For many car owners, recognizing some of the signs that your car needs service can be challenging. You may overlook or even dismiss certain issues on the assumption that it's just normal and nothing to worry about. The fact is, there are certain things that should tell you that it's time to get your car in for service as soon as possible. Here are a few key indications that your car's in need of repair.
Many people ignore issues with their vehicle starting if it's only occasional or minor. For example, if your car takes two or three tries before it starts, or if it starts, sputters, and shuts off before finally starting and running, these are indications that there's a problem.
You may have an issue with the charging system, the starter, or even the fuel delivery system. All of these pieces can result in these types of problems. If your alternator isn't adequately charging the battery, or if it's failing, it won't generate enough power for the car to start until it's been engaged a couple of times. If your starter is failing, it may take a couple of tries to start it as it turns and moves away from the bad spot that's causing the problem.
Your fuel delivery system, whether it's the fuel pump or a problem with the injectors, is essential to keeping the car running. If it's starved for fuel, it will sputter and stall out or possibly not even start at all.
Hard Or Delayed Shifting
When your automatic transmission shifts, it should be a fairly smooth process. You shouldn't feel the car jerk or bog down. If you're feeling the car shift, that's an indication that your transmission may be either low on fluid, not engaging the clutch properly, or experiencing wear in the gear teeth.
If the transmission isn't shifting in time and your car's RPM's are running higher than they should, you need to have the sensors checked to see if the transmission is receiving proper communication. Excessive RPMs on a consistent basis can cause wear and tear on your engine.
Check Engine Light Issues
Many drivers dismiss an illuminated check engine light until they're ready to deal with it. When your engine seems to be running fine, it's easy to ignore. However, most check engine lights come on due to a failing component, a sensor that's gone bad, or a problem in the emissions system. These are all things that should be addressed in a timely manner, but they typically aren't catastrophic.
However, if your check engine light starts flashing, that's a key sign that you need to pull over, turn the car off, and have it towed for immediate service. In most car models, a flashing check engine light is a warning sign of impending engine failure. Contact a car service, such as a Ford service center, for more information.