Your car's user manual probably gives you some guidelines for when you need to take the car into visit auto repair shops. But every car is different in reality. Some cars can last much longer than what the manual states, especially if you are a careful driver, who puts in quality oil and gas, and doesn't drive too far or in extreme conditions. On the other hand, sometimes you can get unlucky and buy a car that has some flaws and needs to be cared for often. Either way, it's a valuable skill to learn when your car needs auto maintenance. You can start by paying attention to these signs that a car is having trouble.
Your Gas Mileage Goes Down
One subtle sign of a performance issue is that you aren't getting quite the gas mileage you did before. Sometimes, that's a natural part of a car not being brand new anymore. It could also be weather-related; if you are only just noticing the problem and it's winter time, the drop may be related to temperature issues. But when you notice a steady decline in miles per gallon, that is a good sign that something's off. This is easier done in vehicles that show average MPG, but you could also track your odometer each time you fill up the tank to get a general sense of how far you can travel on a tank of gas.
The Car Stalls/ Is Sluggish
The car being slow to respond to you is another sign of trouble. There could be a simple spark plug issue; it happens to the best of us. There may be a low battery if you're noticing the sluggish behavior only on startup.
You Notice a Smell or Fumes
Finally, any ongoing smells or visible fumes are cause for an investigation by an auto repair shop like AutoMedics. Smells could be related to the burning rubber of old tires, a fluid leak, burning oil, or any number of problems; it's best left to a mechanic to decide.
Hopefully, once you start paying attention to the various vehicle signals your car offers, you will be able to spot an imminent breakdown. While it's a great idea to follow a semi-regular schedule for vehicle maintenance, you can also stretch your dollar further and prevent trouble by learning to time out your visits to auto repair shops with the signs of vehicle distress.