Car Trouble: How to Know When It's Serious

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For many of us, cars are a vital part of our lives. They take us to work, help run errands, allow us to visit family or friends, take us on holiday and generally help cover long distances with ease.

Car owners are no doubt aware of the dangers and hazards that can lie ahead while travelling the roads. Measures are taken from the moment a person starts to learn to drive, and all along the roads themselves, to ensure safety. It is also very important to keep one’s car in good condition, to decrease the risk of accidents caused by faults and failures.

A car should be taken in for a regular service – between every three and six months – that will check and replace common components such as the oil and filters, as well as keeping an eye on the larger parts. People may be reluctant to go to a service regularly for fear of totalling up high costs for replaced parts, but it’s more likely that there would be a heftier amount to pay if left unattended. Car parts will eventually break down, even if you do not use the vehicle often, and could even lead to the whole car having to be written off.

However there can be times where parts can start playing up and may need attention before your next service comes around. Sometimes the car itself can alert you to this – most cars have a check engine light and more modern cars can produce entire displays breaking down what the problem might be. The check engine light can sometimes be a worrying thing to see, but often it is merely an indicator that something needs attending to and should not be an immediate cause for panic. Obviously it is still a good idea to address it as soon as possible.

A chipped windshield often does not become serious until it is too late, and so is best to address it before it means a costly replacement. We have no doubt heard that chips will eventually crack and so it best practice to have it seen to before it does. Windscreen repair can come in the form of a resin that seals the chip, meaning that the window does not even have to be replaced.

Tyres go through a great amount of wear and tear and need seeing to as regularly as other car parts. It is suggested that the set be rotated every six months, or every 6,000-8,000km. This evens the wearing, as tyres can wear differently depending on their position, and so extends their working lives. The tread is very important, ensuring grip and safety on the roads, and should be checked fairly often to monitor its wearing. The penny test is suggested for this, slotting the coin into the treads to check their depths.

Once you have owned a car for a while it is often the case that you become attuned to it and know when something is not right. Though it may not automatically mean a serious problem, it is always best to err on the side of caution and have it checked out. Safety should always be the number one priority when it comes to driving.

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