If you haven’t been reading your car manual for fun, you might be a little bit out of touch as to when you’re next due for a maintenance visit. Luckily, there are a few tell-tale signs that can clue you into an impending problem before it’s too late. Just as with your health, keeping up with your vehicle’s preventative care is the best way to save yourself money on more costly or dangerous repairs down the line. Don’t neglect your vehicle’s needs unless you’re prepared to pay the price later. Call us at Kings Ford Quick Lane to schedule service if any of these ten signs start to sound a little too familiar.
#1 Strange Noises
Your vehicle starts to sound strange while it’s running. Put up your hood and start your parked car. Do you hear any low-pitched grinding sounds? If you suspect a problem, listen closely to identify any possible areas of concern before you head out on your commute. Grinding or squealing sounds could indicate issues with your bearings or belts. The AC compressor, power steering system, alternator, and water pump all have bearings that might need to be replaced.
#2 Slow Start
Your engine is starting a lot more slowly than it used to in the past. Bad spark plugs, a weak fuel pump, a weak battery, or an old starter that’s on the brink of breaking down might be to blame. When your engine doesn’t respond to the turn of your key as it once did, you should have your vehicle looked over by a mechanic. Avoid wasting time in the breakdown lane by being proactive about your service appointments.
#3 Poor Visibility
You start to notice poor visibility while driving. If you can’t see clearly out of your windshield because of shoddy wipers, a burnt-out headlamp, a lack of wiper fluid, or a defroster that doesn’t work as well as it’s supposed to, you should probably schedule a tune-up. Being able to see where you’re going is obviously rather important for avoiding an accident (or a ticket). Play it safe and address visibility issues right away so you can drive with confidence.
#4 Squeaking Brakes
Hear squeaky brakes? If it sounds like a mouse’s tail is being stepped on every time you press on the brake pedal, you should have your car checked. Brake pads wear down over time, and it’s vital to have these replaced on schedule. Not only are brakes a safety issue, maintaining your brakes will save you from putting needless wear and tear on your car.
#5 Less Efficient
Your mileage isn’t what it used to be. If you’re not getting the same efficiency from your engine as before, this could be a sign of a bigger issue. A leaky or clogged fuel injector might be to blame. The issue could also be caused by a spark plug that isn’t firing correctly. No matter the cause, getting your car checked will save money on gas, so it’s a win-win.
#6 Motor Stalls
Your car starts to stall. A vehicle that stalls might possibly be one of the most annoying and frustrating issues that drivers experience. If your car is suffering from worn-down or faulty spark plugs or electrical issues, you might be more prone to getting honked at by other drivers who are tired of waiting for you to move when the light turns green. Don’t clog up traffic. Have your vehicle looked at by a mechanic before you end up getting stranded.
#7 Lack of Acceleration
You notice that your vehicle is more sluggish with acceleration when you press on the gas pedal. A blocked air filter or fuel injector may be to blame for a car that doesn’t seem to have the same get-up-and-go that it once did. While it’s normal for all cars to lose some of their spark with age, any sudden changes should be evaluated. Poor acceleration might not be the result of aging. Your vehicle’s mechanics might simply need a deep clean.
#8 Aging Transmission
You feel added resistance that causes difficulty when shifting gears. Both automatic and manual transmissions inevitably need to have a tune-up every now and then. The transmission can build up dirt or sludge over time, which makes it tough to switch gears when you need to. In this case, getting a transmission flush can be just the kind of TLC that your vehicle is asking for. Experts generally recommend flushing your transmission every two years or every 30,000 miles. Depending on your vehicle or driving habits, you may need to do it a little more. The main thing is paying attention to your vehicle and being aware when issues start to crop up.
#9 Worn Tires
Your opposing tires show signs of uneven wear. Check your tire tread periodically, especially during the icy winter months. If your tire seems to be wearing down and losing its tread more quickly than its opposing tire (compare front tires to front tires and back tires to back tires), then you may need to schedule an alignment. Other signs that it’s time for a tire alignment may include a crooked steering wheel, the vehicle pulling to the right or left as you drive, or an underlying vibration while driving. Properly aligned tires will help your vehicle to run smoothly and reduce the damage to other components over time.
#10 Leaking Fluids
You notice puddles of coolant underneath your parked car. If your vehicle appears to be dripping coolant, you’ll want to have your water pump looked at right away. The water pump is imperative to keep your engine from overheating. To help you confirm a leak at home, place a light-colored piece of cardboard under your car while it’s parked in a garage overnight. Water pumps are more likely to leak while driving, so although this test can help, it’s not a definite way to diagnose the problem. This does help you rule out other leaking fluids though, like antifreeze. Any signs that your car isn’t cooling down efficiently should be examined before you do any serious damage to your engine.
Scheduling Service At Kings Ford Quick Lane
At Kings Ford Quick Lane, we realize that having car maintenance done isn’t everyone’s idea of an interesting afternoon. That’s why we do everything in our power to make scheduling your service appointment as fast and easy as possible. Not only is our location super convenient in Cincinnati, OH, but our knowledgeable technicians won’t waste your valuable time. Schedule your service on our website, or check out our next available walk-in time. We prefer appointments to ensure a quick turnaround time, but we understand that sometimes car issues can seem to show up out of nowhere. Our well-staffed service center is happy to help out any car-owner in need.
To guarantee that you get only the best service, we are committed to using exclusively great quality parts. If you need an oil change, a transmission replacement, new tires, or updated brakes, give us a call. We offer a variety of ongoing specials and coupons on our website, so be sure to check out our latest deals on parts. We also frequently offer complimentary add-on services to help keep your car in good running order. Don’t have time to schedule your service during the workday? No problem! We can get your service completed during business hours, along with after-hours on evenings and weekends. Walk-ins are always welcome. Let’s get your car the professional help it deserves.