\No matter how long you’ve had your vehicle, running into problems is inevitable. Proper maintenance can undoubtedly fix and prevent many of these problems before they happen. One way or another, your car will start to show some signs of malfunction or disrepair. It’s always best to keep an eye out for these eight warning signs and get your vehicle to a certified mechanic as soon as possible to avoid any accidents:
1. Stalling Before Accelerating
If your car starts to stall right as you accelerate or even when you usually try to drive it forward, this can be a sign of an engine or fuel problem. If your car starts stalling, it can lead to a potential accident, especially if it does so while you’re in the middle of a highway or a busy intersection. Especially if it happens often, you need to have your car checked right away.
2. It Takes a While to Get Started
When you start your car in the morning, does it start up immediately or do you need to turn the ignition a couple more times to get it to go? Or does it start but then abruptly stops without warning? Suppose your car doesn’t immediately start up the moment you turn the ignition, as it should. If that’s the case, this can indicate a problem with the battery, in which case you need to either get it fixed or get it replaced.
3. Your Fuel Runs Out Quicker
Your car’s gas mileage is important to keep in mind, especially with gas prices always fluctuating. Suppose you notice that your car uses up more fuel to go a certain distance than it used to consume less fuel. That’s a sure sign that your car’s gas mileage is starting to deteriorate. This can all point toward your car’s age, if you’ve had it for a long time, or a problem with fuel efficiency.
You might want to check your tire pressure, air filters, coolant, and oil levels. Suppose any of these three are lower than expected or aren’t performing their usual jobs. That can mean that your engine is using up more fuel than necessary to make up for it. A simple tire, oil, coolant, or air filter change and cleaning should work in cases like this. If the problem persists even after this, it might be time to either retire your old car or get it looked at, if it’s a newer model.
4. Your Car Makes Weird Noises
Weird noises are never a good sign, especially in a car. If you hear a lot of screeching, whirring, vibrating, popping, squealing, or any other strange and unexplained noise, try to find the source immediately. If it’s coming from your brakes, which is common, it might be too worn out or you need to replace the brake fluid. If it’s coming from the tires or whenever you turn the steering wheel, your tires’ tread might be worn out, clogged, or it might be a problem with your transmission fluid. Suppose it’s coming from anywhere else, especially the engine or under your car’s hood. That might be an indication of an even bigger problem. Follow the noise and determine where it’s coming from before you do anything else.
5. Rough or Hard Shifts
If you have an automatic car, switching to different gears shouldn’t be hard or noticeable at all. Even when you manually shift it, it shouldn’t be so jarring a change. If you start to notice strange noises or rough and harsh shifts into different gears, then your car might have a problem with transmission fluid, filters, or your belts.
6. Your Warning Light Says So
There should be a flashing yellow light on your dashboard that’s commonly called the ‘check engine’ light. It usually looks like an outline of an engine with the word ‘check’ right under it. If that thing starts flashing, then you best get to check it out. Most of the time, your check engine light will be your first indication that something is wrong. If your car itself is trying to signal to you, then something’s up. So keep an eye out for it.
7. Excessive Smoke
Too much smoke from your exhaust pipe or smoke coming from under your hood is never a good sign, especially if the smoke is black or has an acrid smell. This can be a sign of an oil leak or an overheated radiator or engine. If a strong burning smell accompanies the smoke, then you should take your car to a mechanic right away.
8. Vibrating for No Reason
It’s normal for a car to vibrate while you’re starting it up or when it’s driving through rocky terrain. What’s not normal, however, is when it starts vibrating out of nowhere, even when you’re on smooth roads. Even worse if some weird noises accompany it. This might be a problem with the tires, the belt, or its joints.
Proper maintenance should take care of most of these problems for you. Even an old car can still run smoothly as long as you properly maintain it. When in doubt, look to the professionals and bring your car in for maintenance. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.