Don’t Dismiss These Warning Signs Jan 25, 2016 Auto News SuperUser Account broke down carcar breakdowncar repaircar warning signscheck engine lightwhere to fix my car 10 Car Warning Signs Life is busy. We all know we need to bring our cars in for regular service, but sometimes we just forget. Before we know it there’s a strange knocking sound under the hood and one of our tires is wobbling on its axle. At Grosse Pointe Auto Repair, we want to help you realize there’s a problem before it gets out of hand. Watch out for these ten warning signs that you need to bring your vehicle in pronto. 1) Flashing “check engine” light A lot of drivers ignore their “check engine” light. The myth is that the light comes on every so often to scare people into pricey repair services. In reality, a “check engine” light can mean a loose gas cap, a broken oxygen sensor, or even a faulty mass airflow sensor. If tightening your gas cap doesn’t make the light turn off, you need to have a professional take a look. You can theoretically drive with some of these problems for a few months, but you’ll take a hit in fuel efficiency and reliability, and when the engine does break down it will be a more expensive repair. Never ignore a flashing light; it signals more serious and immediate problems. 2) Smoke from under the hood There should never be smoke coming from under the hood of your car. If your car is overheating, pull over immediately. Driving in this condition can seriously damage your engine. 3) Thick smoke from the exhaust pipe Unusually dense smoke might signal an oil leak. If you see a serious change in your car’s exhaust or if there is black carbon residue on the bumper near your pipe, take the car in for service. 4) Leaking fluids You can check for this by laying a wide sheet of cardboard under your car overnight. A fresh puddle in the morning is a good indicator that you have an active leak. It could be transmission fluid- usually pink or bright red- or oil- clear when fresh but brownish after use. Either way, leaks need to be fixed as soon as possible. 5) Trouble shifting You know how your car drives when it’s working well. If you notice a clunky or rough feeling when you shift or problems accelerating, there may be a problem with your transmission. 6) Dropping gears This happens when you’re driving in one gear and the car drops into a lower on without warning. You’ll probably hear the engine noise change or feel like the engine is suddenly working much harder. Slipping gears is a very worrying sign and could mean a failing clutch. 7) Change in engine performance Your engine might start racing for no reason, or make a chugging noise. There may also be shaking above a certain gear. Changes in engine performance are usually solved by a tune-up, but there can be more serious explanations. 8) Squealing or grinding noises when braking Brake pads are thin discs that apply pressure and friction to a vehicle’s brake rotors, making it stop. If you hear a high, insistent squealing noise when you press the brake pedal, you should come in for a certified GM replacement. 9) Reluctant starting Your car should start easily every time. If it protests or refuses to turn over, you may have a battery or starter issue. 10) Strange noises or smells If you don’t know what’s causing it, have a mechanic take a look. Our service department has an express service to diagnose your problem in a hurry. Come on in and let us get your car in tip-top shape!