Do you know how to spot the signs that your car needs a service? While there are things you can ignore, other changes in your car require immediate attention, as they may seem minor at first but can lead to several other problems if the car is not given attention.
Being able to pick up warning signs that something is wrong with your car can save you money, allowing you to take your car in for a service before a sudden breakdown. Based on the manufacturer’s recommendations, your car should be serviced regularly after you reach a certain mileage or time period, however, you should also be aware of the following five signs that may indicate that your vehicle urgently needs a service.
1. Oil leaks
If you notice any oil leaks do not ignore the issue, as it may indicate that your car has a problem that requires it to be booked for a service immediately. If you see any signs of oil leaks around and underneath the engine and gearbox this may indicate a slight problem such as a leaking gasket, or could be a symptom of a bigger problem that requires a mechanic.
2. Smoking car exhaust
A change in the colour of the smoke that is emitted from the exhaust pipe of your car might be an indication that something is wrong with your car’s engine. If your car emits a small amount of black smoke however, there is no need to worry, as this is common. There may be a problem only if the black fume continues to emit after the engine has warmed up to operating temperature.
3. Strange noises
Any strange noises coming from your vehicle could warrant further investigation before they develop into a serious issue. If you hear a squealing sound when you step on the brake, this could indicate that your brake pads need to be replaced. A louder-than-usual exhaust noise could be a crack in your exhaust and should be examined to assure that your exhaust pipe is in good condition.
4. Abnormal vibrations
You should immediately look into any sudden abnormal vibrations which are not caused by the surface of the road. Tyre wear is a common cause of an abnormal vibration. You should always check that your car tyres have at least the minimum requirement of tyre tread, which is 1.6 mm. An abnormal vibration could also be due to something as minor as a loose piece of displaced plastic or something more serious, like worn-out brake discs or a suspension problem.
READ MORE: Car Health: Know Your Symptoms
5. Ignition problems
If it suddenly becomes impossible to start your car smoothly after turning the key a few times, or if it starts but quickly comes to a halt, then it could be an indication of an ignition problem that requires you to take your car in for a service. The problem may be caused by a broken starter motor or may be due to a dying battery, but getting it checked will ensure that it does not take a turn for the worse.
It’s important to book your car for a service regularly, and if you don’t reach the mileage interval, you should still take your car in for a service on an annual basis at least, to ensure that everything is operating as it should. Aside from a service plan, you should be aware of what your Car Insurance covers you for, so that no fees catch you by surprise, should your car be involved in an accident which requires damages to be repaired.
Disclaimer: The information above is provided for informational and educational purposes only and Hippo.co.za will not be liable for any damage, loss, or penalties incurred.