Even with all the advancements made to cars and how they alert drivers of maintenance needs like oil changes and other fluid levels, low air pressure, engine mishaps and the latter, it’s still not enough at the end of the day. Drivers must still feel out there car and sense whether or not something is amiss. And cars will more than likely tell us what ails them.
Ignoring basic warning signs can often lead to more complex (and expensive) headaches down the road. Doesn’t matter if it’s a new Honda or a used Acura or any other model out there. Thinking just because you have a reliable car shouldn’t translate to letting routine maintenance checkups slide. Instead, the best way to counter the dilemma is to sense the problems and react to what your car might be trying to tell you.
Here are some basic signals every car sends to the driver in one form or another.
When a car’s alignment is compromised, it could be from a number of factors. Repeated blows from a pothole could skew the alignment on one side or the other. One too many curb checks could do the same. But no matter how it’s done a driver should always be on the lookout. There’s a simple method for doing so that takes under a minute to notify if it’s off its rocker. The key is to find as flat a surface as possible and gradually apply the brake and free your hands from the wheel for a split second. If the alignment’s off, the car will sway to one side accordingly. And for safety’s sake, make sure there’s no oncoming traffic or any other potential obstacle in your way. You want to check the alignment from time to time, but not at the expense of your safety and everyone else on the road as well.
Windshield Wiper Replacement
Pretty simple one, but some of us tend to let it slide way past its due date. Having effective windshield wipers is vital for the most optimal vision during harsh weather conditions. Quite simply, you car will let you know soon enough if the wipers are no good. The wipers will either tend to streak or smudge water lines across the glass or the wiper might just come apart during heavy rain or snow. If the last one happens, your vision could be slashed by nearly 50%. That’s why if you see smudging or gaps in each wiping rotation, get them replaced immediately.
It’s Just Plain “Loud”
Even if the engine and transmission are humming along, your car can still scream at you in other ways. Whether it’s a rusted-out tail pipe or muffler altogether on down to tire performance, anyone’s car can voice its displeasure. With a worn-down tail pipe, drivers ears should be ready for high-pitched squeals that continue from the word go and settle at every stoplight and stop sign. And even if the engine and tail pipes are in tip-top shape, the drive can still fell “loud” because the treads in the tires have started to wear down significantly and the closer each tire is to balding, the louder the driver feels and obviously, the harder time the car has of gripping the road.
Your car might be, for lack of a better word, “sweating” a bit too much if you see little trails of smoke come from underneath the hood. It could be because the radiator fluid (or the radiator itself) has met its match. Or a water pipe has gone south and the fuel injection system can’t properly cool off the engine, and with this one, drivers will immediately see the difference because the car is more than likely going nowhere. And for extremely noticeable signs, the head gasket might be in trouble if your car’s emitting voluminous clouds of smoke from the tail pipe as soon as the driver hits the gas. Not only will the car give off a stop-and-go vibration, it’ll only get worse from there the more its pushed.
And that’s just a summary of a few stress calls that cars tend to make over the course of ownership. Ignorance isn’t bliss with automotive care and when the first signal is fired off, it’s best to consult your area mechanic, fix it yourself if you’re up to it or check up on the local car dealer you purchased it from and see if the issue is still covered under the warranty.