10 Signs That You Need to Bring Your Car to a Professional

There is no way around it, at some point, your vehicle is going to need the help of an automotive repair professional.  Automotive Technology of West Islip Blog: 10 Signs That You Need to Bring Your Car to a Professional

For some, the signs are clear, and for others, not so much. To help clear any confusion, we have put together a list of 10 signs that you need to bring your car to a professional.


  1. You have reached mileage milestones
  • It is recommended that your car be serviced every 15,000 miles even if it appears to be running fine.
  • Major services done at 30,000, 60,000, and 90,000 miles will help keep your vehicle performing at its best.
  1. It has been between 3,000-5,000 miles since your last oil change.
  • To keep your vehicle running smoothly and prevent costly damage, you should change your oil every three to five thousand miles. Check your owner’s manual for your vehicles specific recommendations.
  • Changing your oil and filter regularly keeps your engine lubricated and running smoothly and can help increase your fuel economy.
  1. The check engine light is on.
  • Never ignore a check engine light. It could be warning you of a serious and potentially dangerous problem. If the light is on, bring your vehicle in as soon as possible.
  • When you bring your car in, a professional can hook your car up to their computer and quickly diagnose the problem.
  1. You’re hearing sounds that are strange for your vehicle.
  • Clunking: If you hear a clunking type noise, you could have a problem with your shock absorbers. This could affect your brakes, handling and steering.
  • Grinding: If you hear a grinding when you stop, your brake pads are probably extremely worn. Bring your car in right away.
  • Squeaking: Squeaking brakes could be something as simple as sand or water in your brakes. But, it could also be the beginning of something a little more serious. If it lasts longer than a day or two, you may want to have a professional look at your car to rule out any more serious problems.
  • Squealing: If your breaks squeal each time you press on them, it is probably time to have your brake pads replaced.
  • Ticking: A ticking noise coming from the engine could mean you are in need of an oil change. You should not hear this noise if you are performing regular oil changes. This sound could indicate a leak or that you have simply gone too long without an oil change. Putting off oil changes could result in expensive damage and even eventually make you have to replace your engine.
  • Whirring: A whir type noise coming from your engine could mean you are low on power steering fluid. Bring your car in to make sure that there isn’t a leak.
  1. You find fluid puddles under your parked vehicle.
  • Your vehicle uses several fluids to run smoothly. If these fluids leak, it could potentially lead to expensive repairs.
  • These are the six most common fluids you may find under your car: brake fluid, coolant, engine oil, power steering fluid, transmission fluid, and water.
  1. The car shakes.
  • Shaking, especially when switching gears, could be a sign of a transmission problem. Both manual and automatic transmissions may need the help of a professional.
  1. The car pulls to the left or right when driving.
  • When a vehicle pulls in either direction when you are driving, it usually means that your alignment is off.
  • Properly aligned tires keep strain off of your vehicle and prolongs the life of your tires. If you are pulling, bring your vehicle in for an alignment as soon as possible.
  1. The tire tread is low.
  • Your tires need a certain amount of tread in order to keep you driving safely on the road. Worn tires fail to “grip” the road properly and could cause a skid, especially in wet conditions.
  • If your tread is low, it is time for new tires. How will you know? Try the penny test.
  1. There are strange smells coming from your vehicle.
  • Burnt Carpet: This typically happens if you have been riding your brakes hard and indicates that your brake pads are overheating.
  • Burnt Toast: This indicates a problem with the electrical system. It usually means that there is an electrical short or burning insulation. The only time you should be driving this vehicle is if you are bringing it straight in to an auto repair shop.
  • Exhaust Fumes: Exhaust contains carbon monoxide and can be very dangerous. If you smell exhaust in the passenger compartment your vehicle needs serviced right away.
  • Gasoline: This can be as simple as the smell is on your clothes or as serious as a fuel leak. If you have ruled out the possibility that the smell is coming from your clothes, have your vehicle maintenance right away. Do NOT smoke near the vehicle.
  • Rotten Eggs: This smell indicates a problem with the catalytic converter.
  • Sweet/Syrup: This is a sign that you are leaking coolant. If your vehicle continues to leak coolant, it has a strong chance of overheating. Driving an overheating vehicle can cause costly engine damage. If you smell a sweet, syrup-like smell, have your vehicle inspected right away.
  1. You fail emissions.
  • If you fail emissions bring your car in to a professional and they can diagnose and solve the issue.

If you have experienced any of the above signs, head on in to us here at Automotive Technology of West Islip. We have been proudly servicing the West Islip area since 1996. All combined, our staff of ASE certified technicians has over 50 years of experience. Call us at (603) 321-5209 or schedule an appointment on line.

Written by Automotive Technology of West Islip