6 Signs Your Car Needs Service: Auto Repair for Dunedin

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There are numerous signs that could potentially indicate you need to get your car to an auto repair facility in Dunedin. Depending on the type of work that may be required, and your budget, you may decide to wait on having it done. Just know that the longer you wait, the more serious the potential issues can become.

Any time that you notice your car is having problems or the performance is not ideal or optimal, you should consider having it at least diagnosed at your earliest convenience. Some issues require immediate attention and should never be put off. These would include safety-related issues, especially with regard to braking.

We have included six potential signs that your car may require service. If you notice any of these signs, contact Peterson Auto and Truck to have it diagnosed so you can be sure that you are driving a safe and efficient car on the roads throughout Dunedin.

1. Your car drifts while you are driving.

There is actually more than one reason why your car could drift while driving on Florida’s roads. One of them happens to be the pitch of the roadways. Roadways in some areas are pitched slightly either to one side or from the center out to help rainwater drain more quickly away from the surface. This is done to reduce the risk of hydroplaning.

However, drifting can also be caused when your wheels are out of alignment. Even if you had your tires changed recently and that included a proper wheel alignment, certain road conditions such as rough road surfaces, can cause the alignment to be knocked out and your car could begin drifting.

If you are on a straight road that is level and you relieve the pressure of your hands on the steering wheel (do not let go of the steering wheel) and you notice that the car begins to drift one way or the other, bring it in to an auto repair facility to have the alignment checked.

2. Loud noises when you brake.

If you are hearing a loud groaning or squealing sound coming from your car when you apply the brakes, it is absolutely essential to bring it to an auto repair facility as soon as possible. Groaning or squealing can indicate a number of issues with the braking system.

It could be a simple matter of brake pads that are wearing down and need to be replaced. It could be something more serious as well. You may not notice that your car is taking longer to stop, but if you do and you also hear the groaning noise or a grinding sound, stop driving, make an appointment, and bring it into an auto repair facility immediately.

3. The check engine light illuminates.

The check engine light can indicate a number of potential problems. It could also indicate that there is no real issue, but the computer’s diagnostic system has registered something that needs to be checked out.
Plugging in an OBD-II testing machine into your car’s computer won’t take more than a couple of minutes and it could tell you right away what is being indicated as a problem. It might simply need to be reset or it could be a quick five minute fix.

It is far too easy to ignore these check engine lights, especially when the car seems to be running fine. Don’t get into this habit. When the check engine light illuminates, stop by an auto repair facility and have a technician check the code to determine what the issue could be. You may be more than fine to keep driving the car for months or it may be something that you should take care of right away.

4. Chirping when it’s raining.

If you hear a squealing or chirping sound, mostly when it’s raining out, this could be a loose belt. The most common fix is to tighten the belt, if it is in good condition and it can be tightened.

If the belt is wearing out, cracking, or has other issues, then it could be at risk of breaking. Depending on the type of belt it is, it could cause damage to your engine if it breaks while you are driving (the timing belt). If it is an alternator belt, or a serpentine belt, it can cause you to be stranded on the side of the road.

5. Sluggish stopping.

As we noted earlier, your brakes are one of the most important components of your vehicle. If you notice that is it is taking longer for you to stop than it used to or that you believe it should, this might be considered sluggish stopping.
If you experience sluggish stopping, it may be the result of worn-out brake pads, low brake fluid levels, or even a problem with the master cylinder. Don’t continue to drive this vehicle if it is taking far too long to come to a complete stop. If you do, you may find that when you have to come to a quick stop (because someone pulled on in front of you or some other emergency arises) that you won’t be able to. This can cause a potentially serious accident that is completely avoidable.

6. Rough starts/stalls.

If it takes your car a little longer to start in the morning or you notice that the idle is rough and it stalls out when you come to a stop or while waiting at a red light for a period of time, it could be any number of problems. It could be the fuel to air ratio is not right. It could be a problem in the fuel injectors. If you have a vehicle with a carburetor, it could be an issue with that.

Any time that you are noticing these situations, the longer you wait to have it fixed, the more damage you could be causing to your vehicle. If you have any questions about your car or whether it might need service, stop by Peterson Auto and truck and an auto repair technician will be more than happy to help you determine whether service is really necessary now or if you can wait.