All car owners should visit a car mechanic
If you live in Auckland, chances are you rely on your car on a daily basis. Whether you use it for commuting to and from work, doing your weekly grocery shop, running the kids around to sports and activities, or just getting out and about to visit friends – our cars are an essential part of our daily lives and you need a car mechanic to service it from time to time.
So it’s important to look after our cars and do as much as we can to avoid them breaking down or becoming unusable. We say it all the time – prevention is the best course of action. Look after your car and it will look after you. We’re not just talking about convenience either – it’s a matter of ensuring your vehicle is as safe as possible by taking it to the mechanic when needed.
So when should you take your car to the mechanic?
You’re always welcome to get in touch with us at Roskill Auto Mechanical any time you have a query or concern. Give us a call with a question you may have, or book a time to bring your car in. Other than that, there are some definite signs that it’s time to bring your car in for a check or service.
- Warning lights on your dashboard go on
When you start your car, there are a number of warning lights that momentarily illuminate on your dash or control panel. That’s normal. However, if any of these warning lights stay on – or turn on all of a sudden while you’re driving – it’s time to take note.
This is your vehicle’s computer system telling you that attention is needed to a specific component. They’re all important, yet the most important ones to heed are the engine warning light, the oil light, and the brakes warning light. Give us a call and we can talk you through the next steps and help determine how urgently you may need to bring your car in.
There are strange sounds coming from your vehicle
If you notice any odd thumping, hissing, grinding, screeching or any other sounds coming from your car, let us know. We can sometimes diagnose the problem simply by hearing your description of it and where it’s coming from.
It may be your gears, transmission, brakes, suspension, wheels … the list goes on. It’s important to know that cars shouldn’t be making strange sounds. Take the time to drive around without the radio on and without kids or pets in the car. Pay attention to whether you hear any strange sounds. If so, give us a call so we can help keep you safe on the road.
The temperature gauge is in the red
If you see the temperature gauge in the red zone, pull over safely, turn off the car, and get in touch with us right away. This could be a sign that your engine is overheating which, if left unattended, can lead to serious and costly problems.
The cause may be low or empty coolant, a blown water pump or a faulty thermostat. It’s best to find out the true cause and not ignore this warning sign.
Your brakes are not responding
It goes without saying that your brakes are a vital part of safe driving. There are two main ways of detecting if something’s not quite right with your brakes. The first of these involves audible clues. If you hear any strange sounds coming from your brakes, that’s a sign that they need attention. It may be time for a brake pad replacement. Or you may simply need dirt and grease cleaned out to help your brakes work more efficiently.
Another way of detecting brake issues is through touch or feel. When you put your foot on the brake pedal, are your brakes overly sensitive? Or do they take longer than usual to respond? If your brakes are under- or over-responsive, it’s a sign they need attention.
Your car shakes or shudders
If you feel any juddering or shaking through the wheels or the steering column, that’s a clear sign that you should take your car to the mechanic. Some vibration when you drive may be normal, depending on the age of your car. Shaking or pulling, however, isn’t right and may be an early indication of a problem.
Shaking, shuddering or pulling may be a sign of problems with your suspension, tyres or wheel alignment. These things may also be related to issues with your brakes or your anti-lock braking system. Don’t take any chances – get in touch with your mechanic as soon as possible.
Stains under your parking spot
Your car uses several different types of fluids – engine oil, brake fluid, transmission fluid, windshield wiper/washer fluid, hydraulic fluid, steering fluid, coolant/antifreeze, air conditioning refrigerant and fuel (petrol, diesel).
While there are a lot of fluids used, none of them should be leaking from your vehicle. The only “normal” dripping to expect is a bit of water from your air conditioning system. Anything else should be investigated. Not only are they potentially dangerous or toxic to have on your driveway or in your garage, but they are needed inside your vehicle components for its safe and efficient operation.
Your tyres keep losing air
It’s natural for your tyres to lose a small amount of air – but this should only be one or two PSI (pounds per square inch) per month. Any more than this and your vehicle is trying to tell you something.
If you find yourself topping up your tyres with air once a week, you may have a slow leak or small puncture. If left alone, that damage will likely get worse until you find yourself dealing with a flat tyre at an inopportune time (is there ever a good time to get a flat tyre?).
Tyre pressure may also change slightly as the outside air temperature changes, but overall it should stay consistent. If it’s not, book in for a tyre check.
It’s been more than a year since your last car service appointment
Prevention, prevention, prevention. Don’t wait until something breaks or until you hear strange sounds coming from your car. Make sure you’re booking your vehicle in for a regular service at least once a month. Feel free to get in touch with us at Roskill Auto Mechanical and we’ll make sure you’re on a regular service plan that will keep your car running smoothly and safely.
At Roskill Auto Mechanical, we encourage you to know as much as you can about your vehicle and understand how it works. We believe that makes you a safer driver. We also love the Kiwi DIY spirit.
However, there are repairs and maintenance tasks that you should leave to the professionals. If you have any queries at all about your car, please get in touch with your friendly team at Roskill Auto Mechanical. We’re always happy to help.