6 Warning Signs Your Vehicle Needs Service (Repair Warning Signs)

“Maybe it Will Just Go Away.”- Hint: It Probably Won’t.

Some drivers don’t worry at all about their vehicles and neglect taking them in for service. In the medical world, there is a very common phrase: “The most dangerous words in the English language are ‘Maybe it will just go away’!” The same can be true if you ignore what your vehicle is trying to tell you. Not all signs to pay attention to are obvious, but being aware of them can help you avoid costly expenses down the road!

Here are six warning signs that it’s time to head over to your NAPA AutoCare Center and get things checked out.

1. The Warning Light Is On

Vehicles have warning lights for everything from engine troubles to brakes to battery issues. They usually look like the system they’re warning you about (a tire for under or over inflation, an engine for engine problems, etc.). It’s telling you something. Have it checked out, especially a flashing “Check Engine” light.

2. Shaking or Vibrations

Your vehicle should ride smoothly down the road, so if you feel shakes where there once were none, something’s most likely wrong. Not all vibrations are the same- you might feel them in the steering wheel or through your seat. These vibrations could be caused by a suspension, tire, or electrical problem (among other possibilities), so have it checked out by a professional, so you know what’s going on.

3. A “Burning Smell” or Visible Smoke

If you smell something like oil burning or see smoke coming out of your exhaust or from under the hood, don’t just hope it will go away. It won’t, and if it does, something is probably very, very wrong. These can be signs of serious (and potentially dangerous) troubles that need attention.

4. Bad Fuel Economy

This one isn’t as obvious and can be easy to overlook, but If you find you’re filling up more frequently, that’s not a good sign. Many vehicles now have computers that will give you a numerical reading of your fuel economy. If you notice a dip, you may have something as simple as underinflated tires or something as serious as a sticking brake caliper. It’s best to get it checked just to be safe.

5. Puddles Under your Vehicle

Vehicles use fluids for such things as cooling, lubrication, steering, and stopping. These fluids are meant to remain inside the various systems of your vehicle. If you see them forming underneath your vehicle, it means they’re leaking, and that can have very unwelcome consequences.

6. Mushy or Noisy Brakes

When you first got your vehicle, the brakes were probably quiet and didn’t require a blacksmith’s touch on the pedal to stop. Not only does your safety depend on properly working brakes, but other drivers on the road are also counting on your brakes as well. The pads and shoes are known as the friction materials in the brake system. They push together, providing friction, which stops the vehicle. It’s no wonder they have to be checked regularly for wear, and that brake pads and shoes need to be replaced periodically.

When your vehicle breaks down, it can be more than inconvenient. A vehicle that requires repairs can be dangerous, repairs can be expensive, and the process time-consuming. Your vehicle communicates with you every time you drive it. Drive, look and listen for signs that are trying to forewarn you about impending problems. Your vehicle, and wallet, will thank you!

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