General Car Maintenance
Automobile Maintenance

General Car Maintenance Tips: 3 Signs You Need to Get Your Car Serviced

Americans depend on their cars to go to work, get groceries, and attend social activities. If there’s something to do, a car is involved in getting it done.

At the same time, Americans don’t know much about their cars. A recent survey found that almost two-thirds of people had a car breakdown in the last year.  

Others ignore the warning signs that can lead to breakdowns. It helps to know general car maintenance tips to know when it’s time to have your car inspected.

What are some of the signs it’s time to take your car in to have it looked at?

Read on to find out.

1. Check Engine Light Comes On

A check engine light isn’t something to ignore. It’s a light that tells you something isn’t working with your car, even though it seems to run just fine.

Does the check engine light always mean it’s time to have your car serviced? Not always. A check engine light could come on because the gas cap is loose.

A red or orange check engine light indicates that you need to get your car serviced immediately. A yellow check engine light could mean anything.

In that case, take the car to an auto parts store and have a diagnostic check. The staff at the store will run a scan with a diagnostic tool and get a code. The code tells you what’s wrong with the car.

You can then take the car to the car maintenance shop and tell them the code.

2. Strange Noises

Cars are made up of thousands of parts. These parts rub together and cause friction. They break down over time.

The breakdown of parts usually causes certain noises. For instance, a whining sound when you start the car indicates a belt is starting to break down.

If your car makes noises when idle, it could mean a spark plug needs to get replaced.

Do your brakes squeal every time you brake? It’s a sign your brake pads are worn down. It’s time to get your car serviced and replace them.

Other unusual noises mean that something isn’t right with the car. Better take care of it now rather than let the problem get worse.

3. Car Won’t Start

There are a few reasons why a car won’t start. One reason is that the battery is dead or you need a jump start. Check the lights and if they don’t turn on, you probably have a battery issue.

If the car tries to start and doesn’t turn over, you could have an issue with the starter or alternator. You’ll have to get the car towed to a service shop for repairs.

How much is a tow? Check out to learn how towing costs get calculated.

The Best General Car Maintenance Tips

Don’t take your car for granted. Take good care of it with these general car maintenance tips. You’ll be able to know when it’s time to take your car in for service.

For more car care tips, check out the other articles on the blog.