Five Warning Signs from your Vehicle That You Should Never Ignore 

It’s always tempting to ignore any and all warning signs from your vehicle. It’s no secret that car repairs cost a fair chunk of change, and we all want to assume that problems will simply go away if we avoid them. So when something’s up with your car, the first thought might be to let it go, hope it handles itself, and save yourself some money.

Suffice to say, you shouldn’t do that. Avoiding warning signs from your car can actually cost you a lot of money. If you put off certain issues, the problem may get worse, or it may snowball into a much more severe issue. These issues can not only cost you much more at the auto mechanic, but they can also render your car dangerous to drive, and dramatically reduce the resale value. You don’t want either of these things, so it’s important to know to look for in your car. Here are five warning signs that you should never, ever ignore.

The Check Engine Light 

All of the warning lights on your gauge cluster are important, but none more so than the check engine light. The check engine light doesn’t necessarily mean that something bad has happened, but if there is a timely and severe issue that needs attention, it will almost always trigger the light. Schedule an inspection as quickly as possible any time you see the check engine warning light illuminate. A mechanic can scan the trouble codes to see what the light is signifying, and let you know whether or not the vehicle needs immediate attention.

The Service Schedule Reminders 

Service schedule reminders aren’t exactly a warning sign, but you should treat them as one. It’s imperative to always follow your service schedule, both so you keep your car in ideal condition, and have a paper trail of proper maintenance and care when the time comes to sell your car. 
When you see that your service schedule calls for maintenance, treat it like a warning sign, and get your car taken care of.

The Look of Your Tires 

Your tires are pretty open about when they need some attention. If you notice that any of your tires appear to be sagging or empty, then you’re likely low on air pressure. If you see metal sticking out of your tires, then you need them replaced before you drive anywhere. And if you see abnormal or asymmetrical wear and tear, get your car down to a tire shop for either a replacement, a rotation, or an alignment. 

Low Fluid Lights 

Many modern vehicles have warning lights for when you’re running low on fluids, such as your oil, coolant, or transmission fluid. It is imperative that you refill any fluid (other than the windshield wiper fluid) as soon as it is running low. If your car is being operated while low on any fluid, you run the risk of causing severe damage to any number of components.
If you don’t have low fluid warning lights on your car, check your fluid levels at least once a month to make sure that they’re all past the minimum line. 

The Sounds from Your Vehicle

Your car will often talk to you, to let you know when something is going on. If you hear constant noise from your brakes, chances are they’re starting to become worn out, and you should get them replaced immediately. If you hear a clanking or slapping noise, you may have something stuck under the hood, a broken belt, or a piece of your car may be loose. And if you hear your tires screech . . . well, that probably means that you’re pushing your car to the limit a little bit too much. Back off, for the health of your tires and your suspension (and for your own safety!)
Paying attention to these five warning signs isn’t difficult at all, and it can be the difference between basic maintenance costs and a high resale value, and expensive repairs and a diminished resale value. Always listen to your car when it says it needs something, and you’ll be a happy owner, and a happy seller.

About The Author

Brady Klopfer

Brady Klopfer is a freelance writer and editor from Los Angeles. You can read more of his work here