Having unfamiliar car problems is a dreadful and all too common experience. Although vehicles didn’t historically come with warnings, vehicles now have a variety of signals and lights to tell us when something is wrong. This way, we can fix a problem with our car before it spirals. It’s especially important to know what these signals mean in case you ever need to pullover, stop your car, and call a towing company for roadside assistance.
We’ve curated a list of the top 4 vehicle warning signs to be aware of before something goes wrong:
1. Check Engine Light
A car’s engine is the heart of the car and needs to be kept in top working condition! The engine is a very complex part. So, whether the light is on or flashing, it’s best to get it checked immediately before a problem gets bigger. The check engine light will only go on if there is a significant enough problem. Therefore, if it’s on, it’s definitely a safe call to get it checked. If the check engine starts to blink, it might mean that there’s a problem with the oxygen sensor or the fuel cap. Either way, getting checked is a safe move if you want to keep your car working in good condition.
2. Oil Pressure Light
If your oil pressure light is blinking, then your car is in immediate danger and needs maintenance as soon as possible. The oil pressure light is the most important warning sign. If your oil pipe is not working, your oil cannot be properly distributed. The oil pump needs to be working well in order to keep all of the oil moving properly. It also helps maintain the correct oil levels in your vehicle. If there is a problem, oil leaks, low oil pressure, and damage to your engine can occur.
3. Battery Light
Your battery light will turn on if there is something wrong with your car’s charging system. Not necessarily as dangerous as the previous two, but still something that can cause a major inconvenience if not attended to. It’s normal for this light to start blinking when you start your car. However, if it continues to blink or your car won’t start, then there may be a problem with your car’s battery. Although it’s usually the battery, it can also sometimes be caused by the wiring, voltage, regulator, or alternator for your vehicle. Other common problems include a broken alternator belt, damaged battery cells, or a failed alternator. If your car has electrical problems, it’s probably best to get it checked before going for a drive-in order to not be left stranded. In a worst-case scenario, a tow truck company like Mundie’s can come scoop you and your car.
4. Smoke From the Exhaust Pipe
If you notice black smoke billowing from your exhaust pipe, obviously something is very wrong. Black smoke is usually a problem with the engine, air filter, fuel injection system, or is a blocked manifold. In any scenario, it needs immediate attention.
However, if you notice blue smoke coming out of your exhaust pipe, this is most likely an indication that your car has an oil leak, which also needs immediate attention. If you notice blue smoke when you are accelerating, it might mean that the piston rings are damaged. If you notice blue smoke billowing out while you’re decelerating, it means your car’s cylinder heads’ valve guides are damaged.
Persistent milky white or grey smoke can also indicate a problem with a leaky head gasket. Meaning the coolant is most likely being heated in the combustion chambers and being blown out of the exhaust as the engine starts. If you ever notice your car has blue, white, grey, or black smoke coming from the exhaust pipe, it’s best to get it checked.
Need a Towing Company in Vancouver?
It’s always best to get your car checked in any situation where it stops working the way it normally does. A car should behave consistently. If anything changes, it’s usually best to pull over and have your car looked over by a professional. Whether you’re in Vancouver, New West, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Surrey, or Delta, if anything happens and you’re in a pinch, Mundie’s Towing is always there to give you and your car a lift to the nearest automotive service centre.