Even if you are not mechanically inclined, it is important that you learn to identify some of the first signs of a mechanical problem with our car. Many simple issues can quickly turn into expensive, major repairs down the road if they are not attended to in a timely manner.
If you notice any of these issues, then you need to quickly get your car into a repair shop for examination:
Issue: Squealing Noises or Vibration When Braking
Any noise or vibration when you brake your car is a sign of a potential mechanical problem. Since brakes are a serious safety component, auto parts manufacturers ensure that the pads start to make a distinctive squealing noise when they need to be replaced. This is accomplished by adding ground metal into the outer edge of the pads.
The round discs that your car's brake pads come into contact with while stopping your car are called rotors. When the rotors become worn, they are prone to warping and becoming out-of-round. Once warped, when the brake pads come into contact with the rotors, it causes a vibration that you will feel when you brake.
A mechanic will replace the worn pads and have the rotors resurfaced by a local machine shop. However, if you do not take you car in for the repair soon enough, then the rotors will have to be replaced, at a much higher cost.
Issue: Burning Smells While Driving or Puddles of Fluid Under Your Car
All passenger cars have the following fluids that help their mechanical parts function correctly:
- coolant (antifreeze and water mixture)
- motor oil
- transmission fluid
- brake fluid
- power steering fluid
When some fluids leak and come into contact with the hot parts under the hood of your car, you will begin to notice burning smells while you are driving. Both antifreeze and transmission fluids have a sweet smell and give a sweet smoke odor when burning. Motor oil gives off a very thick black smoke with a distinctive burnt oil smell.
Brake fluid and power steering fluid both do not have much odor and their leaks are detected by noticing them on the ground.
Leaking fluids generally leave puddles under your car when it sits idle. If you see any puddles of fluid under your car, or if you spell any different smells while driving, then you need to get your car to a mechanic's repair shop, such as Schwabe's Automotive Centre, as soon as possible.