This is a guest post by Bill Muffareh , owner of the B&W Service Center in San Francisco. Bill has been in the vehicle maintenance industry for over 30 years. His B&W Service Center is a trustworthy, neighborly and professional San Francisco auto repair, maintenance and service center dedicated to taking care of their customers with state-of-the-art auto repair technology allowing them to identify nearly any automotive problem on nearly any vehicle.
Imagine you are cruising down the highway without a care in the world. The open road is refreshing and the miles fly by. Maybe your Check Engine light comes on, but that’s just a fluke. It will turn off on its own eventually. Then your brakes start to squeak, but that’s nothing to be concerned about (it’s really not that loud, just turn on the radio). You notice your steering wheel isn’t turning as easily as before, but that’s ok because the road is mostly straight anyway.
Then suddenly you’re on the side of the road and your hood is smoking. What seemed like a few small issues has now turned into an expensive and inconvenient repair.
The key to avoiding this situation is to pay attention to the little things. As we usually recommend to all of our customers here in our San Francisco auto repair shop, here are seven signs indicating that your vehicle requires a trip to the mechanic:
- Decrease in Gas Mileage – A sudden decrease in mileage means something is not functioning properly. This could be caused by anything from low oil levels to a gas leak.
- Shaking – Some vibrations in your car is normal. Excessive and unceasing shaking is not. This could be a due to defective wheel alignment, which can cause further damage if left unfixed.
- Noisy Steering Wheel – Squealing, grinding or stiffness when turning the steering wheel are all signs of a problem. The most likely cause is low power steering fluid level.
- Leaking Fluids – All liquids should remain inside the vehicle. If you see stains under your car, something is wrong.
- Noisy Brakes – If you notice a loud grinding noise when you step on the brake, head straight to the mechanic. This usually means you need new break pads.
- Slow Changing Gears – When changing gears, the response from your vehicle should be immediate. A pause between shifting could mean issues with the transmission. An abrupt jerk when shifting from park to drive also indicates a problem with the transmission.
- Exhaust Emissions – A pungent, egg-like smell coming from the exhaust could indicate a dirty or clogged catalytic converter. If black smoke is being emitted, your O2 sensor is probably clogged.
Don’t delay, or these minor inconveniences may lead to major problems down the road.