Signs You are Not Taking Care of Your Car

If you want to get the most from your car, then you need to ensure that you conduct routine car maintenance so that you don’t run into any problems down the road. Although some people think that they take good care of their car, they often overlook vital warning signs that could alert them to trouble. Inability to spot the signs that something might be wrong can result in more damage than you might suspect. Luckily, keeping your car running at its best is not difficult when you know what to expect. You are about to learn the most important signs for which to look when your goal is to protect your car.

You Can’t Remember When You Changed Your Oil

When it comes to proper car maintenance, getting oil changes on a regular basis is one of the most critical factors to consider. After buying a new vehicle, people often keep up with oil changes for a while. But after the thrill of having a new car starts to fade, they tend to procrastinate. Before long, they can’t even remember when they had the oil in their car changed, and you don’t want to repeat this mistake if you care about your vehicle. As the lifeblood of your car, oil is responsible for keeping your engine cool and lubricated.

Photo by Dvortygirl on Wikimedia Commons /  CC BY-SA 3.0 / CC BY-SA 2.5 / CC BY-SA 2.0 / CC BY-SA 1.0 / GNU FDL 1.2

Photo by Dvortygirl on Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0 / CC BY-SA 2.5 / CC BY-SA 2.0 / CC BY-SA 1.0 / GNU FDL 1.2

Without enough oil, your engine is likely to overheat, but the moving components would also be damaged. Although this problem will reduce the life span of your car, it will also decrease its value, which is harmful if you ever plan to sell your vehicle. The type of oil you buy and the frequency at which you change it will depend on your car and the number of miles it has. You might have heard that your car will need to get an oil change every three months or every 3,000 miles, depending on which comes first. The truth is somewhat different.

Newer cars do not need such frequent oil changes and can go well over the 3,000-mile mark.

The 3,000-mile mark was a good guideline earlier, but oil quality and technology changed quite a lot since that time. Today, most cars can go between 5,000 and 10,000 miles before they need an oil change. It’s best that you check your owner’s manual to see the proper interval for your vehicle.

If you have trouble remembering when to get your oil changed, you can mark it on your calendar or set a reminder on your phone.

An Unusual Squeaking Noise to Which You Have Become Accustomed

As far as warning signs of improper car maintenance are concerned, strange noises coming from your vehicle is a red flag that you should never overlook. The biggest problem is that sometimes people just ignore such noises for so long that the squeaking starts to seem normal. Like other danger signs, ignoring a squeaking noise can allow a small problem to become that much worse. Car owners often choose not to address these sounds because they are reluctant to spend their money on the needed repairs, as it may cost you significantly more down the road.

A damaged chassis, suspension or brake pads could be to blame for the extra noise emitting from your car, but squeaking can also result from worn accelerator bearings, a damaged water pump or a number of other issues. Address squeaking noises as quickly as you can if you would like to avoid additional damage. You might not know how to repair your vehicle, but you can schedule an appointment with the service center. When you do so, your car will run better than before, and you will be able to put your mind at ease.

Your Gauges are Misbehaving

When it comes to the operation of any motor vehicle, the gauges play an important role in your safety, but they are also designed to notify you of possible mechanical trouble. If your gauges are not working as they should, then your car is not safe to drive, presenting several hazards. Depending on the gauge that is broken, you won’t know the speed at which you are traveling, the temperature of your engine or how much gas is in the tank.

Blown fuses, loose connections and defective instrument regulators are just a few of the possible causes. When the oil pressure or temperature gauges stop working correctly, some car owners opt to do nothing about the situation. If you encounter this or a similar problem, getting your car to a qualified mechanic is mandatory when it comes to the well-being of your vehicle.

You Can’t See How Much Coolant Is in the Radiator

To keep your engine from experiencing problems, coolant regulates the temperature of your car to help prevent it from overheating. Using only water to keep your engine cool would create other issues before long. Because water can freeze, it’s not effective during the cold months. Also, those who use water as coolant will find that it evaporates and that they will need to replace it often.

Photo by United States Marine Corps. CC0 1.0 Public Domain.

Photo by United States Marine Corps. CC0 1.0 Public Domain.

For anyone who wants to avoid this situation, using a solution that is made from an equal amount of water and antifreeze will work wonders. When your car has an adequate supply of coolant, the liquid will absorb the heat from the engine and transfer it to the radiator. Once the liquid is cooled, it will cycle through the system to repeat the process. If you are unsure of the amount of it in your car, refill the coolant right away. The next step is to monitor the level of coolant to determine whether you have a leak.

Your Car Vibrates

When a car vibrates, some people refuse to take action because they don’t feel a vibrating car needs attention. A vibrating sensation could mean several things, and none of them are good for your vehicle. Engine, axle, brake and tire issues are the most common factors.

The way that your car vibrates can also provide you with some helpful clues that will enable you to diagnose the source of the problem. For example, sudden, jerking movements of your car during acceleration likely mean that you need to replace the spark plugs. If the vibrations intensify when you try to stop or slow down, take a look at your brake pads.


Most of the signs indicating that trouble is approaching are obvious and easy to spot, but it’s not uncommon for people to look the other way. No matter how small a problem might seem, always take action the moment you notice something is wrong. Your car is an investment, and getting the most from it requires you to take proper care of it at all times. Otherwise, you are putting yourself and your car in danger. Checking your fluid levels at regular intervals and performing routine maintenance is the best way to keep your vehicle running well for as long as possible.

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