Ignoring these car warning signs could cause you a lot of money and your peace of mind.
We’ve all been there — one day you’re driving along worry-free when suddenly you notice a small problem with your car. Everything else seems to be fine though and you don’t really have the time or money to have the issue addressed, so ignore it, hoping that the problem isn’t big enough to warrant immediate attention.
However, what may seem like a small problem could actually be a large one. If you notice any of the signs mentioned in this article, it’s better to get your car checked out sooner rather than later. Doing so can help prevent further problems and even save you money in the long run.
1. The Check Engine Light is On
One of the most commonly ignored problems is the check engine light. This little light seems to turn on in the instrument cluster even though everything with the car seems to be fine, so we leave it alone and hope that it turns itself back off, which usually doesn’t happen.
If your check engine light is on, it’s imperative that you figure out the cause as soon as possible. You can do it yourself by buying an engine code scanner and then looking up the retrieved code online, or you can take your car to the shop. Many places will read engine codes for free or allow you to borrow a tool to .
Once you figure out why the light is on, you can decide on an appropriate course of action to take to repair the issue and get that light off.
The check engine light could be on for something minor or the first warning sign of a major issue, but you wouldn’t know without looking into it. Don’t put this off once the light turns on.
2. There’s An Odd Smell
Next, if your nose picks up any odd smells from the car, this is typically a sign that something is wrong. The type of odor you detect will help you to pinpoint what exactly is wrong with the car.
For instance, if you smell something sweet, this could mean that you’re leaking antifreeze. If the smell is more like burning rubber, there might be an oil leak.
All leaks are bad, so , have a professional figure out the issue to have it addressed pronto.
3. You Hear A Loud Squeaking
Besides using your nose to detect problems, you can also use your ears. If, while driving along, you hear a loud squeaking sound, this is often an indicator that you have a problem with your brakes.
According to this “Your vehicle’s brake pads may be equipped with a small, thin piece of metal to act as a warning indicator when the pad material is getting low and the brake pads should be replaced. This device makes a high-pitched sound on brake application, letting you know it’s time for brake service.”
The sound may be audible while you’re driving and disappear when you apply the brakes, or vice versa. Either way, you don’t want to drive along past the point where your brakes are no longer working, so get yourself some new brake pads as soon as you can.
4. Black Smoke Coming From The Car
A major sign that there’s an issue with your car is when you see and/or smell smoke. The smoke could come from the exhaust, from under the car, or from inside the hood, but no matter the source, it’s an indication of a major problem.
The best course of action when you smell smoke i.s to stop driving and get the problem taken care of. Not doing so could result in your car catching fire, posing a risk to everyone inside the vehicle and even in close proximity to it.
While the appearance of smoke could result from simply needing an oil change, the problem is usually more severe. The only way to know is to have a mechanic check it out.
5. Difficulty Starting The Car
Finally, if you’re having trouble starting your car, this is often a warning sign that one or more of its components are failing. If it takes your car a few tries to start up, but it eventually does, you may be tempted to ignore the problem and assume it’s just a one time thing. However, there’s a good chance that the next time you turn on the ignition, it won’t turn over.
A car may have difficulty starting for a number of reasons. Maybe the battery is dying or there isn’t enough gas. May a major component like the distributor or starter is failing. Regardless of the cause, trouble starting up is a symptom that should never be ignored. It’s better to get it taken care of right away before your trusted car dies for good.
Don’t Wait for Problems To Get Worse
While it may be an inconvenience now, driving around a car with problems will only make your life more difficult in the long run. Putting aside time for proper car maintenance could save you some money, keep safer on the road, and provide you with peace of mind.
The next time you detect one of the warning signs above, don’t wait — get it taken care of right away. You’ll be happy that you did.
Follow These 5 Tips Before Heading Out With Your Car In Winter
Severe weather conditions can be really dreadful for travelers of all walks.
Driving should never be taken lightly. Winter storms and other bad weather conditions in particular can prove difficult for any driver or vehicle, so if you are planning a trip during the winter months, it’s crucial that you check the condition of your car beforehand.
In this article, we look at five important car checks you must make to ensure a safe drive during winter.
