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Signs Your Car Isn't Running Right

A Car
You should never wait for the check engine light to come on your vehicle before acknowledging your car has a problem. Many signs will tell you when there is an issue under the hood - you just need to learn what to watch out for.

Stubborn Steering Wheel 

If your steering wheel suddenly feels locked or appears to be very tight when turning (especially if your car makes a grinding or whining noise), then you should have your power steering checked. If your power steering belt is going out, then your vehicle may make a loud whining sound even when your car isn't moving. 

Your problem could be as simple as needing to add more power steering fluid to your vehicle or more complex with a worn pump or belt. Your auto mechanic will locate what is causing your steering wheel to act up and make repairs as needed.

Random Sputtering/Stalling 

Your car may randomly stall at stop lights or when you slow down, which usually means something is wrong with your car (provided you're not simply running out of gas). Several things could cause your car to stall: 
  • Bad solenoid/starter
  • Alternator issues
  • Bad/dirty gas
  • Old/poorly connected battery
Take your vehicle into your auto mechanic for diagnosis of your problem. In some cases, cleaning out a fuel filter is all that is needed to get your car running well again. In others, such as alternator failure, you'll need to replace some components of your vehicle's engine.

Poor Brake Response

If your brakes have to be pushed all the way to the floor to get your car to stop, vibrate when you press them, or make a whining or grinding sound when you attempt to stop, then you have a brake issue.

Brakes that have air in the lines need to be bled (the air is what causes the brakes to vibrate). Brakes that are worn out may be down to the calipers, causing the squealing sound. Or the poor responsiveness may be due to a lack of brake fluid - check under your car for a leak.

Do not drive your vehicle until you have had the brakes inspected professionally. If your brakes fail while you are driving, you can get into an accident and be seriously injured.

Trouble Staying on the Road 

Does your car seem to have its own mind on where to go? If so, then your vehicle's alignment may be off. Check your car's alignment by doing this simple test: on a clear road with no other drivers, gently hold onto the steering while letting your car go straight on its own. If your car veers off naturally in either direction, then your vehicle's alignment may be off.

Another reason a car has issues staying the course is when the struts or shocks are out. If this is the problem, you will notice roads feeling bumpier than usual or that your car vibrates a lot on imperfect roads. Since alignment, strut, and shock issues can be complex in cars, don't try to handle this mechanic work on your own. Instead, make an appointment with a mechanic for repairs.

Some vehicle issues are more obvious than others: smoke coming from under the hood, leaks under your vehicle, or the scent of antifreeze coming through your interior vents are all very noticeable vehicle problems.

The key to a healthy vehicle is in its owner being able to recognize the more subtle signs of trouble. If you have any questions about the performance of your vehicle, visit us at Auto Import Service or call to make an appointment today.