1. Car Stalling
A car can stall for a couple different reasons: clogged fuel filter, fouled spark plugs or a sensor might need to be replaced. Since you can never know for sure when your car will stall this is a very dangerous situation. The last thing you want is for your car to stall on you in the middle of an intersection or while you’re driving on the highway. Make sure you note what you did right before the car stalled; knowing if the car stalls when running hot or cold is important.
2. Dirty Exhaust
Dirty exhaust will be pretty easy to spot. If your tailpipe is releasing a pungent rotten egg smell it could be a sign that the engine or the catalytic converter needs to be looked at. Black smoke spewing from the exhaust could be an indicator of a clogged fuel line. Make sure you check your car’s intake components to be sure.
3. Poor Fuel Economy
The price of gas rises and plummets pretty frequently. But you should know your car well enough to recognize when you’re not getting your money’s worth of gas. Like most other things on this list, poor fuel mileage is an indicator of greater problems. Your car could have improper tire pressure or a sticking break pad.
4. Hard Starts
You put your key in the ignition, turn it forward, and…nothing. Maybe it takes a couple turns to get the car running or maybe it only stays running for a certain period amount of time. Whatever the case, if it takes more than one turn of your key then you’ve got a problem. There are too many possible reasons for your hard starts – among them are a weak battery, defective starter, fuel line problem or sensor/ignition mechanism computer error. Let the professional figure out the real reason!
5. Warning Lights
This one speaks for itself really. Most modern cars will let you know if certain parts need maintenance or attention. Think of these warning lights as a car’s nervous system alerts. You’re not gonna ignore when your car flashes the empty sign so you should pay equal attention to the other warning lights.
6. Noisy/Quite Brakes
When it comes to your car’s brakes, just keep Goldilocks in mind: they shouldn’t be too loud and they shouldn’t be too soft; they should be just right. You can tell that something is wrong with your brakes when they screech like nails on a chalkboard. Another sign of damage is if you have to put your entire weight down on the brake so that you’re nearly touching the floor of your car. These are all signs that you might need to replace your brake pads, rotors and or brake fluid.
7. Other Sounds
Brakes aren’t the only things prone to give you noisy trouble in your vehicle. A squealing steering wheel that is extremely hard to move is a sure sign of low power steering fluid. If you hear any noises from one or more of the wheels it could be due to an unbalanced tire or a failing CV joint. Any high-pitched squealing from under the hood when you start the car could be because of a loose or worn belt. Bottom line: any strange sound is probably not a welcome one.
8. Low Fluids
This is one of those routine things that you should be keeping an eye out for. Just like you take your temperature when you feel like you’re running a little hot, you should check your car’s fluids when you think that something might be wrong. Five fluids you should be routinely checking are power steering fluid, brake fluid, coolant, transmission fluid and engine oil.
9. Slow acceleration/loss of power
The amount of “pedal” you’re going to put to “the metal” is of course going to depend on what you’re carrying, the road you’re driving on and the incline/decline of that road. Just like stalling, a power loss or slow accelerating pace can be very dangerous; possibly leading to a fender bender or much worse. Changing the fuel filter can often fix this problem, but you should have a professional take a look at it to be sure.
10. Rough Idling
Your car shouldn’t always be in motion because, well, that’s just insane. You should be able to idle at a traffic light or drop your friend off at their house without experiencing a slew of problems. If your engine feels like it’s working overtime when your car’s not in motion it could be a problem with the ignition or valve/piston trouble in the engine. In this scenario, the fuel and/or air delivery systems have likely been compromised.
So there you have it my friends! While it is of course best to have a professional take a look at your vehicle and give their opinion, it doesn’t hurt to know a thing or two yourself. So next time you notice a problem with your car, remember all of the useful facts you learned!
- Five Fluids You Should Check to Keep Your Car Running Smoothly – Lifehacker
- 9 Signs Your Vehicle Needs a Tune-Up – DriverSide
- Does My Car Need a Tune Up – Automobiles Easy
- 7 Signs Your Car Might Need a Tune Up – Oahu NearSay
- Solid Auto Repair Tips To Assist You When Your Car Needs A Tune-Up – Useful Automobile Tips