The 3 common signs meaning your car needs a service

We all have a pretty good idea of how our own car runs. But it is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to a car service.

car service
Is it about time you took your car in for a service? Photo: Dolgachov, Bigstock

Your car should always be serviced on a regular basis. This ensures that any problems you weren’t aware of are fixed. When you don’t get your car serviced on a regular basis you are putting your (and anyone else who rides in your car) life in danger.

However, sometimes there are situations where you will need to take your car in for a service before the allotted time. Here are the top 3 common signs meaning you will need to get your car serviced immediately:

1. Weird noises

Your car will probably make a lot of weird noises in its time. When weird noises become a real concern is if they are a new noise and/ or the noise doesn’t go away. If you don’t get the issue sorted out quickly you could do some real damage to your car.

When it comes to issues like this, it is better not to self-diagnose. But here is a list of sounds and what they could mean:

  • Squealing noise when braking – this could mean your brake pads are worn.
  • Exhaust noise louder than normal – this could mean you have a crack or hole in your exhaust, it’s an easy fix, however left for too long and your exhaust may fall off.
  • Whining noise from engine – this could mean you have a loose belt.
  • Metal scraping noise – this could mean you have a broken part and it is rubbing against another part.

2. Engine warning light

This is a very common sign that something is wrong and your need a car service. However, the problem with this light is that it is difficult to pin point the issue. This is why you take it in to a mechanic.

They will be able to find the problem for you. You don’t need to panic when you see this sign. It is just to act as a reminder that you will need to get your car serviced soon.

When the engine warning light changes and starts to flash, you will need to take action quickly and get your car to a mechanic as soon as possible. By not getting this issue checked immediately you are possible doing untold damage to your car as well as jeopardising your safety.

3. Problems under the bonnet

This specifically refers to any smoke or steam coming up from the bonnet.

If the smoke/ steam is white

When this occurs it is usually due to a problem with the radiator. When you see this you should get your car a service quick smart! However, unlike some other issues, you aren’t in immediate danger.

To temporarily resolve the issue you will need to pull over and wait a bit for the car to cool down. Take a look at the temperature gauge to make sure your car doesn’t overheat again before you reach a mechanic.

If the smoke/ steam is blue

Blue smoke/ steam is never good. This is usually caused by oil that is burning. If left unresolved, it can be a fairly expensive problem. If you ever see blue smoke/ steam coming from your bonnet you should stop as soon as it’s safe and call for someone to tow your vehicle to a mechanic.