Car problems are common, and they can occur at any time. More often than not, they happen when you least expect them. The important issue, however, is how quickly you resolve the problems after they occur. The longer you wait, the more expensive repairs will be.
According to reports, the average cost of repairs ranges from $652 to $1,986, including labor. These expenses will increase depending on the model and what must be repaired or replaced. This makes it vital to be on the lookout for warning signs in order to prevent things from getting out of hand and spiraling out of control. Here are some common car problems to keep an eye on and avoid paying more than necessary.
- Low oil?
The dashboard is home to several indicators informing you about your car’s condition and current state of well-being. One of these is the low oil indicator. When this light pops up, life lessons and other experts would advise not to ignore it. True, the oil indicator light may not exactly be announcing an emergency. However, acting on it as soon as possible can save you from costly damages and repairs.
Every vehicle needs motor oil to function. It lubricates the engine and other parts and helps reduce friction within internal components. This ensures your safety and generally gives you a smooth driving experience. Ignoring your oil light indicator for too long can be detrimental to the vehicle’s engine. Replacing a poorly-maintained engine could cost anywhere from $3000 and $5000 — addition to the cost of labor. With these inconveniences, it will be in your best interest to avoid ignoring the low oil indicator on your dashboard.
- Chipped windshield glass
A chip, a crack, a bull’s eye, and a combination break are examples of windshield damage. These visible dents are more than aesthetic problems. The car’s windshield is a protective component, and the tiniest crack or break on the surface compromises driver and passenger safety. Auto reports state that this glass makes up 30% of the car’s strength. In other words, a significant part of the vehicle’s structural strength is embedded in the windshield.
Some modern cars have the Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS). It enables drivers to have a clearer view of the immediate environment. The ADAS sensors are located on different parts of the vehicle, including the front windshield. Logically, a cracked windshield means the ADAS sensors will fail to function properly. Therefore, you must visit an auto glass repair shop if you notice any windshield damage. It doesn’t matter how insignificant it may seem. You will save money when you attend to tiny cracks before they spread.
- The “Check engine” light pops up
Auto statistics indicate that 25% of drivers ignore the ‘check engine’ light and let it stay on. And according to statistics, only 36.1% visit the mechanic within a week of noticing this little light. Car owners and drivers are often advised to get their vehicles checked as soon as the ‘check engine’ light comes on. The engine is the heart of a vehicle. Therefore, a fault must be resolved as soon as possible.
Many people ignore this warning light because the car still functions as it should. So even when the engine light is indicated on the dashboard panel, it does not immediately affect the car’s functions. It is not until the car’s performance is affected that some send the car to the appropriate expert for help. However, as mentioned, replacing an engine or a component within a vehicle is expensive. It would be best to act now rather than later.
- Noisy brakes after installation
Did you change your brakes recently? If you did, those squealing sounds might disappear after the bedding process. This involves a series of actions that take place when new brake pads are fixed. The pads are coated with protective elements that take time for the abrasiveness to wear off. So, you will hear some noises in the first week of using new brake pads. In that case, at what point should you be worried about noisy brakes?
If, after a week, the noises persist, it is time to see the mechanic, who might remove the pads and give it a light scrubbing down. This process removes the thin rust layer that may have formed on the surface. Failing to do this means extra pressure on the brake rotor and the disc. In no time, the brakes will wear down and cause more mechanical problems. This is why ignoring the grinding, squealing, and squeaking brake noises is not advised.
- Potential leaks
When you park your car for a few hours or more, there should be no oil puddles or smears on the ground. If this happens, you are dealing with an oil leak. The next line of action is to identify what type. Cars use different types of oils, from automatic transmission fluid and engine oil to power steering fluid. Knowing the type of oil leaking helps you zero down to the actual cause of the problem. Such leaks impact performance because your car is losing fluid for crucial mechanisms.
Furthermore, ignoring the leaks means you’ll need to buy more oil to keep topping up. Apart from the unnecessary cost this brings, there are safety issues. Generally, the more optimized your vehicle is, the less money you spend on repairs and replacements. It’s unpleasant to spend so much on purchasing a car only to dish out even more for repairs within a short period.
Help your budget stretch by taking good care of your car. Additionally, the vehicle will last longer and perform as it should. Sometimes, car problems that look like nothing may be the tip of the iceberg.