Common Signs Your Car Needs Maintenance

Every vehicle manufacturer recommends time frames for basic care such as oil changes, tire rotations, and changing the brake pads. Generally, if you follow these guidelines, your car shouldn’t have any major problems—but sometimes, problems happen. It’s important to know when your vehicle needs service to avoid making any problem worse. Below are the common signs your car needs maintenance.


If your car is emitting smoke, it has a severe problem. You’ll need to pull over immediately and turn off the car no matter where the smoke is coming from. Smoke emitting from the underside of the car is a sign you need a new exhaust, while smoke pouring out from under the hood could be your engine overheating. But whatever the reason, you’ll want to call a tow truck to take your vehicle to a mechanic, since driving it could make the problem worse.


If a weird smell is coming from your car, that could be due to a myriad of causes, but thankfully, it’s not as serious as smoke. However, you’ll need to have your car serviced as soon as you can. Smells such as rotten eggs could indicate a problem with a converter, while a burning smell could be the result of an electrical issue.


Whether they’re subtle or obvious, vibrations mean either your car’s suspension or engine is having issues. Your car could also have worn brake pads, a flat tire, or a failing engine component that’s dragging on the ground. If you hear a knocking sound along with a vibration, it means your car doesn’t have enough oil; you’ll need to add some or else the engine block could seize up. Add some oil yourself, and then visit a service center immediately.

Check Engine Light

If you’re someone who ignores a check engine light, you’re not alone. If you don’t hear, feel, see, or smell anything wrong, it can be easy to put off having your car checked out. But those lights are there for a reason! Check engine lights alert us to problems early, before smoke begins pouring out of the hood or the car starts shaking uncontrollably.

If you ever notice any of these common signs that your car needs maintenance, don’t ignore them! The problem will only get worse, leading to more expensive repairs. Try to stick to your maintenance schedule to avoid any issues.

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Written by Emma Radebaugh

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