Subtle Cues Indicating Your Vehicle Is In Need Of Auto Repair Or Maintenance


The more you know about your vehicles, the better you can stay ahead of automotive issues.

You can determine several typical vehicle issues by utilizing your sensations, such as closely observing the vehicle, identifying variations in how it runs, hearing unusual noises or smelling strange odors.

4 Fluid Colors Indicating That Your Car Needs Repairs

Minute stains or unusual fluid drops beneath your car might not imply much trouble. Although, you need to pay close attention to wet spots and beware of any puddles.

1. Pastel blue/ yellowish-green/ fluorescent orange fluid

If you see any of these fluid colors, your car has an antifreeze leak or an overheated engine caused by a leaking radiator or water pump.

2. Black/ dark brown oily fluid

These fluid colors indicate an oil leak from your engine. It can be caused by a bad seal or a gasket leak.

3. Red fluid

If you notice red oily spots, then your car has a power-steering issue or transmission fluid leak.

4. Clear fluid

If you see a clear water puddle, then there is no issue as it might be so due to the vehicle's air conditioner condensation.

Ensure you follow some good practices for car maintenance to save additional bucks on auto repairs.

8 Odors Indicating Your Car Needs Repairs

1. Sweet Odor

a) Steamy Sweet Odor

If there is a steamy sweet odor, it means that it is a coolant leak. 

b) Steamy Sweet Odor With Warning Light

If the sweet odor is combined with a warning light or temperature gauge, it might indicate overheating. When this happens, ensure you drive with caution to the nearest service station.

c) Steamy Sweet Odor With Warning Light & Metallic Scent

If there is an odor of a hot, metallic scent and steam from under the hood, your engine is overheated. You should immediately pull over as continued driving can cause critical engine damage. Get your vehicle towed for repairs as soon as possible.

2. Burned Toast Odor

A sharp or light burned toast-like odor usually indicates burning insulation and an electrical short. Be alert and do not drive your vehicle until the issue is detected.

3. Burning Oil Odor

If you smell something like burning oil or acrid odor, then it might indicate a leak.

4. Rotten Eggs Odor

If you smell rotten eggs or a constant burning sulfur-like odor, it usually indicates an issue in the catalytic converter or other emission control devices. Don't put off the diagnosis and repair or such an issue.

5. Resin Odor

If you smell an acrid chemical or burning, resin odor signifies overheated brakes or clutch. You should check the parking brake. Stop and release the brakes to cool after repeated hard braking on mountain roads. Whereas, if you observe light smoke coming from your wheel then you might have a stuck brake. Don’t take this lightly, stop driving and get your car towed for repairs.

6. Gasoline Vapor Odor

Gasoline vapors following a failed start signifies a flooded engine. You should hold on before trying to start it. In case the odor sustains, there is a possibility of a fuel system leak. It requires immediate repair, as it is a severe issue.

7 Sounds Indicating Your Car Needs Repairs

Some sound like rattles, squeals, rumbles, and squeaks are relevant hints regarding issues and maintenance requirements. 

Below are a few sounds that might indicate a specific issue in your car:

1. Squealing

When you hear a sharp noise, it is generally associated with engine speed. It can heard because of a loose or worn power steering or an air or fan conditioning belt.

2. Heavy Knock

When you hear a rhythmic pounding sound, it can be a worn crankshaft or a loose transmission torque converter or connecting rod bearings.

3. Click

When there is a sparse sharp noise, it relates to either vehicle speed or engine speed. It can be a bent or wobbly fan blade or low engine oil or a stuck valve or a loose wheel cover.

4. Screech

When there is a piercing & high-pitched metallic sound when the vehicle moves, it might be due to brake wear indicators.

5. Ping

When you hear a high-pitched metallic tapping sound, it relates to engine speed. It can be due to gas with a lower octane rating than recommended. You should check the owner's manual for a precise octane rating. Although if the issue persists, it may imply that engine ignition is at fault.

6. Rumble

When there is a low-pitched rhythmic sound, you might expect a faulty exhaust pipe, converter, or muffler. It can also be a deteriorated universal joint or another drive-line component.

7. Clunk

When you hear a random thumping sound, it can be due to a wobbly shock absorber or other suspension components or a loose exhaust pipe or muffler.

6 Sensations Indicating Your Car Needs Repairs

When you face trouble handling your car or you can feel vibrations and have an overall rough driving experience with poor performance, your car is in dire need of repairs. 

The below characteristics imply that there is a problem with your vehicle:

1. Steering

  • The misalignment of front wheels and impaired steering elements, such as ball joints or idlers, causes trouble steering your vehicle in a straight line.
  • When a vehicle's inclination is to the extreme right or left, it can be due to under-inflated tires or a misaligned/faulty front end.

2. Engine

The below indications signify engine trouble. It is best to get an examination and repair scheduled for any of the issues mentioned below:

  • Weak acceleration
  • Trouble starting the engine
  • Excessive use of oil
  • Coarse idling or stalling
  • Mediocre fuel economy
  • The engine keeps running even after the removal of the key
  • The check engine light is on

Note: It is simple to switch off your check engine light by repairing some simple issues causing it. 

3. Driving and Handling

  • Frayed shock absorbers or other suspension parts or incorrect tire inflation results in poor cornering.
  • When tires are imbalanced, it causes vehicles to vibrate and may cause early wear and tear of suspension and steering parts. 
  • Springs generally don't wear out, although it can if the vehicle is overloaded or one side is lower than the other. 
  • You do not need to replace shock absorbers or struts necessarily. Simply check for the loose once by the bouncing test in an up & down motion, then let go. If it is loose, then the car will bounce twice or more. 

4. Transmission

A bad transmission performance may be due to an actual part malfunction or a clogged filter, or a detached hose. 

Be sure that your technician examines the primary items first. Transmission servicing is ordinarily expensive. 

A few common indications of transmission difficulties include:

  • Slipping during acceleration occurs when the engine speeds up, yet the car doesn't react.
  • Sudden or difficult shifts between gears
  • Unable to shift through acceleration
  • When there is no response while shifting from neutral to drive or reverse.

5. Brakes

Below are a few brake issue traits:

  • When the brake light is lit on the instrument panel
  • The application of brakes causes the vehicle to pull to one side
  • Braking causes the feel or sound of grinding or scraping
  • When you maintain pressure on the brake pedal, it sinks to the floor

6. Troubleshooting

Here are a few techniques to assist you and the technician in locating and repairing problems:

1. Starter issues:

At times, what seems to be a faulty starter can be a poor connection or dead battery. Request the technician to examine all connections and the battery before starter repair.

2. Alternator issues:

At times, the loose wiring may seem like an alternator defect. Ask the technician to check for loose connections and try an output test before the alternator replacement.

3. Battery issues: 

Loose battery terminals or corrosion may lead you to assume that the battery is dead or faulty. Ask the technician to clean the terminals and test the battery before its replacement.

4. Muffler issues:

When there is a loud rumbling noise beneath your vehicle, you need a new exhaust pipe or muffler.

Have You Identified Any Issues With Your Car?

Now that you are aware of the various subtle and obvious issues with your car, what’s your next step? Scheduling an appointment with your nearest auto repair shop. 

If you’re unsure about the issue or need help fixing around in your vehicle, contact A&G Customs. We have a team of experienced and skilled technicians who are among the best for any kind of auto repair in Doylestown.

We offer services including inspections, brake repair, general repairs, inspections, restorations, towing, auto bodywork, custom paint, and much more.

Call us now at 215 669 3072 to know more!