Car Repairs You Never Want to Put Off

Posted on: 31 August 2016

It's not unusual for car owners to put off car repairs for as long as possible to avoid the expense and hassle of the work to be done. However, this can mean putting added wear and tear on your car and even risking your safety while on the road. Note a few signs of auto repairs you should never put off and why.

Burning smell

A burning smell from your car could signal a fluid leak; as the fluid drips onto another hot part under the hood, it burns away. No fluid leak should be ignored; if the brake or transmission fluid gets too low when on the road, the brakes will fail or your car may get stuck in neutral, even while driving. It's also vital that you don't overlook an oil leak; oil keeps the engine lubricated and also helps to cool it.

If the burning smell seems to be from the engine itself, this may mean it's overheating. If the dashboard warning light isn't on, the thermostat may be broken so that your car doesn't warn you that it's running too hot. The fan may not be working to cool the engine or your car may be low on coolant itself; in any case, driving the car this way can mean burning up the engine completely so that it simply shuts down, and the entire engine would need replacing.

Shaking, shimmying, bumping

If your car's steering wheel shakes or vibrates, the tires probably need balancing. Ignoring this can mean not being able to control the car. If one tire shimmies or vibrates excessively, the rotor may be bent or the lug nuts are loose, and this can also interfere with controlling the car. 

If one tire seems to bump or "smack" the road every time you hit a small dip while driving, the spring or shock could be broken. This puts added wear on the tire and all the parts connected to the wheel, including the axle itself. This can also put added stress on the tie rods, which connect the tires to the steering column. If they're rusted or worn and the car keeps bumping or smacking the road, one tie rod could break and you could lose control of the car.

If you notice bumping from one wheel when you apply the brakes, the brake pads are likely slipping or worn and not gripping the tire evenly. If left unchecked, the pad could slip out entirely or wear away completely and you would have no stopping power from that tire.