Serving your car is an important part of car ownership. Through a service or check-up, a mechanic can ensure that your vehicle is both safe and efficient.
They will check if your car’s fluids are topped up, if your wheels are aligned and if your electronics are working properly.
Knowing that your car is safe means more than avoiding an accident. It also ensures that your vehicle lasts for longer before a replacement is needed, and helps you save money on fuel.
The best way to know if your car needs a service is to understand what you should be expecting from it. Take the Toyota RAV4 as an example. This car has access to 219 horsepower, but if you can barely reach 100, you know that something is wrong.
If you’re not sure what your vehicle should be acting like, then use these general warning signs as your main guide.
If you hear any ticks, hissing sounds, or clicks that don’t correlate to buttons being pressed, then something might be wrong with your vehicle.
The louder or more intense the sound becomes, the more urgent the issue may be. Don’t wait until you see smoke to wonder if the problem is bad. Call a mechanic right away.
When you call the mechanic, tell them the following information to help them figure out what the problem is:
- Where the sound is coming from.
- What it sounds like (give a recording if you can).
- When the sounds happen (when you take a left-hand turn, seconds after moving the handbrake, etc)
Strange Puddles Or Dripping Liquid
If you see liquid dripping from your car, or if you notice a puddle but find no source, you should first check what the liquid is.
If it’s rainwater, you have nothing to worry about.
Condensation can leak through your air conditioner or your exhaust pipe. If the liquid is colorless, odorless, and doesn’t stain then your car is fine.
If the liquid is brown or has an odor then you have a problem. Driving with leaking oil, braking fluid, or steering fluid can easily lead to a crash.
Instead, call a mechanic.
Regular Stalling Or No Power
A lack of power or frequent stalling normally means that a spark plug has broken. These are easy fixes that you can complete yourself, however, they will become less common if you get your car serviced.
During the servicing process, the mechanics will notice what is causing these continuous breakages and fix the error, saving you money in the long run.
This particular issue shouldn’t cause a crash or harm to the passengers in your car, but it can cost you a lot of money. Ask for a simple service to diagnose the problem.
The Brakes Aren’t Working As Intended
Brakes are an important safety feature and if they aren’t working as they should then you need to get your car serviced. The longer they falter the more likely they will become completely ineffective.
Brakes that need more force than usual, that don’t grip to your shoes, or that have no resistance, can cause massive safety issues.
The issue could be a leak in your brake fluid, worn brake pads, or loose wiring. Regardless, a mechanic will be able to figure out the issue and make repairs to ensure your car is safe again.
When it comes to brakes, you shouldn’t make the repairs yourself. This is an important safety feature that needs a professional hand to ensure your safety.
If there is a strange vibration in your car there would be several issues going on. First, the material designed to create a smooth ride could have worn out. Secondly, the pressure plates could be defective. And thirdly, oil could be leaking creating more resistance which is aiding the vibration.
If the vibration is more of a judder, then part of the engine could be broken or worn.
Whether you can figure out what the issue is or not, a strange vibration could be a minor problem or a ticking time bomb. Either way, contact a mechanic to service your car to figure out what the issue might be.
You should service your car every year or every 12,000 miles – whichever comes first. However, if you notice any of the symptoms above then you should see a mechanic as soon as you can.
Regular checkups should help you avoid major problems but breakages are inevitable after a certain amount of use.