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6 Signs that Mean Your Car is Crying for Maintenance

Some of these include degraded ride comfort, power losses, excess exhaust fumes, issues with braking, and more.

Your Car Needs Maintenance

A car, just like the human body, needs to be nourished and maintained well in order for it to work optimally. Regular and scheduled visits to the mechanic shed are a must if your car needs to function adequately for as long as possible. While manufacturers do provide a detailed schedule for such visits, it’s your responsibility to ensure that these things are taken care of.

In case you end up skipping such a visit, there are chances that a fault in one of the components doesn’t end up getting picked up. The vehicle’s condition keeps deteriorating and depreciating in value the further the maintenance is delayed. So, what are the tell-tale signs to look out for to decide if your car needs maintenance or not?

1Engine Warning Light

6 Signs that Mean Your Car is Crying for Maintenance: 1. Engine Warning Light

The engine warning light is one of the more obvious signs that a car needs to be serviced as early as possible. The check engine light also called the malfunction indicator light serves as a warning of some sort of damage that the car has incurred. The issue could be something as trivial as a faulty gas cap to something a little more concerning like a misfiring engine. But, it has been reported that the light could go off by itself owing to a drastic change in humidity or other climatic factors.

Some car owners tend to ignore the engine warning light completely. They stick a black tape and continue to drive, which in reality could prove to be a costly mistake. A basic mechanical check-up shouldn’t cost all that much and would potentially prevent you from having to spend thousands later on.

2Issues with The Brakes

6 Signs that Mean Your Car is Crying for Maintenance: 2. Issues with The Brakes

A brake is one of the most important mechanical components of a car. They’re also extremely prone to severe wear and tear owing to their regular use. But, the good thing about brakes getting worn out is that it’s relatively easy to pick up on and manage accordingly.

An experienced driver would probably be able to make out the brakes squealing if they aren’t functioning optimally. The issue might lie in the worn-out disc pads or in the all-important suspension system. This is also sometimes attributed to the extensive tire wearing out with its extensive use. So, to minimize such risks, 1.6 mm tire treads are preferred.

3Strange Rattling Noises

6 Signs that Mean Your Car is Crying for Maintenance: 3. Strange Rattling Noises

It can be slightly alarming to any car owner when their car starts making strange noises. The underlying issue could be something relatively harmless or something a little more serious that needs immediate attention. Some of the reasons for those noises include:

A whining sound heard from the bonnet is usually caused due to a loose wire belt, but can also be attributed to overheating

Strange noises from the exhaust could be due to a hole or crack in it. These are comparatively easier to manage, but it’s advised to get it serviced at the earliest since the exhaust pipe can get irreparably damaged otherwise

A sound akin to pieces of metal clunking together is due to some broken part of the car that seems to be scrubbing on either another damaged part or a normal part

Uneven noises from the engine are caused due to an improper mixture of air and fuel entering the engine. The spark plug is usually at fault here and its replacement usually corrects the issue

4Exhaust Leaks and Fumes

6 Signs that Mean Your Car is Crying for Maintenance: 4. Exhaust Leaks and Fumes

Fumes from the exhaust shouldn’t cause too much concern. A malfunctioning radiator is usually the culprit here. This can consequently lead to overheating which makes it all the more important to monitor the car’s temperature. Cooling the car down until it reaches the middle of the temperature gauge can protect the vehicle from further damage.

Leaks could include water, engine oil, coolant, and a whole wide range of substances. Oil leaks are particularly dangerous and it usually points to an oil pan leak or a worn-out engine gasket. Caution needs to be exercised if the car cannot be started right away.

Hovering over scheduled servicing and things that could potentially protect your car from damage, car insurance is a must-have for every car owner. But what is car insurance? And does it protect a car against any sort of damage? Does it also pay for repairs to someone else’s car in case of an altercation and the fault lies on your end? Some special policies even cover the cost of your transportation while the car is getting serviced. Since there are multiple options to choose from, it’s always advised to read about insurance policies before picking one that suits you and your family’s needs.

5Power Loss

6 Signs that Mean Your Car is Crying for Maintenance: 5. Power Loss

Yet another tell-tale sign that a car, however reliable it may be, needs some sort of servicing is if it suddenly loses power while driving. There are multiple reasons why this might happen. Some of the common ones include:

Very low cylinder compression - One of the prerequisites for a combustion engine to work properly is adequate cylinder compression. If this prerequisite is not met, then the engine fails to draw power

Improper air filters - Any inadequacies with regard to the functioning of the air filter can lead to the mixing of impurities into the engine, thereby degrading it

Clogged up exhaust system - An exhaust system’s basic function is to release noxious gases produced during the combustion process into the atmosphere. So, the clogging up of these networks leads to damage of sensitive components

Malfunctioning of the MAF sensor - A Mass Airflow Sensor, MAF Sensor for short detects the amount of air entering the engine at any given time. This value is extremely important in calculating the safest possible load that can be placed on the engine without damaging it

Malfunctioning of the Oxygen Sensor - Same rationale as the Mass Airflow Sensor

Low-quality fuel injectors - A fuel injector serves the important purpose of spraying fuel to the insides of the engine. So, in cases where the fuel injector gets damaged, the engines do not receive enough fuel to generate the power required

6Degraded Ride Comfort

6 Signs that Mean Your Car is Crying for Maintenance: 6. Degraded Ride Comfort

This is a very subjective sign, but nevertheless an important one. If the passengers or you, the driver, feel that you aren’t experiencing the comfort you once received while in the car, it might be wise to get the car checked out. These can include irregular steering and tire scrapings. Not all of them may require urgent care as some of these relatively straightforward signs may not even have been associated with significant structural damage.


Mentioned above are some of the common signs that every car owner should be aware of. Some of these include degraded ride comfort, power losses, excess exhaust fumes, issues with braking, etc. Not all of them require you to get the car serviced, but it’s a smart choice to err on the side of caution and get your car checked frequently.

RELATED: Leasing vs. Buying a Car: Which is Better?

[1] ^ YouTube: Car Maintenance: 10 Things Every Car Owner Should Know
[2] ^ YouTube: How To Make Your Car Last A Long Time
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