State Farm is at it again with an informative post on the telltale signs of car trouble. Be sure to take note of the ones that might be affecting you:
Whether it’s a warning light on your dash or just some odd pinging noise, your vehicle has ways of letting you know that something may not be quite right. Tony Molla, vice president of communications for the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence and a certified automotive technician, identifies five common signs of car trouble that, for safety’s sake, you don’t want to ignore.
- Warning lights. Is the “Oil Pressure” or “Temperature” warning light flashing? Pull over, turn off the engine and call for help. If it’s the “Check Engine” or “Tire Pressure” light, have your car checked within the next day or two. Ignore these key signals and you could end up paying big money for engine repairs—or maybe even a new motor.
- Grinding brakes. A metal-to-metal sound while braking is bad news, says Molla. It’s a sign that your brake pads could have worn down completely. Drive slowly and very carefully to the repair shop immediately. Putting this repair off could mean a dangerous loss of stopping power.
- Troubling aromas. Getting a whiff of something burning? Pull over and shut off the engine—and if you see actual flames, get out fast. Trust your nose to pick up on gasoline or exhaust fumes or anything else that doesn’t smell right. The smell of gasoline could mean leaking fuel, which could lead to an engine fire.
- Steering wheel shimmy. Shakes, shimmying or vibrations felt through the steering wheel could signal one of three things, says Molla—and none of them is good. It could be an out-of-balance wheel, which may speed up tire wear, or a bulge in the tire, which could lead to a blow out. Worse still, the shaking may be caused by a loose lug nut. Don’t ignore a shimmy. Again, pull over, investigate and then drive slowly to the nearest tire store.
- Engine whirring when you turn the key. It’s usually the sign your battery needs charging. But it could also signal a battery that’s on its last legs. Any good mechanic can tell you whether your battery needs replacing. And if it’s time, change it.
Very, very good advice to take after locking in a competitive insurance quote.