Top 10 Bad Car Symptoms You Should Never Ignore

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Cars are intricate machines with thousands of individual parts. Over time and use these parts can wear down, become damaged, and cause problems. Repairing them can be costly, but it actually makes better financial sense to get bad or failing parts fixed right away. That way, you’ll avoid bigger problems further down the road. These 10 bad car symptoms should never be ignored.

  1. Tire bulges: If you hit a piece of debris or overinflate your tires, a tire bulge can form. Tire bulges are bubbles of air in the sidewall where air has forced its way through the inner lining. They’re a visible weak point that can burst unexpectedly. To avoid a dangerous situation, get bulging tires replaced immediately.

  2. Jerky shifting: Rough shifting is a sign there’s a problem with your car’s transmission. Worn clutches, stripped gears, and low transmission fluid can all result in jerky or clunky shifting. Whatever the cause, the problem will get worse each time your car changes gears, potentially leading to total transmission failure. A new transmission can cost thousands of dollars, so it’s always cheaper to get the problem inspected.

  3. Squeaky belts: Drive, serpentine, or timing belts help keep your engine running in time and power electrical systems. If you hear a squeaking or chirping noise from under the hood, it’s a sign that a belt is worn down. Sometimes a fix is as simple as making an adjustment, but some cars have belts which can’t be adjusted. Either way, get it fixed ASAP – worn belts can snap and damage your engine beyond repair.

  4. Stinky exhaust: Car exhaust always has some smell, but if it smells stronger or worse than usual, it means something is wrong. Leaking fluids can burn up on hot surfaces, producing unusual odors. Catalytic converters are designed to filter the exhaust, so a strong exhaust smell could mean this part is failing. The air/fuel mixture could also be off, which wastes fuel and makes the exhaust smelly. Follow your nose and inspect your car to find the source of the smell.

  5. Scratched paint: A little scratch in your car’s paint could be a bigger deal than you think. Besides making it look good, your car’s paint protects the body panels from outside elements. Paint scratches expose the sheetmetal to moisture, creating an area where rust can form. Prevent corrosion by touching up the scratch with factory paint, or a dab of clear nail polish.

  6. Wobbly steering wheel: Different problems can all lead to the same feeling of shakiness when you hold the steering wheel. Failing or improperly aligned suspension could be a cause. An out of balance wheel and tire, which also results in premature tire wear, could be the culprit. If a wheel bearing is worn it could cause shaking, and in a worst case scenario could fail and let the wheel detach from the car. Regardless of the cause, a wobbly steering wheel limits the amount of control you have over your car.

  7. Squealing brakes: Generally, squealing or squeaking brakes indicate that it’s time for a new set of brake pads. Brake pads have a metal tab that becomes exposed as pad material wears away. When this tab contacts the brake rotor, it makes a high-pitched sound. It’s an audible signal that the pads need to be replaced, and the longer you wait, the worse the sound (and your braking ability) is going to become.

  8. Burnt-out bulb: A dead headlight or taillight bulb isn’t going to change the way your car drives, but it is a great way to attract the attention of law enforcement. Getting the bulb replaced quickly is going to be the simplest way to avoid an expensive ticket.

  9. Smoke: It’s dangerous to keep driving if you see or smell smoke in your car. Many things could cause your car to smoke, but common culprits are leaking fluids, electrical issues, or a seized brake caliper. Don’t drive until you’ve located and fixed the problem that’s causing the smoke – otherwise you risk a vehicular bonfire.

  10. Check Engine Light: The Check Engine Light on your dashboard can be a real mystery. It tells you something is wrong, but never tells you what that something is. Is it electrical or mechanical? Major or minor? You’ll never know unless you scan for error codes, so it’s best to get a diagnosis right away to prevent further problems.


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Rigoberto

9 years of experience
706 reviews
Rigoberto
9 years of experience
Chevrolet Equinox - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Niles, Illinois
Rigo was great! He got there early, finished the job early, left everything clean. He changed my rear pads and rotors. The original quoted time was 90 minutes, he was done in about 60. He knows what he is doing and I am recommending him to all my friends and coworkers.
Mercedes-Benz C250 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Chicago, Illinois
Rigo is a maverick hands down. Don’t take your car for work elsewhere. Especially great at Mercedes—this guy knows his profession! I will be using him for everything related to my car going forward.

Arturo

25 years of experience
35 reviews
Arturo
25 years of experience
Kia Forte - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - San Diego, California
ARTURO is great! very professional , fast, replaced my front brake pads and oil an filter change. everything now works and works well. Brakes have much improved stopping power and engine is smooth and quiet.Arturo is also kind and thoughtful. "Your mechanic" is very fortunate to have Arturo Lopez represent your company. I enthusiastically recommend him and "Your mechanic> as a fine operation Best regards to the Team Peter Marto
Nissan Maxima - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - San Diego, California
Arturo was prompt and completed my brake repair, including new rotors in a very efficient manner. I am very pleased with the quality of the work and the parts and will definitely look to have him service our other car in the near future.

Scott

32 years of experience
345 reviews
Scott
32 years of experience
Lexus IS250 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Denver, Colorado
Always on time, speedy, professional, and pleasant to interact with. The work is always consistent and we'll done. I can't reccomend Scott highly enough!

Michael

10 years of experience
15 reviews
Michael
10 years of experience
Nissan Sentra - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Conyers, Georgia
He was promptly on time and got the job done efficiently in a timely manner. I really appreciate the rapid respone on getting the job done! I would most definitely use this service again.

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