Whether we own a groovy sedan or roving family SUV, our car is a key element in our lives. Most of us rely greatly on our vehicles to commute to work, appointments and family outings.
Our trusted automobile requires servicing regularly to keep her operating well. It might be a case of a nip and tuck here, maybe a replacement car key, tyres or new filters and belts. But if we don’t take care of our trusted car by keeping her services up to date, we may be up for some unexpected and quite extensive costs.
Here are some signs that your faithful little zoomer may be feeling a little worse for wear.
1. Your tyres look thin and worn.
Bad tyres are risky because they can’t grip the road as well as they should. This means you may not be able to stop in time in the event of an accident where you apply the brake quickly. It also has the potential to blow or burst if you drive over a bump, pothole or sharp item such as a nail or piece of glass. This can mean it becomes a missile when bursting and can injure or kill others.
On a brand-new tyre, the tread is typically eight millimetres deep and is designed to extract and disperse water between the tyre and the road surface to maintain a good grip when it is wet.
Australia’s required minimum tread depth is 1.5mm. Less than 1.5 mm of tread depth on a tyre increases the risk of major aquaplaning or sliding in slick weather, lengthens stopping distance, and reduces grip levels on the road.
You can determine when a tyre is worn out by looking for small rubber bars that run across the grooves between the tread. These bars are known as tread wear indicators. Any portion of a tyre whose tread has been worn down to these bars is old and unsafe, and you should replace them as soon as you notice these signs.
2. Your driveway has a puddle where your car sits.
Some slight amounts of condensation from the vehicle’s air conditioner is one thing, but if there is a large puddle, especially one of unusual colour or smell, be sure to book your car in ASAP. Probable issues could range from issues with your cooling system, transmission, steering, brakes or engine.
3. Your brakes squeal or smell.
Brakes are not meant to smell or make nasty noises. If you smell burning plastic, it could be a sign your brake pads are on their very last legs.
4. The temperature gauge tells you the car is hot.
The cooling system in your car is crucial for a healthy engine and transmission since it regulates their internal temperatures. It becomes more difficult for the entire cooling system to effectively regulate those interior temperatures when cooling system components deteriorate over time. You’ll notice issues with engine power and higher engine temperatures more frequently as the age of the part.
Both your engine and transmission, both of which are necessary for a working car, overheat when your engine does. Metal components inside your car’s engine and transmission suffer greater wear and damage the hotter the engine gets. If your engine completely overheats, you’ll need major auto repairs and won’t be able to operate your vehicle.
5. She doesn’t seem to have the same zippy nature when you put your foot on the accelerator.
If your vehicle suddenly doesn’t seem to have the same get up and go, it might be for a variety of reasons.
It’s crucial to make sure you’re fuelling your car properly. The use of fuel with a lower octane rating than that advised by the car’s manufacturer could result in both short-term poor performance and long-term catastrophic engine damage.
Slow performance can also be brought on by dirty air cleaners, blocked fuel injectors, and normal engine and transmission wear. Low tyre pressure can slow down traffic and reduce the responsiveness of your car’s steering by raising a tire’s rolling resistance.
The transmission, which aids in transferring engine power to other systems to keep your car moving, is one of the most important systems in your car. It’s usually time for a transmission repair service if you discover your car is having trouble accelerating.
The components in your transmission will inevitably deteriorate over time. By keeping up with transmission repairs rather than waiting for a more serious issue, you may replace parts in your car’s transmission more affordably and avoid a major failure if they are approaching the end of their useful lives.
6. It’s looking a little smokey at the rear end.
If your car is blowing white smoke, it’s likely to be evaporating coolant. Blue smoke can be indicative of your vehicle burying oil. Neither of these options is good. You may elect to just keep adding fluid to the engine and radiator, but skipping this step or a check-up at your mechanic may see your old faithful starting to get all hot and Smokey under the bonnet too. This may result in a very expensive repair or saying goodbye to your car.
It’s crucial to make sure you’re using the right fuel for your car. You risk poor performance in the near term and catastrophic engine damage in the long run if you use fuel with a lower octane rating than the manufacturer of your car recommends.
Slow performance can also be brought on by worn-out engines and transmissions, dirty air cleaners, and clogged fuel injectors. Low tyre pressure can cause increased rolling resistance, which slows down motion and reduces the responsiveness of your car’s steering.
7. All those warning lights start coming on and complaining..loudly…
Your car manufacturer handbook will tell you exactly what each warning light means. It may anything from a low fluid level warning to a check engine light. Once this occurs, it might be a cheaper option to kiss your vehicle goodbye and invest in a new one.