Finding out there’s something wrong with your car can be equally stressful and frustrating. But if you identify the problem early on, you can tackle it before it turns into an irreversible issue. Be on the lookout for these ten signs — they will signify that your car needs immediate service.
How Do You Know Your Car Needs Service?
The check engine light is on
A glowing check engine light is never a good thing. It often signifies there’s something wrong with one of the hundreds of systems in your car’s computer. It’s not necessarily a cause for panic, but it’s a definite indicator that you should take your car in for an inspection.
There’s smoke coming from under the hood
If you’re driving and notice smoke coming from under the hood, it could be a sign that the engine is overheated. This could destroy your car if you continue to drive and refuse to service it. Pay attention to the temperature gauge. If it seems too high, schedule an appointment for a maintenance check.
The transmission seems off-kilter
When it seems like your car is having trouble speeding up, and it feels shaky or it’s making strange noises, there could be an issue with the transmission. The transmission is essentially your car’s power system, so it needs proper maintenance. If you don’t take care of it, you could find yourself stranded on the side of the road waiting for a tow-truck to haul your car away.
There are major fluid leaks
Are there any major fluid puddles on the ground underneath your car when it’s parked? The leak could be coolant, transmission oil, engine oil, or brake fluid. Or, it could also just be cold water dripping from the air conditioner. While the latter is normal, other fluid leaks could keep your car from running smoothly. Be sure to take it in to the mechanic as soon as you can.
There’s a strange noise while driving
If you hear strange noises while you’re driving, take your car to the shop. A dragging noise could be coming from your wheels, which would signify the wheel or differential bearing is failing. A grinding noise usually occurs when your brakes have gone bad, so you need to get them checked and replaced immediately.
The car is constantly shaking while in motion
A car that shakes while driving over poor road conditions is normal. But if you notice it’s vibrating on a smooth street with no obstructions, you need to take it in. It could indicate a number of issues, such as an unbalanced tire or a bad universal joint. Failing to take care of the vibration could smoke the engine or transmission, ultimately leaving you without a running car.
You’re stalling at intersections
Stalling at an intersection is dangerous. If your car is sluggish and not performing the way it was built to, it could be a sign that the spark plugs need to be replaced, the fuel filter is clogged, or something more severe is occurring in the transmission. Schedule an appointment with the mechanic to take care of this problem before it turns into something serious.
It’s difficult to start it up
If it takes more than one turn of the key to get your car started every day, something’s wrong. It could just be a bad battery, but it might also be a defective starter that needs to be replaced. Regardless of the issue, it needs to be taken care of or you’ll be using public transportation to get around.
Your fuel mileage is bad
If you’ve noticed you’re filling your gas tank more often than normal — and you’re not using your car any more than usual — there’s an issue with your ride that needs to be taken care of. A sticking brake pad or improper tire pressure could be to blame, so take it to the shop for a check-up.
Shifting gears is rough
Driving an automatic car provides a smooth, reliable shift in gears. But if it seems less efficient than usual, causing your vehicle to hesitate or jolt between shifts, your transmission needs attention. Schedule an appointment to change the transmission fuel, filters, and screens.
Schedule Service in Jersey City, NJ
If your car shows any of these signs, just bring it in to NJ State Auto Used Cars. Our maintenance workers will help fine-tune your ride and take care of any issues.
If you feel as though the damage is done and you need a new car, just head on over to our lot. We’ve got hundreds of quality used CARFAX-certified vehicles to choose from in our inventory of used cars for sale in Jersey City, New Jersey.