Signs your car might need a service

Signs your car might need a service

Having a working, healthy vehicle is a necessity these days. Whether for your daily commute, for your actual job or for the school run. The last thing any of us need is an unexpected breakdown or costly repairs. Catching problems early on can make the difference between a quick fix and being without a car for a long time. 

Warning lights on dashboard

Warning lights are the first and most obvious reason to have your engine checked sooner rather than later. They are configured to illuminate when the area they are monitoring is not functioning properly. There are many indicator lights that can come on. They are there to tell you that attention may be needed. Even if you haven’t noticed any change in the performance. Generally they are an indication of some minor weakness in the system. They make you aware that something isn’t quite right, generally needing attention in due course. However, if the Engine symbol is flashing, this means you require immediate attention.

Sensitive or unresponsive brakes

The braking technology in cars has evolved quickly and is continuing to get more advanced. Breaks are a fully comprehensive group of systems that work together to supply a responsive reaction. When breaking, you should feel a quick and crisp response. If you find yourself experiencing any resistance or unusual sensitivity, any unusual noises or anything not normally occurring when you brake, then it could be time for a service. Brakes are an element of the car that will be affected and take strain from everyday driving. The brake pads, fluids and disks all naturally wear on a day-to-day basis. So a change in performance is to be expected. Just make sure you are aware of any changes. Getting them checked early on is important to the overall health of your car and, more importantly, your safety.

Abnormal vibrations

Keep an eye and ear out for vibrations and shudders that are not down to the surface of the road. These could be down to something as simple as a loose piece of plastic. However, it could also be down to some more serious failings. Such as worn tyres or a weakening in a joint or loosening of a bearing. This is something that is best not left to diagnosing yourself. Unless you can definitely see and identify the culprit with no question. In most cases it is always advisable to get this checked  by a professional, even in the instance of discovering a less threatening reason for the vibration, it is important to have it fixed correctly to avoid any later issues.

Grinding gears

The gearbox is an area of the car that undergoes everyday wear and tear and will inevitably require attention. Parts will require replacement, fluids will require replenishment and general care and maintenance will have to be carried out. The fortunate thing about the gearbox, as with the brakes, is this is quite an obvious problem. This is an extremely vocal issue, and is most often a problem that is really quite blatant. Gearbox issues may make themselves known by giving off a grinding noise when shifting gears or even leaking transmission fluid. These issues are not too costly to fix as long as you catch them early! So, if shifting gears does not feel right or you see or hear something that’s not normal, it’s worth getting it checked. 

Reduction in power

A reduction in power can indicate a number of things so it is important to pay attention to how your car runs in normal conditions. If you start to notice difficulty in getting up to speed, unexpected surges in power or even a decrease in the distance a full tank can get you it is a good idea to get your vehicle checked. Though a reduction in power can be down to a natural degeneration as the car ages, this should be a minimal decrease over the lifespan of an average car. 

Stalling

This seems like a no brainer but you’ll be surprised how many people persist with their everyday commute even when facing this issue! Sudden stalling and cutting out of the engine is a very blatant sign that you need to make a trip to your service centre. Do you often find yourself stalling at junctions even when you are positive you have got yourself in the right gear? This could be down to failures in your engine, not your driving. This kind of problem is often down to faulty spark plugs and clogged fuel filters. Either way sudden and unexpected stalling is a sure sign that something is not right. 

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