1. Get Your Car Serviced
One of the most important things is to have your car serviced before you heading out with it. Regular servicing and maintenance checks can be very helpful in detecting any sort of issues, and if you’re in the United Kingdom or any other country with a similar requirement, the annual MOT test to assess vehicle safety, exhaust emissions levels and other aspects of roadworthiness will bolster your peace of mind.
Needless to say, from a reliable car service centre should be a mandatory part of your check list.
2. Top Up Engine Coolant With Antifreeze
The engine coolant should be a mix of 50/50 water and antifreeze. Antifreeze becomes diluted over time, so you need to top it up every now and then.
People often make the mistake of topping the antifreeze with water, which makes it over diluted and causes it to freeze during very cold weather. This could potentially lead to you engine overheating and, consequently, a huge repair bill. Don’t be that guy or gal!
3. Install Floor Mats Correctly
Driver-side floor mats that are installed improperly could interfere with the operation of a vehicle. The can jam the brake pedal, accelerator or the clutch, possibly leading to an accident.
To minimize or even eliminate this risk, use properly-sized floor mats that fit your vehicle, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation, and make sure they are secured with any applicable retention clips.
4. Check Condition Of The Tyres
Like the steering wheel and brakes, car tyres play a critical role in operating your car safely, so it’s important to ensure that they are in good condition.
Check tyre condition for the right air pressure and tread depth. Compared to the minimum of 1.6mm for any other season, a minimum depth of 3mm is required for sufficient grip during winter. Ideally, you should replace your summer and even all-season tires with winter tyres for superior grip in slushy or icy roads.
5. Keep A Safe Distance
One of the most important driving tips to follow regardless of season but especially during winter is to leave plenty of stopping distances (#StoppingDistance ) between you and the car in front to ensure that there is enough room to stop when the road is slippery and / or the snow and slush start flying onto your windshield.
You must also accelerate and decelerate slowly to avoid spinning your wheels, which requires that you understand your car’s driving characteristics (e.g. is it front wheel drive, rear wheel or a all-wheel drive?). And don’t forget to clean your lights, wash the windscreen and wipers, and check the condition of the battery before beginning your journey.
How Can I Take A Registration Off A Vehicle And Retain It?
The process is a lot more straightforward than you probably thought.
You are now able to transfer a registration number from one vehicle to another or apply to retain it directly through the DVLA website. Once the application is completed, the number plate will be removed instantly and your vehicle will receive its old number plate back or a new one in fitting with its age.
It is also possible to apply via post using a V317 form, which can be sent to the DVLA, Personalised Registration, Swansea SA99 1DS.
How Much Does It Cost?
If you want to apply to retain your number plate it costs £80, and this amount is stated on the V778 Retention Document. This is the only charge that will be taken from you for the process.
However, if you do decide to retain your plate, this certificate lasts for 10 years and can be renewed for another 10 years free of charge.
What Are The Regulations?
- You have to be the registered keeper of the vehicle that the plate is assigned to
- The vehicle must be registered with the DVLA
- The vehicle must be taxed or declared SORN for the last 5 years without gaps
- The vehicle must have an MOT and be able to move in-case of inspection
- It cannot be transferred if the plate begins with a Q or QNI
- You will also need the V5C (log book) for the vehicle with the number plate
Passing the number plate to someone else
If you decide to pass the number plate onto someone else, this can be done by selling your private plate to them or, if you’re feeling generous, simply giving it to them. If you want to sell the plate, it is possible to do so through private companies online, who will advertise for you to their large customer base.
Having looked online ourselves, a company like such as appears to be a great place to start. They will help find a buyer for the plate and have you follow the same process with the DVLA for passing it onto the buyer.
Passing the number plate onto someone else (the grantee) can be done if:
- You want to sell the number plate
- You want to retain the number plate until you put it on a vehicle registered in someone else’s name (i.e. the nominee).
In order to do so, you must fill out a V317 form and have it sent to the DVLA to BB be processed and approved. When filling out the form, the registered keeper must fill out sections 2,3 and 9.1. If you want to put a grantee’s details on the document then complete 9.1; if you want to add a nominee, complete 9.2.
If you want to apply through the DVLA website then you simply follow the instructions on screen, this service is available from 7am and 7pm and unlike via postal service, your registration will be removed instantly.
