Responsible car ownership involves knowing the importance of car maintenance and auto repairs. Car maintenance may mean regular cleaning and inspection of the vehicle. If you pay enough attention to your car and use your senses as you check your car, you will most likely be able to detect any problems in your vehicle.
Use your eyes to perceive any small signs of problems. Look for any stain or even an occasional fluid drop on the floor beneath the vehicle. If you notice any wet spot or puddles, it will be better to attend to them as soon as possible. The color as well as the consistency of the fluids will help you determine the problem. Like if you see a pastel blue, yellow green or orange, it may mean an engine that has overheated or a radiator that leaks. An oily red spot is an indication of power steering or transmission fluid drip. Clear watery fluids are usually just a sign of AC condensation.
You may also use your sense of smell in detecting any vehicle problem. A sharp and light odor like that of a burnt toast is a sign of smoldering insulation or electrical short. If you can smell a foul scent of sulfuric rotten eggs, this is usually an indication of problems with the emission control or converter problems. If you can smell gasoline after an unsuccessful start, it is probably caused by a flooded engine. If you can smell a sweet and steamy scent, it may have been caused by leak of the coolant. Be smart to bring your car to the mechanic or auto repair shop and do not risk your safety in driving a car that smells great trouble.
You can also use your ears to listen for any signs of car problems. If you can hear some sharp and shrill squealing sounds, they may be an indication of a worn or loose AC or fan belt or power steering system. Clicking sounds might mean engine speed related problems like loose fan blade or wheel cover, low level of engine oil or jammed valve lifter. A high-pitched and piercing screech as the vehicle operates could have been caused by a worn brake system. A low rumbling sound is a sign of defective parts like muffler, converter or exhaust pipe; or worn out drive-line components. A ping or tapping sound may also be a sign of engine speed problems such as an octane level that is lower than recommended. A heavy knocking may mean a tattered crankshaft or loose transmission converter. A clunking sound could indicate a slack suspension component.
Then there’s also the sense of feel that you can use to detect any automobile problems. If you can sense that your car suddenly becomes difficult to steer, it may indicate misaligned wheels or worn steering parts. If the car tends to pull towards the right or left, it could mean that the tires are under inflated. You will know that your brakes are in need of repair when you notice a number of signs like when your vehicle tends to pull at one side once the brakes are applied or when you feel or hear some grinding or scraping sounds when you apply the brake.