Rosie Fox

Signs That Indicate Your Car Needs A Service

Many of us are guilty of failing to service our vehicles as frequently as we should. Subtle noises and minor faults are often easy to ignore, and when you have neither the time nor the funds to fix them, you may as well let them slide, right? Unfortunately, if you continue to ignore indications of damage, you could be left having to deal with significant issues. Furthermore, you could be putting yourself and other road users at risk. Stay safe and protect the longevity of your car by being aware of the early warning signs; here are just a few. 

Dashboard Warning Lights

The presence of a dashboard light can be an alarming sight; however, they serve a good purpose, as a dashboard light is the most obvious indication that something is wrong. Depending on your vehicle, a dashboard light could indicate anything from low tyre pressure to a brake system failure, so they mustn’t be ignored. Some cars even display dashboard lights in different colours to denote the severity of the issue. 

Unusual Noises

Another obvious sign that something is amiss with your vehicle is unusual noises, including grinding, whirring, squeaking and squealing. While it is common practice for many of us to have the radio on or music playing as we drive, it is always worth turning the volume down occasionally so you can listen out for irregularities. For example, a continuous whirring noise could indicate that a wheel bearing needs replacing, and a knocking sound from the engine could be a sign of faulty spark plugs.

Fluid Leakage

It is always worth checking underneath your vehicle after being parked for a prolonged period, as signs of leakage could indicate a number of problems. You can identify where a specific leak is coming from by placing a sheet of cardboard under your car to collect the liquid so you can assess the colour. Clear liquid could be water, or potentially coolant, indicating corrosion within the radiator. Puddling fuel, easy to determine from dark, rainbow-coloured liquid, may signify that you may have a crack in your fuel tank. Amber, brown or black liquid is likely oil - often a sign of a degraded or loosened engine gasket or oil seal. 

Tactile Brake Changes

The health and functionality of your brakes are crucial for road safety. If you’ve noticed a tactile change in your braking system, it is advisable to book your car in for a service as soon as possible. Oversensitivity could mean you require a brake fluid replacement, or it may be a sign of uneven disc wear. Spongy, unresponsive brakes could be caused by air in the brake lines, requiring immediate attention. Along with a grinding sound when the brakes are engaged, a lack of tactile response may also be an indication of worn brake pads.

Uneven Tyre Wear

Experts recommend that road users check their tyre tread every few weeks to guarantee safety. You can do this by inserting a 20p piece into the tread of each tyre in several places - if the band is no longer visible, it may be time to invest in new tyres. Uneven wear could result from numerous issues, such as incorrect wheel tracking and faulty suspension systems. Whether your car has all of its stock components intact or you’ve modified it with tein coilovers, all suspension systems are prone to wear over time, so regular maintenance is vital to prevent further damage to the ball joints, wheel hubs, and many other components.

Steering Difficulties

Steering difficulties could signify a range of problems, from faulty brake callipers to uneven tyre wear. For instance, if your steering wheel is resisting more than it used to, it could be a problem with your power steering - lack of fluid, damaged pipes, worn out pump, snapped belt, etc. Excess pulling could be due to incorrect wheel alignment or potentially uneven tyre pressure. 

Gearbox Issues

Major gearbox issues are invariably pricey to fix, so it is crucial to recognise the formative signs of damage and wear. Fortunately, gearbox problems are relatively easy to identify. For example, you may notice grinding noises, stiffness and difficulty shifting gears, along with the apparent dashboard warning lights and evidence of leaking gearbox fluid. Any one of these symptoms could indicate cracked transmission fluid lines or an issue with the master cylinder. 

about 1 year ago

Rosie Fox