How To Tell That You Need Auto Repair

Posted on: 30 March 2022

When you deeply understand how your car operates, you will likely detect many problems in good time. Unfortunately, some car signs mean that your car already needs expert auto repair. This article explores ways to detect common auto problems by using your sight, smell, and hearing.

What You See

When the engine lights go on, you may see a steady glow or continuous blinks. Both mean your car needs service. When the light flashes or blinks, you may have misfired your engine. Please call an auto repair expert to check your car. On the flip side, a steady light doesn't necessarily require immediate attention, but you should have your car serviced soon.

Sometimes, you also see fluids under your car. Puddles deserve attention, whereas minor stains and occasional drops under your car don't necessarily call for auto repair. You can identify leaked fluids by their consistency and color:

  • Pastel blue, yellow-green, or orange fluid. This could indicate an antifreeze leak or overheated engine. The hidden problems could be a bad water pump, hose, or radiator leakage.

  • Clear water. It's not usually a problem. The color could be normal condensation from the air conditioning.

  • A black or dark brown oily fluid. This could mean a leakage from the engine, probably due to a bad seal or gasket.

What You Hear

Sounds provide hints about hitches and indicate that your car requires maintenance. Find the common noises below:

  • Clicks. These can indicate a stuck valve lifter, a loose wheel cover, low engine oil, or a bent fan blade.

  • High-pitched screeches when the car is in motion. This sound signifies worn-out brakes.

  • Rumbles. These can result from a worn driver line component or defective exhaust pipe.

  • Heavy knocks. These indicate a loose transmission torque converter or worn crankshaft.

What You Smell

You can detect some problems by the odor. Below are some smells and what they could indicate.

  • Rotten Eggs. A continuous smell of sulfur or rotten eggs usually indicates emissions issues or a problem with the catalytic converter.

  • Burned Toast. A light, strong odor signals burnt insulation or electric shock problems.

  • Sweet, steamy odor. Such a smell indicates a coolant leak. If the smell is accompanied by steam under the hood and a metallic scent, your engine has overheated. If you drive a car with an overheated engine, you can cause more severe engine damage. Please have your car towed for repair. 

  • Gasoline. When you smell gasoline vapor when you start your car, you may have flooded your engine. Wait for a few minutes before you start again. If the odor persists, your fuel system could have a leak—a dangerous problem that needs immediate attention.


When you notice any weird signs with your car, act promptly. Don't hesitate to contact your trusted auto repair company to inspect your car. The sooner you diagnose the problem, the faster you can get your car to fully function.

Contact an automotive repair company, such as Precision Towing & Recovery, for more information.