Owning a car is one of modern life’s luxuries. A reliable vehicle gets you from A to Z and all the 24 letters in between. Some people work jobs that require cars, while others rely on them to get to study, to drop off the kids or to head out for a night on the town. Whatever the reason you own a car, it makes life more manageable. Yet cars don’t work without engines and other systems, and these are made up of lots of complex moving parts that can become prone to wear, tear and malfunction. And when your car breaks down it can mean a major headache and expensive repair bill. So, let’s learn more about car service concerns and you’ll find out how to spot the signs that your vehicle needs maintenance.
Why Get a Car Service?
A car service is an essential part of vehicle maintenance. All responsible car owners should get their car serviced every six months or 10,000 kilometres, whichever comes first. A mechanic will change the oil and other fluids, check your brakes, tyre wear, light function and ensure that your car is safe to drive and is functioning properly. Also, a car service is a time for the mechanic to inspect the engine and they may be able to spot problems like leaks or wear which left unattended can cause major issues. The mechanic can then advise you of what needs to be fixed, how much it will cost and in what timeframe the repairs need to occur.
Sign 1 – Engine Warning Light
Most modern cars come equipped with a variety of warning lights and signals. Your dash will light up should you need to top up your oil, for example. If the yellow/orange engine light comes on this means the car’s computer has recognised a fault in the engine and it has issued a warning. This means it’s time to take the car into your regular mechanic for an inspection. They’ll be able to hook up your wheels to a diagnostic program that should be able to diagnose the issue and then an experienced mechanic will know the fix.
Sign 2 – What Are Those Noises?
If your car makes any unusual sounds that you haven’t heard before it can mean there is an issue with the engine. Whining under the bonnet can indicate a loose belt, or an uneven engine sound when idling can indicate that your motor is misfiring and needs looking at ASAP. A squealing when braking can indicate worn-out brake pads which mean that your ability to brake suddenly is impacted and is very dangerous. If you notice any of these sounds get your car looked at by your local mechanic.
Sign 3 – If There’s Smoke or Steam
If you notice any smoke or steam coming from under the hood this is a major issue. Steam can indicate an overheated radiator. If this happens to pull over, let it cool down and drive quickly to your mechanic. If your engine is belching dark smoke this is even worse and you need to stop, call a tow truck or your roadside assistance and get your car hauled to your trusted mechanic.
It’s important to get your car serviced on regular occasions – every six months or 10, 000 kilometres is a good rule of thumb. If the yellow engine light comes on this can indicate a fault with your engine and it means a trip to the service centre. Any unusual noises like whining, screeching brakes or clunks mean you need repairs. And finally, if you notice any steam or smoke coming up from under your hood you should also get your car into the shop as soon as you can.