You rely on your vehicle to get you back and forth to work or school, shopping and traveling, so it is important to take care of it. As they say “ prevention is the best medicine” and this goes for vehicles as well. Having routine maintenance and servicing will not only help you vehicle run better, but it will also extend the life span of the vehicle. Sometimes, however, regardless of how dedicated you are to servicing the vehicle, problems do happen. Many of the things that can go wrong with your car can cause serious problems and in some situations, even an accident, so you should get any problems repaired as soon as possible. Here are the 5 most common auto repairs and signs that your vehicle may need repairs.
It is essential that you routinely maintain the brakes of your vehicle. Since the brakes are continuously used, they typically wear down before other parts of the vehicle. Having good working brakes is crucial for your safety and the safety of other drivers on the road. Most vehicles require new brake pads after about 40,000 miles. Repairing the brake pads is a quick and inexpensive repair, if you are diligent in having them changed. However, the longer you wait to have new brake pads installed, the greater the risk is for more severe and expensive damages. For without the appropriate amount of cushioning from the brake pads, the drum and/or rotor will experience excess friction and may need to be replaced. If you hear a squealing sound when you start the car or stop and/or if the brakes go closer to the floor than usual, it is time to get them repaired. Putting off brake repairs is simply not worth the risk of them going out.
When it comes to the most common auto repairs, the tires are typically at the top of the list. The tires, like the brakes, should be frequently checked and maintained to prevent a blowout on the highway. There is nothing worse than coming out in the morning to go to work, only to find you have a flat tire. With routine replacement, you will be able to prevent the risk of a flat tire and/or possible crashes resulting from bald tires. The rule of thumb regarding tires is each time you take the vehicle in for an oil change, have the mechanic inspect the tires. Rotating the tires about every 6 months will help to keep the tread even and give you a smoother ride as well as extend the life of the tire. To check the tread level on your vehicle, hold a penny between your thumb and forefinger, insert the penny into the tire tread, Lincoln’s head should not be visible, if you see his face, its time to get the tires replaced. Other things to look for that indicate you need new tires include bulging of the tires and/or wobbling while driving. Learn how to read a tire gauge and check the air pressure in the tires frequently. The amount of pressure required for your specific vehicle is typically posted inside of the drivers door frame.
By far, the most common auto repair involves the motor oil. The oil in your vehicle must be changed every three months or 3000 miles, whichever comes first. Your vehicle relies on the oil to for a range of reasons, including smooth operation of the motor. If you notice your vehicle is leaking oil, it is important to take the car to your auto repair shop immediately. If you attempt to drive your vehicle without oil, it will eventually cause extensive damage to the motor, in many cases, unrepairable damages. If you notice a ticking sound when starting the vehicle, it often means you are low on oil. In between oil changes, check the oil level frequently and add oil as necessary.
Fortunately, problems in the fuel system are not as common as you might think. However, it does happen if you do not have routine maintenance on the vehicle. It is important to regularly change the air filter in order to prevent clogging. If the air filter becomes clogged or damaged, it allows dirt, dust and other contaminants to get into the cylinder chambers, which can result in serious internal damages to the motor. One of the most common signs of a problem with the fuel system, is difficulties starting the vehicle or you may hear a sputtering sound when starting or turning off the vehicle.
Lights and Dashboard Lights
The taillights are typically the most common problem when it comes to the lights on your vehicle. It is easy to miss a burnt out taillight or a problem with the turn signal until you get pulled over by the police or someone hits you from behind, because they could not see that you were stopping. The best way to check the lights, is to park the vehicle and have a friend stand behind it while you turn the lights and turn signals on and off a few times. Routinely check the headlights as well. The easiest way to check the headlights is to pull close to the garage or a wall, turn the lights on and take notice of how the lights are aimed. For example, does one of the headlights aim downward or upward? Do the brights work? If you notice any problem with the taillights or headlights, take the vehicle in for an inspection. The dashboard lights may also go out occasionally. In most situations, the problem is simply a fuse, but other problems, such as a bad alternator may cause the lights to dim or not work at all. The best way to solve the problem is to take the vehicle to a local auto repair shop to have an inspection.
The best way to prevent expensive car repairs is by having your vehicle thoroughly inspected, serviced and maintained. Simple tasks such as regularly changing the oil can prevent a host of more severe as well as expensive repairs. Common auto repairs are expected, but if you use preventative methods it will extend the life span of your vehicle and ensure that while driving you and others on the road will be safe.