More information about common faults on cars, early warning signs and what to look out for, also the most common dashboard warning lights, what they mean and when you should visit a garage to get your vehicle repaired.
warning lights and signs
Signs You Need an Alternator Repair:
- Unusual Noises, Smells (particularly a burning rubber smell) or Smoke.
- Dashboard Warning Light (this can be a battery shaped symbol, the word “Alt”, or “Gen”).
- Dim Headlights both headlights will be dim or faint.
Signs You Need a Starter Motor Repair:
- A clanking or grinding noise this is also called “freewheeling”.
- Smoke and burning smells. This is a major warning sign for any vehicle problem.
- A clicking sound when you try to start the vehicle.
- Your vehicle is slow to start when you turn the ignition.
How do I know if my exhaust needs repair or replacement?
Here are some warning signs to look for:
Increased volume: Does your car sound more like a lawn mower than a car? this is a very clear sign you need your exhaust repaired.
Vibration/Rattling: When stopped or in slow moving traffic you can hear or feel a rattle from under your car, its is a good indication that your exhaust needs repair.
If you think your exhaust is not quite right, please do not ignore it, what starts out as a small problem could turn into a bigger issue if not repaired.
Here are some of the top signs that you may need to get your brakes repaired or replaced:
- The ABS or brake light signal appearing on your dashboard
- A squealing or grinding sound when you brake
- Vehicle pulling to the left or right while driving or braking
- A delayed response from your brakes
- A longer stopping time than usual or a different feel from your pedal (i.e. stiffer or sticking; softer or pushing practically to the floor before stopping)
- A shaking or vibrating steering wheel or vehicle when you brake If you notice any of the above or anything unusual about your brakes, don’t panic just call us to schedule a service
Car Servicing and Maintaining your vehicle
Regular car servicing ensures optimum vehicle performance.
Regular car servicing ensures optimum vehicle economy.
Covering key safety areas such as brakes, steering, suspension and tyres.
Preventing the failure or breakdown of expensive components.
Servicing ensures that your vehicle is in its best condition, optimising performance and economy, and making sure it is safe to drive, protecting you, your passengers and other road users.
What is the difference between an interim and full car service?
A full car service is ideal for an annual maintenance programme for your car and recommended every 12,000 miles or 12 months – Whichever is sooner.
Some manufacturers may recommend more frequent checks. Interim Servicing is ideal for vehicles used for short, mainly urban journeys or for those who wish to service vehicles doing very high mileage more regularly. An interim service every 6,000 miles or 6 months helps keep your car safe and road worthy between full
There are financial benefits to regularly servicing your car, like improving your fuel economy and checking the roadworthiness of your cars key components , but also keeping on top of minor issues will also prevent you from having to pay a huge bill if the issues escalate.
Quality car servicing AT Pro-Tech GARAGE
We offer servicing which is tailored to your car's age, make, model and mileage.
We offer Car Servicing for BMW, Mercedes, Mini, Porsche,Hyundai, Volkswagen (VW) , Audi, Seat, Skoda, Ford, Nissan, Toyota, Kia, Renault, Opel plus many more manufacturers. Our Car Servicing can be tailored in order to suit most cars whatever their age or annual mileage.
Regular car servicing is important in order to get the most out of your vehicle and to keep it running efficiently. Getting your car serviced regularly will also ensure that your vehicle's running costs are kept to a minimum - saving you money. Our car services cover all important safety areas. We will service brakes, steering, suspension and tyres in order to assist in preventing component failure and repairs. The cost of repairs could prove expensive if not serviced on a regular basis.
Most modern diesels are fitted with a diesel particulate filter. DPFs trap tiny soot particles which are harmful to health, and convert them to harmless ash when the exhaust system gets hot – but this doesn't happen on short journeys. If the DPF is full, it'll need replacing which can be very expensive.
Stop-start driving can cause the DPF to get blocked so you may be able to clear it by driving for 15 minutes at over 40mph – check your owner's manual for more specific advice.
If your engine warning light is illuminated, often it’ll be accompanied by some unusual symptoms – possibly a lack of power, as the car has gone into ‘safe’ mode; an intermittent stuttering as you press the accelerator, caused by a misfire; or another fault which could alter the normal response from the engine. Sometimes this can be down to something as small as a faulty electrical sensor, although sometimes it can be a larger mechanical issue. If your car’s engine warning light is showing, get a professional mechanic to look over it straight away, as driving around any longer could cause further, and potentially irreparable damage.
We will be able to diagnose the problem by plugging in a diagnostic computer that interprets the error code from your car’s computer. This doesn’t give us a complete picture of what’s wrong with the engine, but it will tell us the location of the sensor that registered the error, which in turn tells us where to look for the cause.
This light means there’s no oil pressure in the engine. You should stop immediately and check your oil level. If the warning light is on and there is plenty of oil, there is a possible problem which could be caused by the oil pump or a blocked filter.
Oil is essential to lubricate your engine, with the oil pump used to spray the fluid to all corners of your engine. If temperatures get too high, or even worse, level is low or oil pressure drops, the effectiveness of the lubrication can be reduced or lost all together.
The result is serious engine damage, so if you see this warning sign, stop and phone a professional right away.
Without any coolant, your car’s engine would get so hot it would effectively ‘weld’ itself together. This light could mean coolant levels are running low, so check the gauge on the side of the coolant tank under the bonnet and top up if necessary.
In conjunction with a temperature gauge reading well into the red, it could mean your engine is overheating. This is either the sign of a larger problem – like a head gasket failure – or symptomatic of something less major, like a leak in the system somewhere, meaning you’re engine has run low on coolant and got too hot. Get it seen to as soon as possible to avoid a potentially expensive repair bill.
You should see your battery charge warning light when you first turn your car on, but it should go out after a couple of seconds. If it doesn’t, there could be a problem with your car’s electrical system.
This could be to do with a faulty alternator, faulty battery, a bad connection or damaged cabling somewhere in the engine. If your car isn’t charging its battery when moving (the job of the alternator), then you could eventually run out of electrical power and grind to a halt. If you carry on driving without knowing the cause, it could result in serious engine damage.
Air Bag Warning Light
If this is illuminated it indicates a fault with the air bag system and should be checked as soon as possible. It can be simple to resolve, often caused by a faulty sensor.
Your vehicle’s brakes are critical, therefore if this light comes on, it should be checked straight away. If you need to press your brake further than usual, it is possible your hydraulic brake circuits may have failed. If you are comfortable that you have sufficient brake fluid, it may just be a sensor fault, but you should get it checked out straight away. Cars have lots of sensors to check if everything's running smoothly. If there's a problem, the sensor will tell the engine control unit (ECU) which will turn on the engine management light.
If your brake and ABS warning lights come on at the same time, there could be a major fault with the brakes. This is unsafe for you and other road users, so don’t drive the car until the problem has been looked at and fixed.
Anti-lock braking system (ABS) Warning Light
Your car should still be safe to drive, but get your ABS checked as soon as possible if the light comes on while you're driving.
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