Sometimes, we often forget that our vehicles are machines that need tender-loving care from time to time. Of course, it’s much harder to know if they do need it, since they don’t really tell you what’s going on. However, what we can do is look for visual clues that indicate that they’re not doing so well right now.
So, what signs should you look for? Make sure to look for the following:
Excessive fuel consumption
It’s normal for your vehicle to lose more fuel when you’re driving fast or driving on rough terrain. But if you’re still losing a lot of fuel even while driving from your home to that nearby 7-Eleven convenience store, then that’s a problem.
Stalling or sudden stops
This could be because of clogged filters or spark plugs, but whatever the case, suddenly stalling while driving normally is not a good sign.
How many times do you need to turn your car key before it starts? If it takes several times for you to turn it on, or your engine dies right after you start the car, then it’s a sign your car’s battery, engine, or starter has a problem.
Warning indicators lighting up
This is obvious. Those lights are there to warn you specifically that something is wrong, so pay attention when they appear.
Is it hard to shift your car’s gear? Or does it downshift or upshift like it has a mind of its own? Oftentimes, the main culprit here is the transmission, so make sure to have them checked periodically.
Don’t just look into your car’s brakes when it comes to noises. Strange squeaking may be a sign that something is loose or at low levels. For instance, those squeaks you hear when turning the steering wheel might mean your power steering fluid is at low levels already. Squeking near the engine may be due to a loose belt.
Squeaking, less responsive brakes
If applying your car’s brakes feel like you’re wrestling with a giant alligator–or sounds like a noisy pig in the throes of a a forbidden tribal sacrifice, then that’s a sign that’s something is wrong.
Don’t take sudden vibrations for granted; this can mean that something’s wrong with your tires, or a joint got unscrewed. If your car’s shimmying can make a ballroom dancer look like a complete klutz, then you need to have it checked immediately.
These are just some of the clues you should watch out for. Whatever the case, it’s always best to check your car’s manual just so you know you’ve got everything covered. Remember: All it takes is a little discipline and time on your part to make sure your vehicle remains in good shape. The rewards you reap are surely worth it.