If you want to keep your car on the road for as long as possible, you need to be aware of how to look after it properly. A big part of that is always going to be knowing when it is in particular need of some TLC, so that you can avoid it going through any particularly tough times or end up being too damaged to drive. But the question is: how do you actually know when your car is in need of some help and assistance, and what can you do about it when that becomes clear? In this article, we are going to take a look at some of the major signs that your car needs some help in some way or another, so these are the main things to be looking out for.
Any Strange Or New Smells
You should always be aware of what smells are going on in your car. If you find that any new smells start to appear when you are driving, then you should be aware that this could be a range of issues, and you need to make sure that you do something about it as soon as possible. A strange new smell could be faulty or old brakes, a problem with the engine, a motor malfunction, worn tyres, a damaged exhaust, and many other things besides. You need to be aware of all of these possibilities and get to know the different smells and what they can mean – burning rubber being tyre problems, for instance, and a strong fuel smell being exhaust or fuel tank problems. All in all, pay attention to these smells, and if you are concerned, take your car in to get looked at, or take a look yourself.
Engine Warning Light
One of the clearer signs that you need to take your car in to the garage is if the engine warning light comes on. A lot of people try to ignore this or feel that it is probably not important, but this is not something that you ever want to play down, as it can be incredibly serious if you are not careful. An engine warning light can come in a number of forms: if it is flashing amber, it probably means it is a problem along the lines of a missing or loose spark plug or something of that nature, while if it is solid and red it is much more serious and means that the car needs immediate attention. You could be putting yourself in danger by continuing to drive with an engine warning light constantly on, so make sure that you don’t bury your head in the sand with this one.
The brakes, for reasons which are obvious, are one of the most important parts of the car as a whole, especially when it comes to your safety and the safety of other people. You should be particularly sensitive to your brakes and any changes in them, so that you can be aware of anything that might need immediate care. If your brakes are starting to be sensitive, or if they are occasionally unresponsive, then you need to go and get them looked at straight away to ensure that they are fixed or replaced. A good car service will include this, so maybe take it as an opportunity to get your car serviced while you are there, something you should be doing every year anyway if you can get around to it. In any case, don’t just ignore your dodgy brakes.
Just as you want to be wary of any new or strange smells, so too do you want to make sure that you are fully aware of any strange sounds that might start emanating from the vehicle at any time. Sometimes these sounds are immediately obvious, and sometimes they happen so slowly over time that they are not noticeable until they get really bad. In particular, you will want to keep an ear out for any squeaking or squealing sound, as this is commonly an indication that your car’s belt is loose or worn, or that your power steering fluid is low or your tyres need balancing. All of those are important issues to keep on top of, so it’s essential that you do whatever is in your power to fix them up as soon as possible.
If you are aware of all of these things, you should find that you are going to keep your car in a much safer condition.