Your vehicle may be like that famous battery bunny, the one that just keeps going and going. But while it may seem sometimes like you never need to take your vehicle in to be worked on, there are some things you should keep your eyes, ears and nose out for. They are warning you about something that needs attention at your vehicle service facility.
- If a warning light is on, don't ignore it; do something about it. There are warning lights for battery, oil, engine heat, tire pressure… you name it. And the manufacturer put them there for a reason. They're telling you something isn't normal. So when one goes on, have it checked out soon, especially the blinking Check Engine light. The earlier you have any warning light issue diagnosed, the more likely you are to avoid a more serious problem.
- If your vehicle is vibrating or shaking, it's not only annoying, it could signal trouble. You can bet your vehicle didn't do that when it came out of the factory! If you can feel a vibration in the seat of your pants or shaking in the steering wheel, head on over to your service facility and have them diagnose what is causing it.
- Smoke coming out of anywhere in your vehicle is a signal (smoke signal, get it?) that there may be a troubling issue. Likewise if you can smell something burning (like oil), the nose knows there's something amiss. Time to find out what.
- If you aren't getting the distance you used to out of a tank of gas, it may not simply be your lead foot. A lot of vehicles will give you a digital readout of your latest mileage. If your fuel economy takes a dip, take a trip over to your service facility. You might have a sticky brake caliper… or it might be something as simple as your tires need more air.
- Yes, you know the dreaded puddle of something under your vehicle can be a bad sign. It could smell sweet, it could feel oily. But it means something is leaking. Go get it checked. Sooner is better when it comes to locating the source of a leak.
- If your brake pedal travels further than it used to while stopping, that could be compromising your ability to stop safely. Also, if the brakes are making odd sounds, pulsating, grinding or squealing, they're screaming at you for attention. Proper braking is a must for your safety and those drivers around you.
An old 80s TV show called "Knight Rider" featured a talking car. You already have a vehicle that's telling you things all the time. Give it a listen and it will keep you going safely down the road for many years to come.
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Urbana, Illinois 61802