Preventative maintenance is one of the key ways that drivers can save money on their investment—especially when it deals with the engine. If you’ve been dealing with any of these issues, then it’s time to schedule that tune-up.

Difficulty starting your car.

This can occur for a couple different reasons—especially in the winter. Car batteries need a chemical reaction to start, and the cold temperatures slow it down. However, it could also be happening due to the spark plugs misfiring or a weak fuel pump. A mechanic will be able to diagnose the true cause when you bring it in for inspection.

Frequent stalling.

Just like the issue above, there are a couple different reasons this could be happening to your vehicle: a dying battery, ignition issues, a bad fuel pump, or improper use of the clutch for manual vehicles. If you’re having issues with starting your car and consistent stalling, then you should definitely bring it in to a mechanic.

Unusual or new noises.

Cars can make a lot of noise in general, so it’s important to take stock when you hear something you haven’t before. A clunking, for example, could be a loose part in an important place like the engine or undercarriage. A high-pitched squealing noise could be a sign that a part is low on fluid. While not all noises require an immediate solution, it’s still a good idea to get it fixed as soon as possible to avoid long-term damage.

Unusual vibrations.

For this one, make sure you’re truly feeling vibrations and not just the road under your car. The sensations can feel very similar, so test it out by driving on a smooth road to see if you still feel it typically around the steering wheel and under you. Take note if the vibration changes depending on the speed you’re going, where it focuses in, and how often it happens. This all helps during the inspection.

Slowed down acceleration.

When you start going after a red light or speed up to get onto the highway, have you noticed your vehicle acceleration has been slower over time? This is a common problem as vehicles take on natural wear and tear, and it could be caused by many issues like low compression, clogged fuel filter, dirty air filter, clogged exhaust, etc. Many of these are repairs that can be delayed if needed, but it would still benefit your driving to have a tune-up.

Lights on the dashboard.

If you see a light come on that’s orange or red, then you should head to an auto service center as soon as possible. Check your manual’s guide if you’re not sure what the light means, and that will also help you decide if you’re safe to drive or might need the help of a tow truck.

As always, be cautious when you’re driving on the road and you’ve discovered an issue with your car. If you see smoke coming out of the hood, pull over immediately and call a tow truck. Superior Service Center is located in Eagan and Apple Valley, MN, and we’re equipped to handle your mechanical needs.