Use Your Senses To Determine What Is Going On With Your Car

There are some ways to narrow down what is going on with your car or truck simply by relying on your senses. While you likely won't taste a problem when it occurs, you may be able to diagnose engine issues by listening, smelling, looking, feeling, and paying attention to these sensory experiences when starting or driving your vehicle.

Some ways to identify engine issues using your senses are:

Listen. Sounds are critical when diagnosing an issue with your vehicle's engine. Some common noises to listen for include:

  • Banging indicates that there is an issue with your engine, and that it could be running hot. This may be a result of allowing the vehicle to run out or low on oil.
  • Ticking could be a bad battery, or the battery cells may need water added.
  • Pinging sounds are often associated with a faulty hydraulic lifter.
  • High-pitched squeals when you turn your steering wheel could be a result of low power-steering fluid. If it seems to come from under your vehicle, it could be a problem with your brakes.
  • A revving sound could be an indication that your transmission is slipping. Talk to your mechanic.
  • Grinding noises could be a sign of brake issues, such as worn brake-shoes or pads.

Smell. A smell may also be a symptom of an underlying engine issue. For instance, a hot smell like something is burning may indicate that your engine is running hot and is low on oil. A foul odor that resembles the smell of hard-boiled eggs means that your catalytic converter is acting up.

Look. Make it a habit to always look under your vehicle before you get in and drive away. Is there a puddle under your car? If you find puddles of green antifreeze, iridescent gas spatters, or other fluids, you could have a problem. Make sure to mention this to your engine repair mechanic.

Feel. Does it feel like your car or truck is vibrating and shaking when you drive? If the vibrations seem to be coming from your brake pedal and if you can feel them when you hold the steering wheel, you could have a problem with your brake rotors. Another common culprit is a sticking brake caliper.

Car issues can put a cramp in your daily life, so pay attention when you hear, smell, see, or feel something awry with your vehicle. Talk to your mechanic about your experiences to prevent delayed reaction, which can result in increased damage and repair costs.

For engine repair, contact a company such as Joe Troegner Auto Service.