It’s easy to tell when your car is getting old on the outside. The paint starts to get dull, your headlights aren’t as bright, and you might have a few scratches here and there. But what about under the hood? It can be hard to tell what’s going on in your car’s guts, not to mention when certain parts need timely maintenance. We at Milex Complete Auto Care / Mr. Transmission of Cary have some good tips on how to tell when your car’s mechanics need a check-up from inner wear and tear!
1. Jerking motions while driving or revving while idling.
Both are indications you will need to have your car checked as soon as possible. What they most commonly indicate is engine trouble, whether that be from normal wear and tear or from lack of frequent maintenance. It could also be from issues with your air filter, but either way, you should get it checked!
2. Reduced gas mileage or engine misfiring.
If your car struggles to accelerate or runs rough, it could be a sign your car needs maintenance. These conditions can be caused by something as simple as a dirty air filter. These can be replaced for as little as $40, but when your car is struggling or running rough it could lead to some serious engine damage.
3. Problems when your gas gets very low.
Many people try to stretch the amount of time between their visits to the gas station as much as possible. But if you find that you’re having trouble with your car when its gas gets low, that could be a signal of something more than an empty tank. Sputtering or stalling when accelerating or driving at high speeds could mean that your fuel pump or fuel pressure regulators are wearing down or malfunctioning, or even that your electrical system is on the fritz.
4. Trouble starting, or electrical options stop working.
These signs could mean that your alternator is struggling or on its last legs. As an alternator goes bad it typically will work sometimes (like when you bring it to us) and not work other times. With all of the technology in today’s vehicles you want to have a clean supply of electricity to supply all of these features. A bad alternator condition can create a domino effect in your car when they begin to fail. If get things checked when you notice these symptoms you will protect against bigger issues but if you leave it to time, the problems with your alternator will only spread to other systems, like the headlights and power locks. A bad alternator can even cause your battery to die.
5. A bumpy ride or trouble steering and braking.
This one may be surprising, but issues with steering or braking can be a sign of problems with your shock absorbers or struts. Your shocks/struts are what protect your car from rough roads. Especially in colder months, your shocks protect your suspension system and other parts of your car from damage from potholes, rough pavement and any off-road driving. When your shocks fail due to age or damage, your car will start to show signs of instability, but shock failure will cause other systems to work harder to do their job, like steering and braking. That’s why your steering or braking can become noticeably more difficult, as your car tries to maintain its position in space with less help from its shocks/struts.
There are several ways to know what’s going on inside of your car without even cracking open the hood. You just must know what your driving experience is normally like and pay attention to any changes. The worst thing you can do is ignore any changes to how your car drives or sounds. Ignoring these signs of possible issues may have them progress beyond the time to do anything to prevent damage. So be proactive about taking care of your vehicle and prevent wear, tear and harm to your car by visiting us at Milex Complete Auto Care / Mr. Transmission of Cary to perform scheduled and recommended preventive maintenance services.