Every driver understands that any car has the potential to breakdown, and we’ve all had experience of dealing with a motor that isn’t working to its full potential. With basic car maintenance, you might be able to prevent future faults with your car, but you cannot stop all of them. However, the majority of breakdowns are preceded by warning signs and signals – you just need to know the red flags. If you’ve seen, heard and or felt the following, then there’s a chance that your car is telling you something isn’t right…
Signs that your car is going to breakdown
We cannot stress the importance of basic car maintenance – after all, give your car a little TLC could be the difference between your car passing or failing its MOT. Take the time to check over what condition your car is in. This is crucial if you’re about to go on a long journey.
Car breakdown signs:
- Car Battery damages or corrosion. If you can see green powder around the battery, safely change it before it causes future problems.
- Lumps of thick oil sticking onto the dipstick. To avoid damage to the engine you should change the oil.
- Metal flakes in the oil. Metal flakes floating around in the oil signifies that something may have corroded, so you should find a local garage and get it sorted before further problems occur.
- Green or blue puddles under the car. This would suggest that coolant has leaked. Go to a garage near you and get this resolved before your car’s engine overheats.
- An uneven tyre tread may be a sign of suspension problems or misaligned wheels.
What to look for on the dashboard
In general, dashboard lights signal standard maintenance issues. However, there are some signals that require immediate attention. You should go to your local garage if:
- Upon starting the vehicle, battery icon doesn’t light up, or stays lit while driving. Constant or no light suggests there is an issue with the battery or the battery charging system.
- An illuminated or flashing engine light indicates the engine needs servicing.
- An exclamation mark within a circle may suggest that brake fluid needs topping up. If you’ve done this and the light stay on, there may be a sensor fault.
- An illuminated ABS icon while driving highlights problems with the anti-lock braking system.
- A lit up oil can icon means your oil needs topping up. If it stays on once replenished, switch the engine off and seek help from a mobile mechanic.
What to listen out for
- A chugging engine that will not start, or chugs slowly before starting after a while. This may mean that the battery is discharged or flat.
- High pitched squeal when driving. This means the fan belt may need to be replaced or tightened.
- Squealing noise when you brake. This indicates worn brake pads, and that your brakes may need replacing.
- A hissing sound as you drive. This suggest an overheated engine or leaking coolant.
What odours to look how for
- A smoking bonnet means the car is overheating.
- The exhaust emitting blue smoke means that oil has entered the fuel supply, affecting your car’s capability to run cleanly.
- White smoke from the exhaust suggests that water or antifreeze has entered the fuel supply.
- Dark or smelly smoke from the exhaust, may mean that the filter needs changing
If you think your car is on the brink of a break down, then book in an appointment at a garage near you as soon as possible with Who Can Fix My Car – we’ve sourced thousands of local garages so that you can get your car fixed with ease!
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