Surely (NOT) that strange noise coming from beneath your car’s hood or that flickering engine light doesn’t require immediate attention. It can wait—that is, if you’re willing to risk your safety, wallet, and the future of your vehicle. While you can put off some car issues for a little while, such as a faulty air conditioner or broken power window, you’ll want to deal with others straightaway. Here are some warning signs in your car that you should never ignore.
An illuminated check engine light
If your check engine light is glowing orange, yellow, or amber, it’s time to make a trip to your local mechanic. While a glowing check engine light often only warns of a minor issue, such as a faulty gas cap, it could also hint at more serious problems. For example, that flickering engine light may be the result of a misfiring engine, which can cause the catalytic converter to overheat and pose a dangerous fire hazard. It’s best not to take your chances and get your vehicle checked out immediately.
Grinding noises when you change speeds
Metal-on-metal grinding sounds are never a good sign. Often, a grinding noise that occurs when changing speeds hints that there is an issue with your vehicle’s transmission. A car’s transmission is responsible for providing the correct amount of power to the wheels so that you can drive at your intended speed. If there is an issue with a vehicle’s transmission, there is a chance that your car will change gears unexpectedly while driving and increase your risk of crashing.
Unresolved transmission problems can eventually lead to total vehicle failure. To avoid being stranded on the side of the road or getting into a dangerous accident, pay attention to that strange grinding noise. Make sure to purchase the necessary transmission replacement parts and get your vehicle fixed up right away.
A stiff or slow-to-respond steering wheel
Another warning sign in your car that you should never ignore is if your steering wheel is stiffer or responds more slowly than usual. A stiff or slow-to-respond steering wheel is often a symptom of a faulty or failing power steering pump. Without proper control over your vehicle’s steering, an accident is all but inevitable. As such, you’ll want to safely transport your vehicle to the nearest mechanic to replace your power steering pump as soon as possible.
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