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5 Vehicle Maintenance Red Flags for Responsible Car Owners

In the past, car owners were advised to take their vehicles in for a tune-up every 10 to 20 thousand kilometres or so. Most newer vehicles don’t need to be maintained quite so closely, with manufacturers attesting that you can go at least 160,000 kilometres before ever needing to have your car checked. 

Still, responsible car owners would do well to pay attention to their vehicles and keep an eye (or ear) out for any potential warning signs that something might be amiss. Some of these red flags could be easily resolved by your mechanic, while others might mean that certain parts will need replacing entirely. In the case of the latter, turn to a good auto parts supplier in Christchurch, New Zealand, for your needs, such as Hi Tech Auto PartsWorld. In the meantime, check out our list of the 5 vehicle maintenance warning signs you should never ignore.

One of the warning lights is on

Sometimes, identifying that there’s a problem is as easy as paying attention to your car’s dashboard and the indicator lights there. Your vehicle should be able to detect the presence of an issue, and it will, in turn, alert you about the problem. It’s a good idea to take your car in to be checked at the first possible opportunity if you notice one of those icons lit up when it wasn’t before. You could be looking at something relatively minor, like a busted taillight, or a major issue such as transmission failure. Either way, be sure not to overlook them.

Your vehicle is stalling

Engines are designed to be reliable and to stay reliable. When your car stalls, it isn’t just a major inconvenience; you could be in serious danger on the road if the engine cuts out while you’re merging into oncoming traffic, for example. Take note of the circumstances when your vehicle stalls, and give your mechanic as much detail about them as you can. Your car’s spark plugs may be experiencing issues, but those are easily replaced during a routine tune-up.

You’re using up more petrol than you used to

Have you recently found yourself stopping for petrol a lot more often than you used to, even if you’re travelling the same distances? Unless someone is taking your car out for a spin without your knowledge, reduced fuel efficiency could mean faulty spark plugs or that your vehicle is due for a filter change. Save on fuel costs by getting the issue looked at immediately.

Your car has difficulty starting

A car that doesn’t start when it needs to is an annoyance, especially if there’s somewhere you urgently need to be. If your car doesn’t immediately roar to life when you turn the key, takes several turns before it does, or does start but doesn’t continue running, you could be looking at a faulty starter, a weak car battery, or any number of other issues. Don’t wait until you’re stuck with a car that won’t start entirely; bring it to the shop immediately.

Your brakes are making too much noise

If you’ve been behind the wheel long enough, you should have a good idea of how things are supposed to work with your car. When you step on the brakes, it should bring your vehicle to a stop quietly; if it emits a high-pitched squeak instead or feels softer or spongier when you bring your foot down, then it’s time to see an expert about the situation. 

The same goes for brakes that require a lot of effort to push down, or ones that don’t activate even if you’ve got the pedal to the floor. Brakes and their components require regular inspection and maintenance. Bring your car to your mechanic and have your brake fluid, brake pads, or rotors looked at.

Ensure your safety and that of your loved ones by making sure that your vehicle is well-maintained and performing at its best. Fixing minor issues as soon as possible is the key to preventing major ones from occurring in the future, so be mindful of these signs and have your car checked out as soon as you notice something out of the ordinary. 

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5 Vehicle Maintenance Red Flags for Responsible Car Owners