What Is Your Car Trying To Tell You?

By: Ryan Larson

Over all my years of driving the one thing that still causes methe most concern is when I hear a new noise. This drives meparticularly crazy every spring. After months of having thewindows rolled up it's very disconcerting when you first rolldown the window to get a whiff of that fresh springtime air andyou start hearing all those noises you car makes, and perhapshas been making all winter long. Then you start to think "what'sthat noise?", "how long has it been doing that?"

You drive your car everyday. You know how it should handle. Ifyou notice something amiss, and more than once, get it checkedout. You may save yourself a lot of inconvenience and money inthe long run. You and your mechanic need to be a team when itcomes to the maintenance of your car. You however need to be theeyes and ears of the team.

Every so often pay attention when you're pulling your car out ofa parking space. Is there any fresh fluid? It's hard to tellsometimes due to the stains left from other cars. How about yourdriveway? Are you seeing new stains? If you are, what color isthe fluid? Oil will be quite obvious, appearing black or darkbrown. Antifreeze is fairly easy to recognize too with it'syellow green color. Also, antifreeze has an unmistakable odor. Areddish fluid could be transmission or power steering fluid.

How is your car handling? It is pulling to one side when youstop? It may be time for a front end alignment. Keep a check onyour tire pressure. Under inflated tires can cause lower gasmileage. Get your tires rotated on a regular basis to helpprevent wear.

Are you breaks squealing? Get to the mechanic as soon aspossible, don't let this problem go on. If you do continue todrive you may find yourself replacing worn rotors along withbreak pads. Rotors can be very expensive.

Is you car acting sluggish? It is not accelerating like it usedto? It may be time for a tune up. Are you noticing a hesitation?May be the gas filter.

Make sure you have your oil changed every 3,000 miles. This is avery good rule for any car, new or old. When I bought my newToyota truck twenty years ago the first thing my mechanic saidwas that if I kept the oil changed I'd "get at least 200,000miles out of the engine". Well, fifteen years later I had189,000 and the engine was still going strong. Unfortunately theframe was rusting, which was her ultimate demise.

Cars manufactured today are much better than they were 20 yearsago and if you listen to what you car is trying to tell you, youshould be able to have many worry free years with your car too

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