The last thing anyone needs is an unexpected breakdown and costly repairs, and the best way to ensure this doesn’t happen is to be aware and check for any indication of issues with your car. Catch the problems early and prevent spending more time and money fixing something that you could’ve controlled. Your car needs servicing every year or every 12,000 miles (varies by model), whichever comes first. You can book your car in for a service at the dealership you bought from, paying for them individually or have a service plan set up, or through an independent garage. Here are five signs are car may be due a service:
- Warning lights on the dashboard
It’s so easily done to ignore a new light on your car’s dashboard – everyone’s guilty of it, but they are also the most obvious sign that something isn’t right. If a yellow light saying ‘check engine’ appears, book your car in for a service as soon as possible. The problem with engine lights is even though they obviously highlight something is wrong, they don’t tell you exactly what; the yellow engine light could mean a number of problems, which is why it’s best to book it in. Many cars also get a warning light in the shape of a spanner when their car is ready for a service.
- Unusual noises
If you start to hear strange noises coming from your car, you need to get them looked at, but different noises can mean different things.
Squealing noise – a high squeal noise when turning the ignition could indicate a problem with the cambelt.
Squealing brakes – could be down to worn brake pads.
Scraping noise – could be from two parts scraping against each other which shouldn’t be.
Odd engine noise – could be an easy fix or a major problem, so don’t hesitate to book your car in for a service.
Crunching gears – gears make a huge noise when there actually is a problem, so make sure to get it checked.
- Loss of power
If your car has a full fuel tank and you’re still struggling to increase speed or not being able to make the same distance as usual on a full tank, this could mean that something could be wrong with the engine.
- Unresponsive or sensitive breaks
With brakes, any sign of tension or vibration could be an indication that you have worn through your brake discs, and if you notice any resistance or sensitivity you shouldn’t be driving the car as it is unsafe, and should book in for a service immediately.
- Grinding gears
When something is wrong with the gearbox of your car, it is made quite blatant as it makes a relatively loud grinding noise. Ignoring a problem with gears can cause excessive damage, so if changing gears doesn’t feel like it usually does, then definitely get it checked out.
The key message here is it’s better to be safe than sorry, and the best way to avoid any problems is to book in for regular services and take a look into a service plan. In general, just make sure you know your car and what feels unusual, and get little problems looked at before they get bigger.