Tips for Spotting Problems with Your Car

We often talk about how important it is to fix potential car problems rather than letting them fester and become major issues later.

At Milex/Mr. Transmission we want to help educate our customers about the proper care for their vehicle.  Nobody likes having to spend $1,000 on car repairs when if they had just come in two months earlier after the car first started acting strange, that same bill might have been $100 or less. Unfortunately, if there is a minor problem with a car and you ignore it, it doesn’t fix itself or remain minor. It usually gets worse.

It obviously isn’t feasible for anyone to get their car examined by a mechanic every day, and it isn’t necessary. You may or may not know much about cars, but if you know what to look and listen for, you can prevent a lot of potential problems. Mostly, all you need to do is look and listen for anything strange and unusual that your car seems to be doing. Here are three fairly common issues that often are ignored and often are minor issues – if fixed quickly.

 

Your check engine light comes on.

This can suggest numerous issues, and, yes, it could be something major. But it also might a loose gas cap. Or it might be something a little more serious, such as your spark plugs needing to be replaced. That’s a fairly inexpensive fix. But if you ignore the light, and thus leave those faulty spark plugs in the engine? Eventually, you could damage the catalytic converter of the car (a more expensive repair than spark plugs), and if the catalytic converter goes (it reduces the carbon emissions coming out of your car) that can lead to the destruction of your engine.

 

There’s a leak.

This can be another visible sign of something very bad – or not a big deal at all. As you can imagine, we can’t know if something is major or minor until we take a look under the hood.

If you see water dripping from your engine, especially during the warmer months, it’s probably condensation from the air-conditioning and nothing to be concerned about at all. On the other hand, if you see darker drips on the driveway or parking lot, it could be oil dripping, and you should get it checked out. Fortunately, that too, maybe be nothing serious – perhaps your oil pan gasket needs to be replaced. That generally isn’t too costly.

The problem could also be a seal that needs to be replaced.  Don’t be mislead by an issue which may be an inexpensive fix.  If the oil continues leaking, and you do nothing about it, the engine could possibly catch on fire.

 

You hear a weird sound.

Once again, an odd sound from your car could indicate a serious problem or minor fix. For instance, if your car has a chirping or squealing noise, that may just be a problem with your serpentine belt. That’s an easy, inexpensive fix.

The longer you wait to fix a problem with the serpentine belt, the greater chance it can eventually break. That leads to your car losing its power steering. The engine cooling system can also be affected. A whole host of problems can come from not doing anything about a fraying or broken serpentine belt.

But if you take your car in to be checked out when something seems wrong, more often than not, you’ll be glad you did, because you’ll save yourself money and grief. In other words, pay attention to your car, and chances are, you won’t pay for it later.

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