Since their invention, cars have offered premium value to users. However, driving a car requires more than just handling the pedals and turning the steering. As humans, our bodies project symptoms when something alters normal bodily functions. In the same vein, cars project early warning signs, when something interrupts their normal performance.
This article will show you the early warning signs for your car that indicate an underlying problem and how to detect such signs.
What are Car Early Warning Signs?
An early warning sign for your car is the first indication of a potential hazard that often requires immediate attention. Early warning signs for your car are designed to get your attention. Some of these signs may point to simple faults that you can fix by yourself while some others may point out faults that will need the expertise of a mechanic.
Why Do You Need an Early Warning Sign?
There are many reasons why you need an early warning sign for your car. With adequate driving experience, you will discover that early warning signs save you time, money, and disappointments. Nobody enjoys the hassles of a car break down. Here are some key reasons why you need an early warning sign for your car.
1. To Ensure Safety
Your safety and that of your family is the first thing you should consider when driving. A popular misconception is that a new car cannot develop a fault. This is erroneous and dangerous. Even the safest cars have early warning signs because most accidents are as a result of negligence. So you need to pay attention to what your car is saying. This is the first step to ensuring a safe ride at all times.
2. To Increase Vehicle Performance
Whether you deem your car as an asset or a liability, you cannot deny the fact that it is a very helpful vehicle. Nevertheless, to avoid running at a severe loss, it is important to ensure that your car offers the uttermost value. A well-maintained car will reduce the amount of money you spend at the mechanic. You can increase the performance of your vehicle by paying attention to faults that cost little or no money to repair.
3. To Ensure Fuel Efficiency
Fuel efficiency and gas mileage are one of the key things to look out for in a car. When your fuel efficiency is low, your car will consume more fuel which will in turn increase the money you spend on fuel. Paying attention to early warning signs and using a fuel-efficient car will increase your fuel efficiency and aid engine performance.
4. To Increase Value for Resale
One good thing about cars is that you can always buy and resell even after use. Second-hand cars are popular all over the world. This is only possible when the car is well maintained by its users. If you have plans of reselling your car to get a new one, then you might want to take care of it. A well-maintained car will have a higher resale value than a car that will need a lot of refurbishing.
5. To Keep the Engine Healthy
One compartment that is a nuisance when it is faulty is the engine compartment. Paying attention to early warning signs for your car will help you notice when something is wrong with your engine. Simple indicators can help you avoid an engine knock, save money and make your car more reliable.
Early Warning Signs for Your Car
1. Hard Start
This may be the most popular indication of a car problem. Whenever you are finding it difficult to start the engine of your car, it is an indication of a battery problem. If your battery needs a recharge you can easily use a jump starter. However, if your battery is fine and you are still having a hard start, it suggests that there may be a problem with the electrical system or starter motor.
Car smoke has never been a good sign. If you find your car smoking, it is a pointer that you need to pay attention to your engine. Different colours of smoke signify different faults. Black smoke often indicates a fuel delivery problem or poor fuel quality. White smoke could simply be as a result of overheating, cold weather conditions, cracked or failed head gasket etc.
Bluish grey smoke is more serious than black or white smoke and needs immediate attention. It is a way to tell that oil is entering the combustion chamber. Always pay attention to these signs to confirm the reason why your car is smoking.
3. Leaking Fluid
You may notice a coloured patch on the ground after your car has been parked for a while. This is an indication of leakage. The common one is the oil leakage usually indicated by a black fluid on the ground. Green fluid is the coolant and is more common than the black fluid.
Brake fluid is yellow and a bit thicker. If you notice that your car is leaking yellow fluid, you should pay immediate attention. Red fluid is the transmission fluid which when low, can seriously damage your engines. It is best not to ignore leakages of any colour.
4. Faulty Steering
The control of your car relies on the steering among many other things. This means that you have to also watch your steering response. When your steering is stiff or too loose, it is an early warning sign for your car that you should take note off. It may also mean that your steering rack is worn out and needs a repair. Furthermore, noisy steering is best checked and repaired as quickly as possible. Faulty steering can move from minor inconvenience to total break down, very quickly.
5. Foul Smell
Depending on the type of smell, you can detect faults by the smell your car is giving off. A sweet smell points to antifreeze. Antifreeze gives off a syrupy odour which usually indicates that there may be a leakage in the heater core. A burning smell suggests that oil is maybe leaking in the exhaust or on a hot part of the engine.
Rotten eggs smell signals that there is a possibility that your catalytic converter has gone bad. Burning rubber may point to the accessory drive belt or overheated clutch plate. Gas, burnt toast smell are also foul smells that should pique your interest until you find the fault.
6. Peculiar Sounds
When you have spent enough time driving your car, you will be familiar with the sound of your car. A slight change in your car sound, calls for immediate attention.
Uneven engine noises, metal-on-metal sounds, crunching gears, squealing brakes or loud bangs from the exhaust are all peculiar sounds that need attention. All these are early warning signs for your car that suggest a variety of faults. While there may be different reasons why your car will develop a new sound, no strange sound should be left unchecked.
7. Engine Warning Lights
With most modern cars, engine problems are indicated on the dashboard. So while you cruise with your car, make it a habit to take note of light changes on the dashboard. There are different lights on the dashboard but a yellow light should call your attention to our engine.
It usually indicates low oil pressure or overheating. This light could also suggest that you have an open gas tap, loose or cracked, and fuel is evaporating. Whenever you see this light you should pull over and check what could be wrong in order to avoid having serious engine damage.
8. Difficult Driving
Jerking or stalling while driving is a sign that something is amiss. Some causes could include, fouled spark plugs, clogged fuel lines, or dirty fuel filters. You should also check your sensor in case it needs cleaning or replacement. Just take note of when your driving is no longer smooth and deduce what the problem could be.
9. Intense Bumpy Rides
Cars have suspensions that hold the car up and give it a solid grip on the road. If road bumps disturb your car comfort or you feel your car is riding too close to the ground, you may have a problem with your suspension or tires. Sometimes, it could be that your tires are scraping on the wheel arch of your car. Ignoring such early warning signs may lead to a total break down.
10. Brake Warning Light
If your brake light is constantly on or comes on when you apply the brake, it suggests that the hydraulic pressure has been lost in one side of the brake system. Leakages could also reduce the fluid level in the master cylinder. All these malfunctions will trigger an early warning sign which you can not afford to ignore as the brake of a car is pivotal to having a safe ride.
Consequently, early warning signs are indicators that you cannot miss. These signs do not necessarily require advanced mechanical knowledge to detect. They only require that you drive with more than your hands and feet. The best thing about these signs is that they are early. So when you listen and watch your car while driving, you save your car from future damages.
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