4 Signs It’s Time for a Trip to the Mechanic Norma Mitchell January 20, 2017 Classic Car Cars are incredible machines, but they are far from indestructible. Most drivers have been guilty of ignoring clear warning signs that something wasn’t working properly at least once in our lives. Taking your car into the shop can be a headache, you might have to take a day off to get it looked at and the repairs can end up being costly, especially if you don’t have the knowledge or confidence to repairing your car by yourself. Sometimes, it feels better to just pretend as if nothing is wrong. But there are some signs that you should definitely not ignore if you want to avoid having an even more serious problem on your hands. 4 warning signs you should never ignore in your car Your engine is misbehaving Whether you are idling or driving, your engine should be running smoothly and fairly quietly. If you can sense it bouncing or choking at any time, it’s time to take a peek under the bonnet if you know what you’re doing, or seek professional help if you don’t.A lot of engine problems can be prevented with regular maintenance, so if you are religious about your oil changes and you still feel the engine doing strange things, you could have a serious issue down there. There is an unusual smell When your car is sending strange smells into the cabin, something is definitely up – it’s just a matter of determining what exactly that something is. For a heater-like smell, take a look at the engine temperature gauge on your dash, and if the temp is higher than normal, pull over immediately. Other foul smells could hint at a problem with the oil tank or exhaust system. Finally, a burnt tire smell is an indication you should get the belts in your engine checked out. You hear strange noises Any new noise that your car starts to make is a sign that something isn’t working as well as it should. Pay special attention to clanging or rattling sounds, which can indicate a potentially dangerous problem with the engine cylinders. If you hear an unusual scraping noise when you try to start the car, you might have a problem with the car’s ignition system, which luckily is cheaper to replace than the engine itself. You see smoke This should be a no-brainer, but it bears repeating: cars aren’t supposed to smoke. Your mechanic or car-savvy friend might be able to identify the cause based on where the smoke is coming from and what colour it is. For example, blue smoke can indicate your engine is burning through all its oil and needs some more ASAP. Always remember that a small problem in a car can escalate very quickly, leading to serious damage that will be expensive or even impossible to repair. More importantly, these problems can be dangerous for you, your passengers, and other drivers on the road.