7 signs that your car is about to break down

If you’re a car driver and your car has been making funny noises, shaking or even just not starting up in the morning. You might be about to break down! In this blog post, we’ll be exploring 7 signs that your car is about to give out on you because let’s face it no one wants their vehicle to become an expensive paperweight, proudly presented by your 24h automotive repair shop in Saskatoon.

1. Your car is making a weird noise

Ever had that sinking feeling when your car doesn’t sound right? That’s because cars are sometimes pretty vocal. Did the engine just grind to a halt at an inopportune moment or is there a new weird noise coming from under the hood? Pay attention! 

When you’re driving, it can feel like nothing bad will happen if something goes wrong with your vehicle; but these problems often lead to more costly issues down the line. Make sure you listen to noises and respond accordingly. You can even pull over immediately and check what’s going on before things escalate even further.

You hear a high-pitched squeal that stops when you shut off your engine: 

Readjust or replace the belt. These belts should have about half an inch of play and shouldn’t be frayed, cracked, or glazed on the underside. But if they are then it means it’s time to take care of them before any other problems arise!

Your engine will be ticking away like clockwork when it’s idle

Shut down their engine quickly so they don’t let any dust get into them while cooling; ten minutes should do just fine in order for everything else to settle out first anyways, once done check carefully on how much-or-little oil level it has. Top it off if necessary and visit your car mechanic to check the valve. Read our article on how often should you change your oil.

As the vehicle runs down curves, the tires are humming and sound like winter tires

Your car may need a crucial component replacement: your wheel bearings. The wheel bearing has an important job of keeping that from happening by reducing friction between the axle shafts and hub assembly which keeps you going smoothly down any type of roadway. It also, and most importantly, keeps your wheel attached. If left unattended, this could lead to more problems like uneven tire wear or the loss of a wheel; so if you hear these noises, have your mechanic take a look!

You hear an unfamiliar clunking sound coming from under your car. 

It might be a loose exhaust pipe or something happening in one of the suspension components. Either way, you need to check before driving anymore so that you don’t make things worse for yourself.

2. You notice that your gas mileage has decreased significantly

If you are constantly having to fill up the tank, it could be due to any number of things. The list goes on and on but there are a few main causes that can attribute to this poor gas mileage in your car. 

If our cars aren’t running as efficiently because we’re not getting good fuel efficiency, then that means more money spent at the pump! Here are some of those major factors contributing to bad gas mileage:

Incorrect tire pressure

A lot of people don’t know this, but a simple check with an inexpensive gauge can fix bad mileage! The driver side door plate is where most cars will tell their recommended pressures to use and not the “maximum” numbers on tires themselves so be sure to double-check before just assuming it should say what they want.

Having faulty oxygen sensors and degrading air filters

Did you know that bad air filters and oxygen sensors can reduce your gas mileage by up to 20%? Oxygen sensors help keep the proper mixture of fuel and air, which is vital for efficiency. If this balance gets off track then it will make driving feel sluggish or even cause engine problems. Make sure to clean those clogged-up air filters so that your car continues running at its best!

Having a faulty fuel injector

Having faulty fuel injectors could cause low MPG ratings for drivers – when they’re not running at full capacity due to leakage or other issues with them just like any other part on an automobile, their ability for proper flow becomes compromised. Not only might this result in worsened efficiency

3. The light on the “check engine” is constantly on

When the engine light comes on, one or more diagnostic trouble codes are stored in your car’s computer. These codes will stay there even if the check engine light goes out. They allow you to see what is going wrong with your vehicle and pinpoint where any problems might be hiding. 

You can have it looked at by yourself or contact a mechanic for help from their OBD scanner tool. It retrieves these tricky little gems of data quickly and easily so they know how best to fix whatever needs fixing without wasting time guessing. Overlooking a simple fix could potentially cause greater damage before ever getting down into it!

Here are the most common reasons for a check engine to light up on your dashboard:

You have a loose gas cap.

A gas mix sensor is faulty.

You have some faulty spark plugs or broken wires.

You have a faulty catalytic converter.

Except for the gas cap, every check engine signal should be resolved and investigated by a mechanic.

4. There’s an odd smell coming from the car

You smell exhaust fumes

The exhaust from your car’s engine can quickly turn into deadly levels of carbon monoxide if it leaks inside. If you’re still able to, roll the windows down and pull over as soon as possible so that no more gas goes in. Turn off the ignition immediately when safe to do so, then call a tow truck for help getting home or bringing your car to your local car mechanic.

You smell that something is burnt

The smell of burning brakes can also be a sign that the brake pads or rotors are overheating. This causes premature wear and, in extreme cases, complete failure. The smell could also indicate dragging callipers or worn out brake pads which will leave you feeling as if the braking effect is spongy at best- making it difficult to stop your car quickly when necessary! Have your brake pads checked as soon as possible.

