There’s no doubt that when cars were first invented, finding out something was wrong with them was pretty simple. They’d either start spluttering at you, or they’d stop working all together. Thanks to the advances in technology, cars have more features than ever before. This also means they have more problems than ever before.
Today, car designs have progressed to keep you insulated, providing a quieter and more comfortable driving experience. But this does slightly remove you from the car, making it harder to realize when something is going wrong. As a result, we often drive for months not realizing that a problem exists, only to be told about something at your next service, or finding out when it’s too late.
Here are 5 dangerous car problems you might not know you have.
Timing belts are hidden away in your car. They’re part of your engine and keep the inlet and outlet valves of your cylinders opening and closing at the right time in relation to the piston’s stroke. The problem is they’re not something you can see easily, often having several covers. So it’s hard to know how they’re doing. In addition to this they’re a hassle to replace.
As such they’re generally specified to be replaced every 75,000 miles or so, and replacement on time ensures no problem. But how can you be sure your timing belt has been replaced? If a timing belt snaps, beyond leaving you stranded on the side of the road, it can cause engine damage. This damage can extend to requiring an entire engine block replacement.
Brake systems are fairly simple in operation, push on the pedal and a force is exerted on your wheels slowing you down. Even today with fancy ABS systems and other controls, that basic premise still holds. What people don’t often realize is the condition of their brakes.
It’s unlikely to happen that your brakes suddenly fail, what is just as dangerous though is a gradual reduction in a brake system’s effectiveness to stop you. Brake’s work by pushing an abrasive surface against a piece of steel, whether in the form of disc or drum brakes. Those abrasives wear with time and need to be replaced. If they’re not replaced the mechanisms that control them start wearing against each other. This is dangerous, but also costly to repair.
Brake systems should also regularly have their brake fluid replaced, and discs should be checked for warping.
Oil leaks can spring up in a number of places, and are often diagnosed by large patches of oil sitting under your car when you drive away. But sometimes oil can leak within the engine as well. One situation involves a failed gasket or seal which allows oil into your water system. This can have serious ramifications and is also indicative of a greater engine problem. It can often be diagnosed by checking your coolant system to ensure there is no oil in it.
As safe as we feel in cars, they have the potential to cause serious damage. The best way to ensure your car keeps running and is as safe as possible is to get it regularly serviced by an approved service company. They have the knowledge and skills to perform routine maintenance and identify potential risk areas. Never skip a service, and make sure to take heed of whatever your service agent tells you.