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7 Early Signs of Car Trouble

By Social
In April 30, 2019
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WWhen your car starts making funny noises, emitting a strange smell, starts running louder than normal, or something just seems off, sometimes we tend to ignore it or brush it off as normal wear and tear, especially if our vehicle is an older model one or higher in mileage. However, there are certain warning signs that warrant further investigation, sooner rather than later.

Sign #1: Sluggish acceleration

When your car doesn’t seem to have as much pep as it used to, it could be a sign of dirty air cleaners, clogged fuel injectors, general engine and transmission wear, or even low tire pressure. Sometimes not using the correct fuel can cause slower than normal acceleration as using lower octane fuels can be detrimental to a vehicle’s performance especially when premium fuels are recommended by the manufacturer.

Sign #2: Noisy/squeaky brakes

Unusual sounds when braking – for example, squealing – shouldn’t be ignored. Squealing is a sign of worn brake pads or shoes which when left unchanged can cause costly damage to the brake rotors or drums. Squealing may also point to a defective rotor or drum surface. Drive or tow the vehicle to a mechanic for an urgent diagnosis and repair. Your safety is on the line.

Sign #3: Smoky exhaust

Smoke should never be ignored, including when it’s coming from your vehicle! In a modern diesel vehicle, excessive black-smoke emissions may be due to poor fuel emission as a result of faulty injectors or the exhaust system. In petrol cars, smoky emissions can be caused by excessive fuel going into the engine because of a dirty air filter or a faulty electronic sensor. If your vehicle is emitting blue-grey smoke rather than just black smoke, this could be a sign of a more serious engine component wear, such as piston rings and/or cylinder bores.

Sign #4: Smell of fuel or exhaust in the cabin

Ignoring exhaust or fuel fumes in your vehicle could be deadly. Exhaust contains lethal odorless carbon monoxide, while petro fumes are a fire and health risk. Fumes can come from a leak in the exhaust system, anywhere from the engine to the tail pipe or may point to a leak in the fuel system from the tank, fuel lines, or in the engine compartment. Regardless of where the leak is, it can pose an imminent fire danger. If you smell something off, park your vehicle, turn off the ignition, and call us for help.

Sign #5: Thumps and other noises

Vehicles can make all sorts of strange noises which are sometimes hard to pinpoint – knocks, whines, rattles, hisses and clunks, to name a few. Here’s what may be behind them:
• Knocking: a sign of poor tuning and/or the fuel octane being too low
• Whines: an issue with the drive unit, axle, wheel bearings, gearbox, or power-steering pump
• Rattles: issues with the exhaust, loose hard fuel lines, or poorly fitting glass or body panels
• Clunks: issues with the suspension, universal joints, axle, or steering and engine mounts

Sign #6: Difficulty starting

There’s nothing worse than getting ready to leave only to have your car either not start or start sporadically. An old battery with loose connections may be the suspect, especially if the cranking or dashboard lighting are weak. If they aren’t, and the battery and starter are found to be issue free, further investigation is needed. Issues with a faulty fuel or ignition system (poor fuel delivery, faulty spark plugs or leads), or an empty fuel tank are then likely. We’re always available to come meet you for a diagnosis.

Sign #7: Excessive vibrations

If you’re tired of hearing vibrations while driving, here are a few things to check: incorrect tire pressure or uneven wear or separate tread, a warped brake motor, out of balance or damaged axles or drive shafts or worn-out constant velocity (CV) joints.

So, the next time your car, SUV, truck, or van sounds a little off, don’t dismiss it. Instead make an appointment with your mechanic for a diagnosis. It may be nothing but it’s always better to be cautious. It will keep you safe and save you money in the long run.

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