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All cars develop small issues from time to time, especially if they've been driven for a while. Many of these aren't serious, and you can drive perfectly safely without fixing them. But there are certain car problems that can put you in real danger if you don't deal with them immediately. Here are 5 big car issues that you need to address as soon as they arise. Continuing to drive when your car is suffering from these issues could cost you thousands of dollars in repairs at best, and serious bodily harm at worst!
1. Faulty Brakes
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This one is quite obvious—if your brakes aren't working, you won't be able to control your car's movement, and this could be disastrous at the wrong moment. Your brakes should be checked every time your car goes for its regular servicing, but it's still important to keep an eye out for warning signs. These signs include unresponsive brakes (when you have to step down unusually hard to get the car to stop), overly responsive brakes (the opposite, when your brake engages at the slightest touch), and pedals that vibrate too much when you brake. Take your car straight to a mechanic if you experience any of these warning signs or if you feel that your brakes aren't working like they usually do. You should never drive a car with faulty brakes!
2. Broken Lights
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Your car's lights are essential for a safe drive, and not just the headlights! You need your signal lights to work as well so that you're able to signal your intentions to other drivers on the road. If your lights are broken, you'll have no way to let other road users know that you're trying to merge into another lane, or that you'll be making a sudden turn, and that kind of lack in communication is exactly what causes accidents.
And of course, you need your lights for night driving. They give you better vision, and allow other drivers to see you. Driving in the dark with spoilt lights is incredibly dangerous, especially at high speeds. You won't be able to see if there's something in your way, and other drivers may not know that you're approaching until it's too late. Plus, in Singapore, you can be fined for driving without headlines, because it's considered as causing a road hazard.
Basically, whether it's a rear light or a headlight, broken lights are a serious problem that you should deal with as soon as you can. Driving without headlights and without signalling are both offenses that you can be fined for in Singapore—it endangers both you and other drivers. If possible, do not drive a car with broken lights until it is fixed, but if you have no choice, at least try not to take it on the road at night.
3. Worn-out Steering Mechanism
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The steering mechanism is another part of your car that absolutely has to work properly. Steering is what allows you to direct your car, keeping yourself out and others out of danger. If there's even a small issue with your mechanism, you could lose control of your vehicle. Unfortunately, like any other mechanical system, your steering mechanism is vulnerable to wear and tear, and problems are bound to emerge over time. If your steering system needs repair, you'll probably experience some warning signs first. Make sure to bring your car to the mechanic if you experience the following issues with your steering wheel: unusual resistance when you try to turn it, severe vibration when you accelerate, or a feeling of looseness. Steering trouble is no joke, and should definitely be resolved ASAP.
4. Damaged Tyres
They may not be as expensive and shiny as the rest of your car, but your tyres need maintenance too! If you drive on damaged or badly inflated tyres, you could suffer a sudden blowout, which might cause your car to spin out, potentially injuring or killing anyone inside. Fortunately, tyre problems can be detected quite easily . One thing you can is to kick or press on your tyres to check their firmness. If they're too soft, chances are they need to be pumped soon. And if you've only just recently pumped them, it could indicate that there's a leak. You can also check on your tyres visually—inflation levels are harder to judge by sight, but if your tyre treads are worn out or if there are bulges in the rubber from internal defects, you will be able to see them. Your tyres keep you on the road and bear your vehicle's weight, so don't forget to take care of them! If possible, you should do a tyre check before you drive anywhere, even if it's just a short trip.
5. Fuel Leak
A fuel leak doesn't directly affect your driving, but is still extremely dangerous to leave unfixed. This problem is easily detectable—you may physically see fuel dripping from your car's gas tank, or smell gasoline while driving. If the leak is serious, you may also notice that your car needs to be re-fuelled more than usual. Gasoline is highly flammable, which means that as long as your tank is leaking, all it takes is a small spark at the right time to send your car up in flames. You can never be too safe when it comes to fire hazards, and if you think you might have a fuel leak, you should get your tank checked and repaired immediately.
Another possible side effect of a fuel leak is headaches and dizziness while driving. Fuel contains toxic carbon monoxide, and if a significant amount has leaked, it could make you sick from breathing it in. Sudden dizziness is also dangerous when you're on the road, and if you're breathing in enough gasoline to be light-headed, the leak is definitely a big problem. Air the car immediately, and get it to the mechanic as soon as you can. Toxic substances like fuel are not to be played around with!
Did you find this advice helpful? What other car matters would you like advice for? Share down in the comments! To find out more about auto services in your area, or for more helpful car advice like this, download our app at the Apple Appstore and Android Playstore!