We often take our cars for granted. After all, most of them are reliable on the road and don’t usually give their owners any trouble. However, this does not mean that mishaps and accidents can’t happen. Dealing with car malfunctions and troubles can be overwhelming. But, a breakdown that ‘seemingly’ happened out of the blue can leave you startled.
To avoid feeling surprised, you must know of some of the tell-tale signs that can help you dodge a major inconvenience. Knowing these red flags will help you keep an eye out for critical car trouble and get them fixed at the right time before they turn into bigger and expensive repairs. These signs will help you pay closer attention to your vehicle and tell you about its condition.
Below, we have mentioned five warning signs that can help you prevent a possible car breakdown.
Your Check Engine Light Is On
Your check engine light is the most common warning sign that can indicate a problem with your car. Your check engine light illuminates when your vehicle’s computer finds an issue in the car’s electronic control system, which can’t be solved automatically and requires an expert’s attention.
Your check engine light could be flashing for many reasons. Some of these important reasons include:
- Your gas cap is damaged or loose
- Your engine has misfired
- You have bad or failing spark plugs
- Your oxygen sensors are failing
- Your catalytic converter is clogged or faulty
- Your car battery needs changing or charging
- Your Mass Airflow (MAF) sensors are malfunctioning, and more
Paying attention to your check engine light is essential. It might not be anything serious, but ignoring and dismissing it can become problematic or even dangerous in some situations.
You Notice Sludge Around Your Engine
It is crucial to change and check your engine’s oil regularly. Changing old oil before there is sludge development can help you avoid costly repairs and possible damage to your cars engine. Regular maintenance and a timely oil check will also help you ensure that your fluid isn’t leaking and your oil isn’t running low.
So, if you notice black gunk around the engine and its surrounding parts, or there are clumps of oil sticking around the dipstick, then it is time to change your engine oil. Not changing the oil at the right time can severely damage your engine.
While selecting the oil, make sure you choose the best one for your car. Also, remove any sludge that is present on the engine parts.
Your Engine Is Overheating
When your temperature gauge consistently shows that your engine is warmer than usual, it is time to give your vehicle a proper check-up ASAP. This is because once an engine reaches a certain temperature, its parts can begin to seize, warp, or crack. If you continue to drive with damaged engine parts, you risk ruining the engine and your car altogether.
Engines can overheat for many reasons. In general, they overheat due to problems with the vehicle’s cooling system. Some of the common reasons your engine may be overheating include:
- Low coolant levels
- A clogged or defective thermostat
- A failed head gasket
- A malfunctioning water pump
- Faulty radiator fan
- A cooling system leak, and more
Your Car Is Making Unusual Noises
Weird and unusual car noises should not be ignored, as they normally indicate trouble. So, if you hear a strange grinding, hissing, or squealing sound, or any other sound that is not normal, you should get it checked by a mechanic. If you ignore these noises and don’t get the problem fixed, they might lead to a sudden and unexpected car breakdown.
Some of the common car noises that can indicate trouble include:
- Brakes making squealing, grinding, or scraping sounds
- Thunks and clunks that can indicate a problem with your shock absorbers
- Ticking sound coming from the engine that means low oil pressure
- Hissing noise from the engine that signals your car is overheating our your coolant level is low
- Clicking and cranking sound when you turn the key which usually means that your car battery is corroding
You See Oil Spots Under Your Car
Noticing oil spots under your car is a vital indicator that your car needs attention. Oil spots under the car can indicate that your engines’ oil is leaking. Leaving it untreated will lead to low oil levels, which can cause extra wear and damage to your engine.
Driving a car with an oil leak can be dangerous for you and other people on the road as the oil can become flammable when it reaches a certain temperature and can cause engine parts to catch fire.
These are the top signs that something is wrong with your car, and if you don’t get them inspected, can lead to a possible breakdown later on. For more information on dealing with unexpected car breakdowns, visit our website or contact us for personalized service.