Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What To Do When Your Car Needs Service

Do you know what to do when your car needs service? Do you even know the signs to look for to make the determination on what kind of service your vehicle might need? There are some signs that are impossible to ignore – a break down on the roadside, not starting when you turn the key. If you have an auto warranty, you may be more likely to take your car in for scheduled service to keep it from voiding the warranty, but even if you don’t have a warranty you want to keep the car in tip top shape and protect your investment.

If you’re like many drivers you may have a rudimentary knowledge of how your car works. You get in, you turn the key and it starts and you’re good to go. Even if you don’t have an understanding or knowledge of how to repair your car, there are subtle – and not so subtle – signs to let you know that your car is in need of repair. Working on your car to take care of little issues before they become larger, can extend the lifespan of your car and your safety behind the wheel.

Some items are hard to ignore such as warning light indicators that are a visible sign of an issue with your car. When you notice the “check engine,” or “service engine” light you need to call your mechanic as soon as possible and you shouldn’t keep driving the car when these lights come on. Ignoring these lights and their warnings can lead to serious damage to your car. Squealing or grinding noises when you step on the brake can mean a problem with your rotors or brake pads. Your car’s brakes are something you never want to neglect.

Oil or water spots or other liquid under your vehicle can be a leak from one of your engine parts or cylinders. If you see water under car and you’ve just been running your air conditioner, it could just be condensation. Other liquid under the car though can mean you’re in danger of your car losing its vital fluids. If your car loses fluid it can cause the engine to seize or any number of other major problems. You should check the fluid levels regularly to make certain they are at the correct levels. Green liquid under your vehicle is likely radiator fluid and this is what helps keep your engine temperature regulated. You’ve seen the cars on the side of the road, hood lifted and steam coming out? Those are the cars that ran out of radiator coolant.

Look for a mechanic before you need one because you don’t want to choose a mechanic in the heat of a panic stricken moment because your car breaks down on the side of the road. Ask your auto warranty provider for recommendations on mechanics and also check to see if the mechanic you’re planning to use accepts the auto warranty policy you have.

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