Car issues are not always easy to diagnose. Despite being high-tech machines, cars aren’t the best at communicating what’s mechanically wrong. They often speak in codes that require a code reader to find out what’s wrong. Other times, your car may show physical alerts that something is off. Here’s what to look for.
1 – Check Engine and Other Dashboard Lights
Many issues can trigger the check engine light. The engine is arguably one of the most important components of your car, so you should never ignore this warning. The check engine light also means your vehicle will not pass an upcoming emissions test. Check engine light issues range between minor and very serious, but they let you know something is wrong. Do not put off having this looked into!
2 – Decrease In Performance
Vehicles aren’t designed to decline in performance over time. That’s a sign of your parts wearing down and needing repair or replacement. Anytime your car behaves unusually, be it reduced gas mileage or slow acceleration, you need to find out what’s happening. Listen for squealing or grinding sounds under the hood and have your vehicle properly inspected by the ASE-certified technicians at our shop.
3 – Leaks
Leaks are generally a big problem. Cars use different fluids for lubrication, cooling, and combustion, and leaks risk depriving your components of the liquids they need. You’ll also need to refill fluid levels more frequently when you have a leak. Low oil levels can cause engine failure, and low brake fluid levels can have deadly consequences. If you notice puddles forming beneath your parked car, it’s time you bring it in for a multi-point inspection.
4 – Car Pulls To the Left or Right
Cars that pull to the left or right could experience problems with steering, alignment, or uneven tire wear. Issues with these components will affect other systems in your car and multiply problems fast. A wheel alignment may be required to fix this issue.
5 – Brakes Vibrate or Feel Spongy
Your brake pedal should feel firm yet responsive when pressed. If your brake pedal presses with little effort, vibrates more than usual, or sticks when pressed down, you may need to replace your brake pads! Brakes aren’t something you want to mess with, so don’t delay when scheduling this service.
6 – Smells
When in doubt, follow your nose! A coolant leak may cause a sweet, syrupy-smelling passenger compartment. Mold in the air conditioning will also have a distinct smell and can harm passengers. Lastly, if something smells like it’s burning, it probably is!
Understanding what’s wrong with your car may be challenging, but hopefully, these fundamental car alerts will help you know when something is wrong. If you suspect an issue with your vehicle, McCullough NAPA Auto Care can perform a multi-point diagnosis of your car and scan for any fault codes that may show up. These fault codes will tell us exactly which part of your vehicle needs repair.