We all know that sinking feeling you get when something sounds like it’s gone wrong with your car. This is especially true when your car is also your pride a joy. But ignoring the problem won’t make it go away. In fact if there is something wrong it will probably continue to get worse.
So what should you look out for, and when do you absolutely have to take the car to the garage to prevent even more costly problems down the road?
Low Oil And Dirty Filters
Failing to regularly change oil and filters and other high wear parts can lead to big problems in the future. For the cost of a few dollars today, you can ensure that your engine keeps running smoothly and that the filters continue to do their jobs. If the engine is contaminated it can easily become damaged throughout. A new filter and oil service might cost $25; a new engine is more like $4,000.
A Clunking Differential
A differential is a little device on your car that allows two wheels on the same axle to turn at different speeds. Most of the time the diff is humming away, doing its job perfectly.
However, differentials in modern cars have to deal with ever more stress and wear as cars become more powerful. And, as you can probably imagine, the part itself is actually quite complicated. If you do hear any whining noise while accelerating, or whirring whilst decelerating, you may have a problem with your diff. To avoid costly diff problems, it’s probably a good idea to let a professional have a look at it.
Sorting out a diff when the clunking or clattering sounds are relatively new means a better chance that only a couple of parts need to be replaced. Say, for instance, a bad u-joint or a worn transfer case. But leaving it until later may mean that the whole unit needs to be replaced, and this can be a lot more expensive.
So far, we’ve only discussed problems that are expensive. We haven’t discussed any that could kill you. Bald tyres, however, can do just that. If your tyres have less than 1.6mm of tread then they need replacing.
An underinflated tyre can end up costing you a lot of money. If a tyre is underinflated, it won’t rotate as efficiently as it could. As a result, the tyre will wear faster and you’ll get less mileage out of each tank of fuel. Keeping them pumped up solves this and means you get the maximum life from the tyre.
A Faulty Computer
Modern cars are a computer- directed symphony of mechanical music. But sometimes, the computer that is managing the vehicle can get confused and make mistakes. A faulty computer can lead to all sorts of problems with the car’s engine and performance. If your car is stalling or the engine is failing to tick over in neutral, your computer may be a little confused. A good mechanic should be able to reset it and get you back on the road.