Car owners rely on their vehicle for transportation to work, school, shopping, and more, which makes it essential to keep your car in good running order. Most people are aware of the general maintenance they need to perform for their vehicles, such as oil checks and tire rotation. However, whether it’s because they are afraid of what it will cost or they don’t want to part with their car (Burden Auto Care can keep costs low and perform most repairs in the same day), some car owners will ignore potential issues until it’s too late. Here are six serious car repair issues that drivers tend to ignore but shouldn’t.

Tire bulges

When you're driving, having a tire blow out is the last thing you want. Losing a tire while driving at high speeds makes the car hard to control and can lead to an accident. Tire blowouts do happen, but there can often be avoided by checking your tires before a trip. If you see a bulge in your tire, it's a sign that it's time to replace that tire. The bulge forms when you hit debris or overinflate the tire. The bulge shows that air bubbles have forced their way through the inner lining and that this is a weak spot in the casing. Tire bulges can burst unexpectedly, so it's not something you can ignore. If you see a tire bulge, get a replacement tire as soon as possible.

Squeaky Belts

If you're in the parking lot of a retail business location, you are bound to hear the sound of squeaky belts. When you hear a squeaking or chirping noise from under the hood of a car, it's a sign that one of the belts are loose or beginning to wear down. There are many potential causes for hearing that sound, but drivers should have their car checked rather than wait for the belt to fail. You may only need a small adjustment to remove the noise, but you could need a belt change. Either way, getting the belts checked and the problem resolved will save you time and money in the long run. Your drive, serpentine, or timing belts are essential for controlling the engine running in time and powering electrical systems. If the belt is allowed to break, your car won’t run until it’s replaced, and that’s the best case scenario. A broken or snapped belt can hit other parts of your engine, which could increase the costs of repairs or damage the engine beyond repair.

Screeching, Grinding, or Vibrating Brakes

Noisy breaks are another familiar sound on the roadway. If you hear screeching, grinding, or feel vibrations from your brakes, bring it to a trustworthy mechanic for an inspection. Drivers may want to put off brake repair, but it's not worth the risk. Allowing your brakes to fail could lead to costly damages. More importantly, it puts your life and the lives of other people at risk. Also, fixing noisy brakes when they're just loud is cheaper than waiting for problems to grow.

In many cases, squealing or squeaking brakes are caused by worn brake pads. If the brake pad is allowed to wear away completely, then your brakes contact the brake rotor, and it makes a high-pitched sound. The longer you wait, the worse the sound will become, and you risk severely damaging your car's ability to brake correctly.

Leaks, Smoke or Steam From Engine

Your car relies on a complex system that requires proper fluid movement through many different systems. Any small faults in that system can lead to significant issues down the road. That's why it's essential to handle any leaks coming from the car. Allowing your vehicle to run while low on motor oil, coolant or transmission fluid can lead to costly repairs to those systems. So if you notice oily residue under your car, have it checked for leaks.

Similarly, smoke or steam from the engine is a sign of faults in the engine that are allowing fluids or air to escape the system. There are a lot of potential causes for leaks, smoke, and steam issues, which is why drivers should have a car inspected. It could be worn gaskets, bad cylinders, damaged rings, poor crankcase, or even something as simple as using the wrong grade of fluid. If you smell smoke in your car, it could also be a sign of electrical issues. Investigating these sources of smoke is vital. Leaving the situation as it could lead to a fire in your car.

Check Engine Light Issues

The Check Engine light on the dashboard can be a helpful tool for preventing issues with a vehicle if the driver takes the car to a mechanic for service. However, most people ignore the Check Engine light, assuming it's something minor. The thing is, you don't know until you get the car inspected. The light could be warning you about engine issues that are better to fix at the early stage before they cause severe problems for the vehicle. For example, your check engine light will let you know when spark plugs are misfiring or when a sensor isn't operating correctly. Fixing these issues prevents your car from suddenly suffering a loss in engine performance or a total break down.

If you need service for Honda or Acura in the Houston area, Burden Auto Care is the place to go. We only work with Honda and Acura models, so we know all of the best solutions for any issue you're having. We also stand behind our work, offering a three year, 36,000-mile warranty. Visit our website to learn more and to schedule an appointment.