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Often, cars give signs that they need attention and auto repair. However, for the average car owner who doesn’t understand a lot about car mechanics, the warning signs might not be obvious. In this blog post, we outline the top eight signs your car needs immediate auto repair.
1. Check Engine Light Is On or Flashing
There are two ways for your check engine light to be “on.” It will either continuously be lit up or will start flashing. Both of these are warning signs you need to take your car in for auto repair. But, the interesting difference is there is more urgency with one of these warnings.
A blinking or flashing light means you should probably drop everything you’re doing and find a mechanic today. It’s a sign your car needs immediate attention. Most commonly, a flashing engine light means that your engine has significantly misfired. For example, unburned fuel went into the exhaust system, damaging the catalytic converter.
On the other hand, a steady check engine light is less urgent. You should still have your car serviced soon, but you don’t need to drop everything that very day. However, we should make it clear that your small issue may magnify into a larger (and more expensive) one if you leave it unaddressed. So, don’t wait too long!
2. Knocking Noise
Generally speaking, your car should offer a smooth and relatively noiseless ride. If your vehicle ever makes a knocking noise, you definitely need immediate repair. A knocking noise is often the last sound before an engine completely dies.
When you hear a knocking noise, turn your engine off and call the mechanic.
3. Other Strange Noises
Many cars make a familiar hum or regular noises that you grow accustomed to. However, you should always have an ear out for strange and out-of-character noises from your car. If you’re hearing a sound for the first time, your vehicle is likely experiencing a mechanical issue.
A squealing or grinding noise is usually an issue with the brakes, such as the brake pads being worn out. Another noise to listen for is a droning or dragging sound. This is a typical sound that indicates problems with the wheel bearings. This noise means something is always rubbing against your car’s brake rotors, which shouldn’t be happening.
Whatever the noise, trust us when we say it’s your car’s way of communicating it needs auto repair. A professional mechanic will be able to diagnose and fix the problem before it shuts down your vehicle completely.
This is probably an obvious one, but it has to be said. If your car is ever emitting smoke, it’s not normal. Whether it’s coming from the front or the rear of the vehicle, it shouldn’t be ignored.
Smoke coming from under the hood is usually a sign of an overheated engine. This could be due to coolant gauge running dry.
As soon as your car starts to smoke, pull over. Turn off the engine and wait for the vehicle to cool down completely. While waiting, contact an auto repair shop and book an appointment to bring your car in right away. If you continue to operate the vehicle without getting it inspected, it can cause severe engine damage.
If you ever notice a pile of liquid pooling where you park your park, don’t ignore it. A leak pooling where you park your car is usually a sign that you have a leak in the vehicle. There are many different liquids inside your car, so it can be challenging to determine what exactly is leaking. For example, a bright green liquid is usually coolant. In contrast, a pile of red or brown liquid can be engine oil or a leak from the brake or transmission fluid tank.
Whatever the type of leak is, you need auto repair as soon as possible. Your car leaking can be causing significant damage to the vehicle and can be putting your safety into jeopardy.
6. Increase in Exhaust Smoke
Your vehicle shouldn’t suddenly change the type or amount of emissions it produces. For example, if you notice that your car is suddenly producing significant colored exhaust smoke, it’s a problem.
The color of the exhaust smoke can give you some insight into what the problem probably is. If it’s black smoke, your car is burning too much fuel. White smoke indicates a coolant leak in the engine, and blue smoke is likely oil in the combustion chamber.
All of these require auto repair before your car breaks down further.
7. Decreased Miles Per Gallon (MPG)
After having your car for some time, you get used to how far you can get on a tank of gas. Keep an eye out if this ever seems to be increasing. If you see a decrease in your car’s MPG, it likely needs a tune-up. Often even small services can reverse this problem and help your car work more effectively. Changing the spark plugs, air filter, or cleaning a sensor can often improve your mileage significantly. Your wallet will thank you!
8. Odd Smells
If you notice a sudden new and overpowering smell in your car, pay attention. First, inspect the vehicle to make sure there isn’t some rotting food hiding somewhere. If you don’t find any, the smell could be from the car itself. And, these smells are often a warning sign that your vehicle needs repair.
Some common odors to watch out for are:
- A maple-syrup sweet smell may be leaking coolant
- A gym bag sweat smell can be mold in the heater vents or the AC
- A burning paper smell might be an indication that your car needs clutch repair.
Take your car in for auto repair and describe the smell to the mechanic. They will diagnose the smell and fix your car for you.
Import Car Center in Grapevine, TX
Import Car Center is the top auto repair shop in Grapevine, TX. We specialize in fixing European and import specialties from brands such as BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, Land Rover, Audi, VW, Volvo, Jaguar, and more. Bring your car in for any problem, big or small, and we will fix it quickly. Don’t ignore those warning signs any longer and book your appointment today.