Even though the number plate that has been retained can be assigned to a vehicle registered in the name of the grantee or the nominee, it is only the grantee that has rights to the registration.
During the application process, the DVLA might ask to inspect your car, and you must oblige. It might take four weeks for the inspection to complete, but if and when your application is approved, you will be sent a new registration certificate for your vehicle and either the old plate or a new one to coincide with the year it was originally registered.
If you requested to retain the number plate in another person’s name (the grantee), the V778 will be sent marked to them at their address.
Car Accident? Here’s How Fault Is Determined, And The Types Of Claims
The last thing you want after sustaining damage is to have your insurance company refuse your claim…
Getting into a car accident is certainly not fun, especially if it results in serious injury and/or damage, but it is definitely important to know what to do after you’re involved in one. And what you may have been told by your insurance company may not be the best course of action when trying to get the compensation you deserve from an insurance claim.
After a car accident, the normal course of action would be to first and foremost call the police. You follow this up by getting in touch with your insurance company, filing a police report, ing your insurance adjuster, and having your insurance claim evaluated. Once all of that is done, you get your claim paid.
Unfortunately, things don’t always work out like that. More often than not, car accident insurance claims take forever, and your insurance company may not want to pay out as much as you had hoped, or pay at all!
According to the , “Many car accident victims rely on their insurance agency to honor the agreed-upon terms of their policy. However, in some cases when the insurance company fails to take action quickly or refuses to pay, car accident victims may be left to face serious financial consequences alone.”
It’s important to know the facts about car accident insurance claims, and it very well could be in your best interest to call a lawyer before ing your insurance company to ensure all your legal bases are covered. Let’s take a deeper look.
Who’s Really at Fault After a Car Accident?
Determining fault in a car accident is critical to your insurance claim. This is due to the responsibility your insurance company will have in the matter. There are a few .
Insurance adjusters are usually able to determine fault in a car accident. He or she will examine the police report, written statements made by both accident parties, witnesses, etc. to get a clear picture.
While your adjuster and the other driver’s adjuster will do their due diligence to find fault, they may not see eye to eye and things could escalate to legal action.
Your Insurance Company Could Act as Your Legal Representation
If fault can not be agreed upon by the two insurance adjusters, you may be in store for a legal case in court. This can also happen if you are sued by the other driver in a personal injury lawsuit.
In any of these cases, your insurance company can represent you legally, though this may not be the best option. Getting a personal injury lawyer yourself can be the best course of action to avoid serious penalties.
Don’t Be Shocked if Fault is Shared
In some states, fault can be shared by both parties in the car accident. If you have any small part in it, be prepared to share fault and potentially not get your insurance claim paid out in full, or at all. This depends on the type of insurance you have.
What You Need to Know About Property Damage Insurance Claims
When it comes to repairing your car, you will need to get your property damage insurance claim paid out after a car accident. But this can be a bit more difficult than you think. For example, you shouldn’t get any repairs done to your car before the insurance adjuster has inspected the damage. If you do, you may not get compensated fully for your out of pocket car repairs.
If you’re not happy with your insurance company’s damage settlement, you can appeal it. To do this, talk to your insurance agent, request a third-party appraisal, state regulators, and even get an attorney if needed. This may seem like a lot of work, but it is worth it, because you shouldn’t have to pay for pricey damages.
What You Need to Know About Bodily Injury Insurance Claims
In countries like the United States, paying for car repairs out of pocket is nothing compared to paying for medical treatment after a car accident. This makes it vital to get your bodily injury insurance claim paid in full. One of the best ways to do this is to get medical injuries documented early and often.
For instance, go to the hospital immediately after a car accident, or as soon as pain or injuries become present. When dealing with personal injuries after a car accident, it may be best to get a personal injury attorney. They have the expertise to ensure you get compensation for medical costs, as well as get insurance claims paid.
In Conclusion . . .
Car accidents can be costly in a number of ways, and like most people, you depend on the agreement with your insurance provider to cover any agreed-upon costs. From damage to bodily injury, getting the compensation you need to recover and go about your life post accident is essential. Do your due diligence and know exactly what steps to follow after a car accident.