Your vehicle has many ways of telling you about maintenance troubles — beyond the trusted dashboard warning lights.
Every driver should be aware of their vehicle’s need for attention, which is always a telling sign it’s time for a visit to a trusted mechanic.
Squealing, grinding and vibrating … oh my
Given that brakes are one of the most crucial parts of your vehicle, paying attention to the maintenance warning signs is absolutely vital to your vehicle’s health.
Squealing sounds are the first cry for help as the brake indicator feature sounds the alarm of worn brake pads. Ignore this early warning system and you’ll quickly move to a bigger problem — grinding.
Metal-on-metal scraping is never good for your vehicle. This painful orchestra of noise often means the brake pads are completely worn and metal calipers are grinding against the rotors. Ignoring these noises can lead to significant damage to your vehicle and put you in serious danger when behind the wheel.
Squeal behind the wheel?
Should your brakes check out and the squealing persists, you may have other problems. Are you hearing the screech when turning the steering wheel? You’re likely low on power steering fluid.
The whistling could be coming from under the hood, which means you’re likely dealing with a worn-out belt. Not replacing your belt can create a whole world of problems, including overheating and battery power problems.
Giving you bad vibrations
If your vehicle is suddenly vibrating — and the cause isn’t related to persistently bumpy roads — you could be looking at several issues, ranging from an aging universal joint to worn-out or unbalanced tires. Tires have a 10-year lifespan, so it’s wise to switch them out no matter their condition.
Uneven engine noise
You’ll usually hear fluctuations in your vehicle’s engine while it sits idle. This sound could mean the engine is misfiring, which could be an easy fix — like replacing spark plugs — but it could also indicate a more serious problem with your engine.
The sight of leaking fluids under your car is never a fun experience. This unsightly visual of your bleeding vehicle gives you one of the most obvious signs you’re having mechanical problems. Oil leaks can be dangerous to the lifeline of your vehicle. If you don’t fix that leak, you’ll likely have much bigger problems, such as a seized engine.
If you’re staring at a green liquid on the ground, you’re suffering from a leaky radiator. Get this looked at right away. The easy fix will stop your engine from overheating, which could lead to larger and more expensive problems.
Clunks and chirps
Are you cringing at the sound of clunks, thumps and chirps every time you roll over a bump? You likely have suspension problems. Save yourself from a massive migraine later down the road and get this looked at immediately. There could be issues with one of many parts, including your shocks, sway bars or trailing arms.