Dashboard warning lights are there to let you know when you have a problem with your vehicle. Otherwise, it’s not necessary to worry about your vehicle’s engine, right? Not necessarily. Sometimes warning lights don’t come on until there’s the potential for major engine damage, when in fact the vehicle was showing signs of a problem for quite some time. Here’s an example - You’re driving along on a hot summer day and all of a sudden the red warning light for your Engine Temperature comes on. You pull over to the side of the road and realize there is antifreeze spewing everywhere from a leak in a hose. You now remember that several days earlier you began to smell antifreeze, a sign there is a problem with the engine’s cooling system. Had you recognized this as a symptom of a potential problem, you could have scheduled service before your vehicle broke down. Every time you get into your vehicle, it’s telling you something in the way it is operating. By being aware of signs of a potential problem and using your senses, you can identify potential car trouble and have it addressed, hopefully before it becomes a major problem. The best way to know if there is a potential problem is to make a commitment to regular maintenance. When you do, our technicians will alert you to any potential problems. Sometimes problems aren’t easily seen so it’s important to make note of anything that doesn’t seem normal. Here are some signs to watch for: Using Your Sight -
Notice any stains or fluid on the garage floor or pavement? Yellowish-green, pastel blue or fluorescent orange fluid under the front of your vehicle is a problem with the engine’s cooling system. Dark brown or black fluid is from leaking oil. Translucent red fluid could be a leak coming from your transmission or power steering system. Leaks, regardless of how small they may be should be checked out. If any one of these systems fails while you are driving, you could incur serious engine damage. Using Your Smell -
Electrical problems may smell like burned toast while a problem with the catalytic converter or emissions system will smell like rotten eggs. When you smell an odor coming from your vehicle, they are a good signal that something is not quite right. Bring your vehicle in for a check-up. Using Your Hearing -
Squealing, screeching, engine knocking, clunking, pinging, scraping, rumbling - if coming from your vehicle, these sounds are not good. Try to notice from where the sound is coming and take note of when it is occurring (e.g. stopping, accelerating, shifting gears, etc.). Feeling a Problem -
When your vehicle is running at its best, you can feel it. Likewise, if you are having difficulty with handling, your car is idling rough, it’s hard to steer, there’s a vibration, or the vehicle is pulling to one side, there’s a problem. Again, you will want to take note of when you are feeling something is not quite right in your vehicle. Does it vibrate when you come to a stop? Do you feel a clunk when you turn? Don’t wait until a minor issue because a major one. The ASE-certified technicians at Trojan Auto Care can help diagnose vehicle problems. Call us today to schedule an appointment and we’ll get you back on the road in no time.