You smell burning oil

The reason for a burning oil smell can be an oil leak. This can be particularly dangerous if the oil touches the exhaust because it can catch fire. If you notice the smell of oil after an oil change, it might be due to a loose drain plug or filter that wasn’t properly attached—or just not screwed on tightly enough. An oily leak from a bad gasket can cause problems like leaking onto your timing belt and crank seal. 

This also can lead to long-term problems, if the leak is persistent. If your engine leaks oil and is always missing fluid, it will accumulate dust and particles, risking a total breakdown. 

5. The car hesitates or stalls when you press on the gas pedal

Rough idling, frequent stalling and inconsistent acceleration are all signs that something is definitely wrong with your car.  Although some of these problems can be fixed by just cleaning the engine or adding fuel to it, others may require a mechanic’s touch. Here are the most common reasons to why your car hesitates.

Faulty fuel pump

One of the first signs that your car’s fuel pump is on its way out? Occasionally, you’ll feel some hesitation when you accelerate. If this happens more and more often over time, it may become difficult to get enough power with each acceleration. Eventually–or suddenly!–your vehicle will just stop running altogether!

Degrading fuel filter

While a failing fuel pump can produce symptoms such as power loss, the telltale sign that it is on its last legs may be when you notice your car losing all of its oomph. Even though this might seem like an odd way to diagnose engine problems since many people assume their cars come equipped with enough gas in them to get from Point A to Point B without issue, but if you are noticing issues while driving around town or feel a lack of acceleration at higher speeds then chances are there is something wrong and time for some repairs!

Engine vacuum leaks

Engine vacuum leaks can produce harmful consequences, such as rough or too-fast idle speeds. When the leak gets worse, it will lead to misfiring during acceleration and hesitation during idling. The car might also stall if you aren’t careful! It’s important that these engine problems are fixed quickly because they could eventually cause a serious issue like an overheated radiator

Stuck idle control valve

The idle control valve is a vital component that ensures the car can run smoothly and consistently by controlling airflow to the engine. If an idle control valve becomes stuck or contaminated, it may lead to unsteady idling and rough driving conditions which could even cause your engine to stall if clogged up too much. To check for any issues with this important part of the vehicle’s function, hold down on acceleration when at a stop in order to see whether there are small amounts of pressure being applied while maintaining movement – these would be signs indicating you need new valves installed!

6. Your steering wheel is vibrating, and it doesn’t seem like you’re driving over a bumpy road

The most common reasons for your car to excessively vibrate are a problem with loose parts, tires, wheels, brakes or engine. When the vibrations start and where they occur is key when figuring out if it’s an issue of safety under braking. 

If there is vibration during acceleration this could be because you need new brake pads on one side instead of both sides which will cause unbalanced wear-and not only does this put people at risk but also wears down more tires than necessary costing drivers money!

The first step in diagnosing any potential problems would obviously include determining whether these symptoms primarily occur at high speeds as opposed to low speeds; turning versus straight driving, or under any other specific conditions. 

7. Your tires are wearing unevenly, even though you rotate them regularly

Tire wear occurs gradually over time. Uneven tire wearing can be caused by a number of different things, such as improper alignment, worn-out suspension, unbalanced wheels or not checking your tire pressure regularly! When you check for uneven tire wear on the regular, it will help to avoid a blowout and potentially a catastrophic loss of control.

Recognizing any of the issues?

If any of these signs sound familiar, it may be time to get your car looked at by a mechanic. Sure, you could ignore the check engine light and keep driving until there’s an emergency or something breaks down completely but you could also avoid it altogether!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you fix uneven tire wear?

Uneven tire wear might be caused by inadequate inflation, worn-out suspension or inadequate alignment. First, check your tire pressure. If it’s ok, you should go to your local mechanic for further inspection.

Why is my steering wheel shaking at high speeds?

Your steering wheel is likely shaking at high speeds due to loose ball joints or loose bushings. It’s likely a strong sign that you need to go to your local mechanic shop to check on your suspension and replace worn parts.

Why is my car stalling when I accelerate?

Your car is likely stalling when you accelerate due to a faulty fuel pump or degraded fuel filter. There is nothing much you can do about it, except for a timely visit to your local car mechanic to check it out before the problems grow into more expensive repairs.

Book an appointment with your car mechanic in Saskatoon now

You never know when that “funny noise” will turn into a major issue that leaves your vehicle immobile in the middle of nowhere. Schedule an appointment with your mechanic now while they still have openings so they can diagnose what is wrong before disaster strikes.