the vehicle is losing vital fluid, you shouldn’t drive it any longer and contact a service to have a qualified mechanic checking it.
The exhaust or bonnet releases smoke
There are numerous reasons why there are smoke clouds coming from the exhaust or bonnet. When you notice smoke appearing from under the bonnet, you should turn off the engine, pull the release button without propping it fully open, get out of the car, warn oncoming traffic that there’s something dangerous on the road, and call for help. You can contact your mechanic, or if you also notice flames, the fire department.
When there’s only a little smoke, you can investigate the issue on your own. Try to determine where and when it appears, its colour, and if the vehicle’s overheating. It’s crucial to provide the mechanic with information about the type of smoke your car releases to help them figure out the issue. Most times, you see smoke coming from the bonnet or exhaust when the car experiences issues with the fuel valves, electrical wires, head gasket, pistons, or cooler systems.
Figuring out when your car requires repairs and finding a reliable service shop can seem overwhelming, but thankfully you can use online resources to compare different companies and find out what other clients have to say about them. Before you hire a mechanic to check and repair your vehicle make sure they have experience servicing cars similar to yours.