You’re driving along, and suddenly your car warning lights start flashing. But nothing seems to have changed with the way your car is running. It’s okay to let it go for a bit, right? Bad idea!
Your vehicle’s warning lights are an indicator that there’s something wrong with your car. And if you keep ignoring it, you’re going to end up in the mechanic’s shop, and you’re going to have to pay big bucks for it to go away.
Here are a few tips on car warning lights you shouldn’t ignore to help you avoid any such scenario.
1. Low tire pressure
By the time most tire pressure monitoring systems send out the alert, your tires likely have been running low for a while. In fact, that warning ping typically happens once your tire pressure dips at least 25% below the manufacturer’s recommendation – and well below the force required for safe driving. A lot of tire pressure boosts the risk of a tire blowout, which can easily cause an accident. It also makes it tougher to steer your car and brake quickly, as well as reduce its fuel efficiency.
2. Low battery
Batteries typically last four to five years, depending upon your driving and the climate you live in. Your battery switch may happen in closer to three years if you have a long daily commute to and from work or if you live in a coastal area. If your low battery light illuminates, it’s recommended that you get a new battery within the next few days, or you may find yourself paying a towing fee.
3. Oil pressure
Your car’s engine is its heart – literally. So all of its internal components must be adequately cooled, lubricated, and working smoothly. And that only happens when your engine’s oil pressure is adequate. If you’re due on oil change, get one-pronto. If you can’t get to it right away, use the dipstick to top off your oil. While too little oil can fry your engine, using too much oil can cause damage as well.
A temperature warning light typically means that your car has a coolant leak, a bad water pump, or a faulty thermostat. Any of those can lead to your engine overheating, and that can wreak all sorts of havoc, including warped metal components and blown gaskets. You’re looking at thousands of dollars in engine repair or replacement costs. So the next time your dashboard car warning lights come on, pull over immediately and arrange for a tow to the nearest mechanic.
5. Brake fluid
This one perhaps trumps all other vehicle car warning lights when it comes to safety. Your brake fluid warning light can be an indication that you’ve got a leak or some other problem that will keep you from being able to stop your vehicle quickly – or at all. Clearly, this could have serious implications. When this light turns on, head to your mechanic’s shop immediately.
How to figure out what’s going on yourself?
We recommend you buy a pocket scan tool, which works in cars made in 1996 and later. Better known as OBD-II or ‘on-board diagnostics second generation,” the tool will automatically read diagnostic trouble codes. You can get them for about $50 online or in auto parts stores.
If you’re still not sure what these car warning lights look like? No shame. A recent survey shows that some 43% of vehicle owners nationwide don’t know what the low tire pressure warning light is.
Head on over to Car Factory, where all our certified mechanics will ensure that everything in your car is in perfect working condition! Book an appointment today by calling us at 786-406-6234 or visit our outlets in Miami and Florida.
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