It’s easy to take our vehicles for granted. After you’ve driven thousands of miles without even the slightest problem, what’s the worst that could happen after your vehicle indicates something might be off?

Make no mistake: you should never ignore your vehicle’s warning signs. Yet one survey conducted indicates that 23% of drivers will wait two weeks before acting on even a check engine light. As easy as it is to brush off all your vehicle’s signs that something might be wrong, you don’t want to get into a habit of it. To help inform you of what to look far, here are five telltale signs that your car is in need of maintenance as soon as possible.

1. The check engine light

On one hand, it’s easy to see why the check engine light often goes ignored. If your car is running fine, the problem could be as simple as a loose gas cap or faulty sensor. However, even the smallest issues can become major headaches if left unchecked. And even worse, the check engine light might indicate that there is, in fact, a significant issue you need to address.

Whether the problem is big or small, the check engine light is your car’s way of telling you it needs maintenance. Make sure to heed its call.

2. The gas light

You don’t need a mechanic to fix your gas light, but it’s a more serious issue than you might think. Running your vehicle on fumes can damage your fuel pump in the long term, which means more money spent on repairs. Save yourself the hassle and fill your gas tank regularly – ideally when it’s about a quarter full.

3. Leaks

If you notice any puddle of colored fluids forming underneath your vehicle, you should prioritize getting it repaired right away. Leaks can be banal in certain cases, but no fluid inside your vehicle should be leaking onto the ground for any reason. This can indicate anything from a faulty transmission to rusted out parts.

4. Strange noises

Our vehicles naturally make a lot of noises. But if your vehicle suddenly starts making new noises, something might be amiss. Whether it’s strange engine noises when you idle, or your vehicle squeals when you put your foot on the breaks, strange noises shouldn’t suddenly develop in a perfectly healthy vehicle. If you don’t know where a particular noise is coming from, then you should definitely schedule your vehicle for maintenance. And if you like to drive with the music all the way up, it makes sense to turn it down occasionally and listen to your vehicle.

5. Anything that “feels” off

Sometimes you can just tell when something is wrong with your vehicle. Maybe it’s the way your steering wheel turns, or maybe you just don’t feel in control when you’re on the road. No matter how indiscernible these symptoms may be, you should always listen to your gut in times of doubt. Even if you aren’t a seasoned driver, your instincts are sharper than you think!

Hopefully these tips will help you keep your vehicle safe and healthy for years to come. But if you’re finding these issues to be common place with your current vehicle, then you might want to invest in a new vehicle instead. If you’d like to look at a new vehicle – or you have questions about the vehicle you currently have – give me a call or send me a message. I’d love to answer any questions you have, and I promise to point you towards a vehicle that you don’t need to worry about on the road.