We use our senses to help us relate to our surrounding environment. Why not use them when it comes to identifying potential car problems? Your car, truck or van is really quite sophisticated. An onboard computer is designed to regulate the engine operation and will alert you to any issues. Then there are the fluids we use to lubricate all the engine parts. Our vehicles run so well that it’s sometimes easy to delay maintenance until something happens… Here are some tips on how you can use your senses to help you identify car problems so you can bring it in for service before it becomes a major repair.
If you notice any of the following, take action:
- Do you see any stains or leaks under where you park your vehicle? Problems with the engine cooling system may yield a leak of yellowish-green, pastel blue or fluorescent orange fluid under the front of your vehicle. An oil leak is characterized by a dark brown or black fluid while red-colored fluid could indicate a problem with the transmission or power steering system. A leak in any of these systems can lead to serious engine failure if ignored or the repair is delayed.
- Is there an odd smell coming from your vehicle? The sense of smell is a very helpful indicator of engine problems. Do you notice a burning smell from plastic or electrical insulation? It could indicate a problem somewhere in the electrical system. An issue with the catalytic converter or emissions system might smell like rotten eggs. A leak in the cooling system creates a sweet smell as the coolant hits the hot engine parts. The smell of gasoline could be coming from a leak in the fuel system or a problem with the gas tank. Don’t ignore any of these smells. Schedule an appointment with us right away to have them identified and corrected.
- Notice any strange sounds? If you are driving and you notice a strange sound like knocking from the engine, squealing or scraping when you apply the brakes, or any other types of clunking, screeching, or pinging sounds, there is a problem somewhere. You can help us identify what could be causing the sound if you take note from where the sound is coming and when it happens (e.g. when you begin to accelerate, when the engine is cold, etc.).
- Does something not feel right when you are driving? Does the engine feel sluggish when you accelerate? Is it idling roughly? Are you having difficulty steering? Do the brakes feel like mush when you apply them? These are all great examples of something not feeling right when you are driving. These feelings shouldn’t be ignored. To illustrate – If you are having difficulty handling your vehicle and it feels hard to steer it could mean that you need a tire alignment. But, if you add to that feeling, the fact that you hear a vibrating sound when you turn, it could be an indication of a situation that is much more serious, like a worn motor mount or a problem with the steering system.
Regardless of the car problems you may be noticing with your vehicle, the ASE-certified technicians at Geller’s Automotive in Byram, New Jersey, have the expertise and equipment to properly diagnose and correct automotive repair issues. Click here to make an appointment to have us check your vehicle.