Finding out there's something wrong with your car can be equally stressful and frustrating. But if you identify the problem early on, you can tackle it before it turns into an irreversible issue. Be on the lookout for these 10 signs, as they will signify that your vehicle needs immediate attention.
1. The check engine light is on
One of the key signs that something's wrong with your ride is a glowing check engine light. It signifies there's something wrong with one of the hundreds of systems in your car's computer. It's not necessarily a cause for panic, according to Angie's List, but it's a definite indicator that you should take your car in for an inspection.
2. There's smoke coming from under the hood
If you're driving and notice smoke coming from under the hood, it could be a sign that the engine is over-heated. This could destroy your car if you continue to drive and refuse to service it. Pay attention to the temperature gauge – if it seems too high, schedule an appointment for a maintenance check.
3. The transmission seems off kilter
When it seems like your car is having trouble speeding up, it feels shaky or it's making strange noises, there could be an issue with the transmission. The transmission is essentially your car's power system, so it needs proper maintenance. If you don't take care it, you'll find yourself stranded on the side of the road waiting for a tow-truck to haul your car away.
4. There are major fluid leaks
Are there any major fluid puddles on the ground underneath your car when it's parked? If so, it probably needs a tune-up. The leak could be coolant, transmission oil, engine oil or brake fluid, or it could also just be cold water dripping from the air conditioner. While the latter is normal, other fluid leaks could keep your car from running smoothly. Be sure to take it in to the mechanic as soon as you can.
5. There's a strange noise while driving
If you hear strange noises while you're driving, take your car to the shop. A dragging noise could be coming from your wheels, which could signify the wheel or differential bearing is failing. A grinding noise usually occurs when your brakes have gone bad, so you need to get them checked and replaced immediately.
"Failing to take care of the vibration could smoke the engine."
6. The car is constantly shaking while in motion
A car that shakes while driving over poor road conditions is normal. But if you notice it's vibrating on a smooth street with no obstructions, you need to take it in. DriverSide reported that it could indicate a number of issues, such as an unbalanced tire or a bad universal joint. Failing to take care of the vibration could smoke the engine or transmission, ultimately leaving you without a running car.
7. You're stalling at intersections
Stalling at an intersection is dangerous. If your car is sluggish and not performing the way it was built to, it could be a sign that the spark plugs need replaced, the fuel filter is clogged, or something more severe in regard to the transmission. Schedule an appointment with the mechanic to take care of this problem before it turns into something serious.
8. It's difficult to start it up
If it takes more than one turn of the key to get your car started every day, something's wrong. It could just be a bad battery, but it might also be a defective starter that needs to be replaced. Regardless of the issue, it needs to be taken care of or you'll be using public transportation to get around.
9. Your fuel mileage is bad
If you've noticed you're filling your gas tank more often than normal – and you're not using your car any more than usual – there's an issue with your ride that needs to be taken care of. A sticking brake pad or improper tire pressure could be to blame, so take it to the shop for a check-up.
10. Shifting gears is rough
Driving an automatic car provides a smooth, reliable shift in gears. But if it seems less efficient than usual, causing your vehicle to hesitate or jolt between shifts, your transmission needs attention. Schedule an appointment to change the transmission fuel, filters and screens.
If your car shows any of these signs, just bring it in to New Jersey Auto Auction. Our maintenance workers will help fine-tune your ride and take care of any issues. If you feel as though the damage is done and you need a new car, just head on over to our lot! We've got hundreds of quality used Carfax-certified vehicles to choose from.
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