Signs your car needs service

Signs your car needs service

Even though automobiles play an essential role in many Americans' daily lives, it's likely that many motorists lack the basic knowledge about how they work or what problems could arise.

If you’re among the motorists who fall into this group, it's important to have your car inspected and serviced by a professional mechanic on a regular basis. Unaddressed issues can shorten your vehicle’s lifespan and compromise you and your vehicle's safety.

Look for these warning signs that your car may need inspection or repairs:

  • Squealing or grinding sounds when coming to a stop. This can indicate your brake pads, rotors or calipers are on their last leg and need to be serviced as soon as possible.
  • Oil spots under your car. An oil leak can be dangerous to your car’s lifespan. Without proper lubrication from oil, your car's performance is undermined and the engine can eventually lock up. 
  • Green liquid leaking from your engine. Radiator coolant, which helps maintain engine temperature, is usually dyed green by the manufacturer for safety. If you have a coolant leak, your engine could overheat, which can mean thousands of dollars in repairs. Leaked coolant can also poison pets.
  • Slow starting. This could mean that your battery is dead or dying.
  • Excessive vibration while driving. If your car is vibrating more than normal it could be a sign that you need new tires or your tire alignment adjusted.
  • Car is running unusually loud. This could be an indicator that you need a new muffler.
  • Squealing noise when you start the car or turn on the A/C. This could be the sign of a bad serpentine belt, which helps provide power to essential components such as the power steering, water pump or alternator.

If your vehicle experiences any of these issues, have it serviced at a local auto service shop as soon as possible. Check Angie's List for reviews on more than a dozen auto service categories including radiators, tires and body repairs.

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Unaddressed issues can shorten your vehicle’s lifespan and compromise you and your vehicle's safety. Developing a long-term relationship with a mechanic/service shop will help you avoid being rushed into a last-minute decision.

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