When you drive your car around Sacramento, and it is running just fine, you might not have any clue that auto repair service is necessary at this time. The newer that your car is, the less work it will require. Aside from changing the oil and the air filter every 5,000 or 10,000 miles, you might not even think about the potential for requiring any type of auto repair service.
However, there are numerous signs that people here but don’t recognize as indicating that something is going wrong with their car. The longer that you ignore these issues, the more significant the problems become. In fact, ignoring a minor problem that could cost you less than $100 to fix could end up costing you several thousand within a few months.
Below are the top 10 signs that you might need auto repair service right now.
- The check engine light is on.
This is the most common issue that people have when driving around the greater Sacramento area. The check engine light is a light on the dashboard that illuminates whenever the come the cars onboard diagnostic computer determines that there may be a problem. It could be illuminated because the car needs to be brought in for general maintenance or inspection, but it can also be the early warning sign that something serious could be going wrong.
The general tendency among drivers today is to get annoyed by this light. Seeing that light come on and not go off can lead some people to take a small piece of electrical tape to cover it up. That is the biggest mistake you can make.
Even though many of the causes of that light going on could be relatively simple, if you end up broken down on the side of the road, you would have nobody else to blame but yourself because your car did everything he could to let you know that something was going wrong.
- There is an odd noise coming from your engine.
The longer you drive the car, the more familiar you become with it. The more familiar you become with it, the more you use to certain noises and the way it rides. If you notice a specific sound that begins to come from somewhere in front of you while you’re driving, meaning somewhere in the engine compartment, even though the ride may feel the same and you got the same amount of power out of the car, that doesn’t mean that everything is safe and that you should just ignore the noise.
Your car communicates with you through these noises. It could be a wire coming loose or a screw that has loosened up. It could be that something flew under your car in is caught there. It might be something as simple as that, but that is no reason to ignore it.
- The car is suddenly running rough.
When you notice that the car is beginning to run rough, that may be caused by poor fuel quality, spark plugs not working properly, the timing being off, and 100 other potential issues.
It could be something simple, such as the gas cap not being tight enough and causing pressure loss in the fuel tank. Pay attention to the way your engine is running. Even if it corrects itself and you don’t feel the rough running engine anymore, it is still a good idea to bring it into an auto repair service center as soon as possible to have it checked out.
- Your car won’t start.
There are numerous reasons why a car won’t start. It could be the starter motor, the timing belt, a fuel filter, or hundred other things. When your car won’t start, this is one of the most common reasons why people contact a service facility. Of course, at that point, you need to get a tow.
Keep in mind, most of these cars that don’t start were indicating that they need service before this problem occurred.
- You’ve been in an accident.
Even though you might have been in a minor fender bender and didn’t bother to exchange insurance information with the other driver because neither one of you considered it to be a major problem, it has the potential to cause damage within the engine compartment, the rear of your car, or even the chassis. That’s why it is advisable to share insurance information with the other driver and to bring your car into an auto repair facility to have it checked out.
- You haven’t changed the oil in 20,000 miles or more.
This is far too common among drivers today. Especially with older vehicles, people don’t think that it is necessary to change the oil every 5,000 or 10,000 miles. With synthetic oil, they incorrectly assumed that since the oil is a higher quality, it is going to protect the engine much better and for much longer.
The truth is that oil gets dirty and begins carrying around small fragments of metal from the engine cylinders and continues to score the cylinders even more, causing more damage. Make sure that your oil is changed every 5,000 miles and if it hasn’t been changed in at least 15,000 or 20,000 miles, bring it into a service center right away to have it checked out.
- The temperature gauge moves to the “H” now.
Your temperature gauge might’ve always been situated right between the C and H but now it is moving closer to the H. This could be indicating a major problem that is developing. It might be a simple matter of having no coolant in the radiator. It also might be sensors that are gone bad.
- You can’t remember the last time you had your car checked out.
If you don’t remember the last time you brought your car in to have it checked and inspected, it is long overdue. These inspections can show potential problems that are beginning to arise that will get you an opportunity to address them before they become major expenses.
- The car shakes when you come to stop.
If you notice that the car is shaking when you apply the brakes, it is most likely an issue with the brakes, especially the rotors becoming warped. This can cause you to lose control of the vehicle if you don’t have them replaced or repaired as soon as possible.
- You don’t have the same acceleration that you remember.
Acceleration is related to power loss and if you notice that yours is beginning to decline, it might be a simple matter of changing spark plugs, the timing belt, or doing other general maintenance. If the acceleration is less than you used to remember, bring it into an auto repair service center today.