10 Car Problems You Shouldn’t Ignore

Some car problems you just can’t ignore, like when your car won’t start.  But for others it’s tempting to keep putting off taking care of them.  And that can lead to serious consequences.  Something seemingly minor may in fact be a symptom of a problem that will soon grow into an expensive repair.  Or what seems likes an annoyance is also a safety hazard. 

Avoiding a More Extensive Repair

A car is a very complicated machine with thousands of interacting parts.  So what starts out as a little bit of extra wear or stress can cascade in to very expensive repairs if not taken care of right away.  Here are the top 10 car problems you should never ignore, in no particular order.

  • Warning Lights
    • Today’s cars have on-board diagnostics approaching that of a mechanic shops a decade or so ago, spotting many although not all problems.  Not only the engine but also the transmission, and other places with sensors. So a “check engine” light going on mean’s there’s something worth looking into.  Check it out as soon as possible, even if your car seems to be running fine.
    • low oil light doesn’t mean your car is a little low.  It means it’s way low.  Go straight to a mechanic or add oil yourself.  Driving more than a few miles can result in overheating and perhaps a severely damaged engine.
    • coolant temperature warning means slow down or even pull over and stop, or risk major damage.  Do not open the radiator cap while the radiator is hot.  That risks burning from a sudden steam pressure release.  Wait before adding water, then find the source of the problem before worse happens.
    • Low fuel light!  Yes, ignoring this risks more than running out of gas.  Debris and gunk that’s accumulated in the bottom of the fuel tank can get sucked in clogging the gas filter and damaging the fuel pump.
  • Noisy brakes often means it’s time for a new pads or a brake job.  That could run upwards of $200, but not taken care of soon enough ends up as a $2,000 brake overhaul.
  • Your car pulling to the left or right indicates an alignment problem.  That will cause excessive tire wear and poses an accident risk.
  • Leaks of an sort — oil, coolant, gas, transmission, power steering — means you might run out when you most need the protection they provide.
  • Rough shifting or uneven acceleration indicates a transmission problem, that’s likely to get worse over time.  And cause clutch damage as well.
  • smoky exhaust alerts you to several different problems.  A bluish smoke means you’re burning oil.  White smoke means coolant is getting into the cylinders (bad gaskets or a cracked cylinder head or engine block).  Black smoke indicates the fuel mixture is too rich (too much gasoline).
  • Weird smells suggest leaking fluids or an exhaust problem.
  • Hesitation and stalling makes your car unreliable and a safety hazard.  It also means that there are things that need fixing.
  • ticking noise coming from the engine compartment indicates a bad timing belt or low oil.
  • Squeaky belts in the engine compartment mean they’re  not doing their job and may soon break.  They’re also leaving your alternator, coolant pump, or fuel pump not doing their job as well as they should.

Stay Safe!

To help keep our customers safe here’s a bonus round of 5 more symptoms that may not get more expensive to repair later, but put you at a higher risk of accidents until you do.

  • Burned out headlights or tail lights.
  • Worn or damaged tires.  Tire bulges mean that there may soon be a blow-out.
  • Improper tire pressure, especially if the TPMS (tire pressure monitoring system) light turns on, is a big concern.  Attend to this as soon as possible.
  • A chipped windshield obscures part of your view  And it may suddenly grow.  That’s important as the windshield accounts for up to 30% of your protection in a rollover..  So fixing this one promptly also saves money over a full replacement.
  • Wobbly steering or a jumpy steering wheel suggests an alignment or tire balance problem as well as a possible steering linkage, or suspension problems. It makes your car harder to control, especially in an emergency, and causes extra wear.

We’ll Come to You For Car Problems

In brief, any change you notice in your vehicle is probably worth looking into now rather than later.

Are you reluctant to bring your vehicle in during the pandemic?  Our new pickup and delivery service means you can stay at home or at work rather than bringing your vehicle in yourself.  And we’ll have a real-world test drive.

To help stay safe everyone on our team follows Covid requirements and guidelines.  Including distancing, wearing masks, and frequent hand washing.  So we’ll wear a mask while in your vehicle and sanitize the driver’s seat, steering wheel, and dash.

Pacific Auto – For Your Car Problems!

With us you’ll benefit from expert diagnosis and complete maintenance that’s always up to date with factory information.  That includes steering and suspensions, wheelchair lifts, lift gates, and automatic doors.  Plus a 2 year / 24,000 mile nationwide warranty.  Our experience and expertise covers sedans, light trucks, vans, and shuttle buses, including Ford Transit and Transit Connect, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, and Nissan NV vehicles.

We’ve implemented precautions in accordance with guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),

Our ASE certified technicians and master mechanics work with the latest diagnostic equipment. We guarantee all our work.  And we are open to serve you!