12 Silent Signs Your Car Is Failing
Those warning signs you might think aren't a big deal actually could indicate a major problem. Here are some silent signs to watch out for.
Check Engine Light
One of the most obvious signs of car troubles is when that pesky check engine light comes on. Issues can run from major to minor, but it’s best to get it checked out before it becomes more serious. If you’re lucky, it’s just a loose gas cap.
Rough shifting can be a sign of transmission trouble and should not be ignored. The issues could range from dirty fluid, which prevents easily shifting into gear, or something more serious that could escalate to total transmission failure.
While your car might have a foul odor from old clothes or food containers, those aren’t primary concerns. But if you smell something odd or unfamiliar while you’re driving, that could indicate an issue under the hood — a coolant leak, mold in your vents or something else.
If you see or smell smoke while driving, immediately pull over to the nearest safe location and park. Smoke coming from a vehicle can sometimes be minor, but more than likely it indicates something serious. Whatever the problem, it needs to be fixed before you get back on the road.
Dim or Flickering Headlights
If you notice your headlights are a little dimmer than usual, or they’re flickering, there’s a good chance your battery needs to be checked. If it’s an issue with the ground wire, here’s a DIY solution.
A shaking steering wheel can be caused by unbalanced tires, warped brake rotors and damaged or worn suspension system parts. Best to let a mechanic figure it out ASAP.
This may seem obvious, but if you’re constantly noticing small problems with your car, it could indicate a larger underlying issue. That might mean it’s time to stop with the DIY repairs and let a mechanic check it out.
Various fluids could leave puddles under your parked car, some more serious than others. Common car leaks include oil, gas, break fluid and transmission fluid. While these might not force you to call a tow truck, make sure to have the leak looked at soon.
Weak Overhead or Dashboard Lights
Weak or flickering overhead or dashboard lights might require a simple fix, like adjusting their brightness. But it also could indicate a burned-out bulb, or something else.