Figuring out when a vehicle needs to go to an auto service shop is important. It can be challenging, though, to determine whether something is a minor issue you might be able to address on your own or something bigger that calls for professional attention. Let's take a look at the ways you can get ahead of potential problems.
Unexplained Drops in Fuel Economy
Most modern cars have features that allow drivers to monitor their fuel economy. If you're not sure how to check this, the manual that came with your ride should include a section on pulling up vital information.
The first thing is to rule out potential sources of fuel economy drops. The easiest issue to check for is underinflated tires. It's also a good idea to try fuel treatment in order to rule out the possibility that the last gas fill-up you had was a bit watery. Finally, verify that the oil levels are still high and that viscosity hasn't broken down by checking the dipstick in the engine.
If a vehicle appears to struggle to stay working, especially when you bring it to a stop at an intersection, there's a good chance it needs to be looked at by an auto repair technician. Many cars now have a number of sensors on them, and a failure of any one of these can cause an engine to misinterpret its state. This can lead to the motor operating in what's called "limp mode," a reduced operational condition that's intended to allow you to get the car to a garage without the engine blowing up. Not surprisingly, the "service engine" light typically comes on once a vehicle is in this condition.
Loss of Power
When going up a hill or passing other cars, you expect your car to have a little extra power to get the job done. Over the life of a vehicle, though, components will wear out. One of the first that needs to be dealt with in most cars is the spark plugs, generally an easy fix.
Firing up a car can become challenging as it ages. Two components, the battery and the starter, are frequent sources of trouble. If a car is hard to start on cold mornings, it's likely the battery. If it struggles to fire up but then does after you stay on the ignition, the issue is probably the starter.
For more information, contact a company like Rolfs Import Auto for an appointment.