Cars are expensive to own and maintain, but with the right care, they can last a decade – sometimes more. But many drivers have a bad habit of ignoring small repairs, which can lead to big and expensive repairs down the road.
Yes, there are some issues that don’t need to be fixed right away, like dents and scratches. But other repairs, even if they seem small, should be fixed right away.
1. Strange Engine Sounds
If you hear strange sounds coming from your engine, don’t ignore it – especially if it’s a knocking or clunking sound that gets worse when you accelerate.
Strange engine sounds can indicate a number of issues. The mix of fuel and air cylinders may be off, causing your pistons to misfire. It could be a more complex engine issue.
Considering your car’s engine is one of the most expensive – and important – parts, this is one repair that you do not want to overlook.
2. Worn-Out Tires
A blown tire can make your car dangerous to drive. If your tread is low or you see a bubble in your tire, go get it looked at.
Many new tires have wear bars that let you know when it’s time to replace them. Look for six rubber indicators in a row – they should be recessed in the tread of the tire. If the tread is flush with the wear bars, it’s time to replace them.
It’s generally best to replace all of your tires at the same time, but if that’s not in your budget, at least replace the pair that shares an axle.
3. Windshield Cracks
While laws may vary, most states require windshields to be free of cracks. Cracks, even minor ones, can impair your vision. Serious cracks affect the structural integrity of the windshield, making it a hazard.
You may put off fixing a small ding or crack in your windshield, but eventually, they will grow and become a bigger problem.
In many cases, small cracks and dings can be repaired, meaning you won’t have to replace the entire windshield.
“As a general rule of thumb windshield damage that is shorter than the length of a dollar bill or credit card, and smaller than the diameter of a quarter may be a good candidate for repair,” says Diamond Auto Glass. “It must be noted that no matter how small or large, if the damage is located within the driver’s direct line of sight than the windshield should be replaced instead of repaired.”
4. Brakes That Don’t Feel Right
When it comes to accident prevention, brakes are the most important safety feature on a vehicle. If your brakes don’t feel or sound right, get them looked at by a mechanic.
If it’s hard to step on the brake pedal or your foot nearly reaches the floor when braking, the cylinder may be leaking. This is a problem that requires immediate attention and repair. A leaking brake cylinder can make it difficult to stop.
Grinding sounds can also indicate a problem with the brake pads or wheel bearings.