If you're like most people, you've driven around after noticing signs of possible malfunctions in your automobile, thinking you'd get it to a mechanic soon enough. Although delaying service is not recommended under any circumstances because doing so can pose serious safety risks as well as end up costing you more money in the long run, some conditions are more serious that others. Following are three circumstances in which your car needs immediate attention by a professional mechanic.
Blue Smoke Coming From Your Tailpipe
Blue smoke coming from your tailpipe is an indication that oil has somehow gotten mixed in with the fuel system -- and left untreated, this condition could result in a vehicle fire. It probably means that you have an oil leak, so you're also running the risk of ruining your engine should your oil run completely dry. Take your car to a mechanic ASAP for your own safety and financial health.
Grinding Noises When You Step on the Brakes
Not all brake issues are serious -- if your warning light comes on, for instance, it could just mean that your car has run low on brake fluid. If you experience a spongy feeling when you step on the brakes, the culprit could be air that has gotten into your brake lines, or you could be low on brake fluid. If adding fluid doesn't help with these situations, take your car to a mechanic. However, if you hear a grinding noise coming from your brakes, that could be an indication of a serious problem such as brake pads that have completely worn through. You should not drive your car until the brake pads have been replaced because the risk of failure in this situation is too great.
A Sudden Change in How the Car Handles
If your vehicle undergoes a sudden change in how it handles while driving, pull over to the side of the road as soon as it is safe and call for assistance. Having it towed to the mechanic's shop is a far preferable alternative than getting into an accident. A change of handling could be caused by a variety of reasons, from a blown tire that's easily replaced to a failure of the power steering system that could cause serious consequences if you continue to drive.
Always err on the side of caution when indications exist that your car isn't running the way it should be.