If you love your car as much as I do, you’ll obviously want to keep it in the best condition possible. Sometimes though, that’s easier said than done! We put our vehicles through all kinds of damage simply by driving it around over time. While some damage can wait a while, there are certain things that need immediate attention. Here are 4 of the warning signs you can’t afford to ignore!
First of all, grinding brakes. A grinding sound coming from the brakes should be concerning for obvious reasons. However, a surprising amount of people manage to completely ignore this big warning sign. If you hear a harsh, metallic grinding sound whenever you apply your brakes, it usually means that your pads are shot. This allows some of the metal parts to grate against one another, and cause even more damage to the car. If you need to replace your brake rotors, you will not be happy with the bill for the procedure! Furthermore, every time you hit the road with worn out brake pads you’re putting yourself in serious danger. Visit a mechanic immediately!
Another big warning sign to be aware of is a distinct, rhythmic thumping from the car’s chassis. This is usually fairly deep, and will seem to become louder as the vehicle picks up speed. This red flag is usually the sign of a tire issue. More often than not, it’s caused by a particularly tough piece of road debris piercing the outer surface of the tire. Occasionally though, it may be the sign of tire separation, which can be a much more serious problem. You can make sure you avoid any blowouts by pulling over ASAP and replacing your tire.
Next, we have transmission fluid leaking from the car. If you live somewhere with half-decent summers, you may have noticed fluid dripping from the chassis of your car when it’s parked in the garage. More often than not, this is excess water from the car’s air con system. However, you shouldn’t always assume this is the case! If you notice that the dripping fluid has a red or brown tint to it, then the situation may be much more serious. It’s probably transmission fluid, and the fact that it’s anywhere other than inside the transmission is a big red flag! Take a car with this issue to a transmission repair shop as soon as you can.
Finally, the smell of gasoline. Every now and then we get a drop of gas on our skin or hands, so smelling it may not register as a big deal. However, this smell can end up being deadly. If your car has a broken fuel line or some leak in the system, then this is a massive fire hazard which you can’t afford to ignore. If you notice a considerable smell of gas, pull over immediately and try to determine the source. Check for a pool of liquid under the vehicle as well as the filler cap. If it’s hard to find the source, then there’s a fair chance you have an internal leak.