When Your Car May, or May Not, Need Immediate Servicing

Posted on: 4 February 2017

It's never good to overlook signs of needed servicing when it comes to your vehicle. Ignoring needed repairs can mean that your car suffers serious damage every mile or kilometre you drive it. In turn, your eventual repair bills may be much worse, or you may actually ruin the engine and other major parts. On the other hand, some signs of needed repair aren't always as urgent as you might think. While the car needs work, you may not necessarily need to pull over to the side of the road and have it towed. Note a few problems you might notice with your car and whether or not these are signs of an emergency or if the repair can wait.

Smoke from under the bonnet

If the smoke is coming from the front of the car, this often means your car has a hole in the radiator. This is very dangerous, as that smoke or steam has pressure behind it and this pressure could make that hole actually blow wide open. In turn, your engine's coolant would leak out and you wouldn't be able to drive your car even a short distance without it overheating. In that case, have the car towed to a repair shop.

If you note that the smoke is coming from on top of a part in the exhaust, this typically means that the engine has an oil leak and that oil is dripping onto the exhaust, where it starts to burn and smoke. You don't want to ignore an oil leak, but you can usually drive the car safely to a repair shop. However, if the smoke is coming right from the engine, it may not be getting coolant and the engine may easily seize up; have the car towed to a repair shop rather than trying to drive it.

Banging under a wheel well

If a tire on the car bangs when you hit a bump, this often means that a shock is broken and needs replacing. You don't want to put off this repair, as shocks protect the car's systems from stress and impact, but the car is probably safe to drive short distances. If the banging occurs even when you're driving on level roads, this can mean that there is a broken strut, the part that connects the tire to the body of the car, or that lug nuts have come off and the tire is banging against the rim. When this happens, your wheel could start to lean in or out, or actually com right off the vehicle! In either case, have the car towed to a car service shop.