When your car is feeling worse for wear, do you know when it's better to opt for repair or turn in your keys? There are a few signs that you pay attention to if you can't decide whether to take your used vehicle to the shop or trade it in for a newer model.
6 Signs Your Car Is Headed Downhill
The thing is, your car isn't always going to warn you about issues. The big flashing lights on your dashboard can indicate any number of problems, and may not even light up at all if something is wrong! Here are a few signs to watch out for before that minor issue gets major:
- Odd smells aren't a good thing to experience when it comes to your vehicle. Watch out for a scent of gasoline, sweet or syrupy smells, the scent of burning carpet or plastic, or rotten egg smell. Each of these could indicate a simple minor fix, or a major problem. It's probably a good idea to have a diagnostic check done, and an emissions test while you're at it. If your car can't pass an emissions test, or is smelling like something is wrong, it may be time to consider trading up.
- Smoke isn't something you want to see coming from your vehicle. Typically, cars smoke in one of three colors: black, grey, or white. Surprisingly, a little black smoke may indicate something as small as dirty plugs. A little grey smoke may not be a worry, but a lot of grey smoke is cause for concern. White smoke may indicate something more serious, such as a blown head gasket in your engine (very bad, and expensive).
- Leaks can also indicate a wide range of issues. Vehicles that have been on the road for a few years may experience a few leaks here and there, but could be the start of the decline in condition. If your car leaks a lot, or leaves constant puddles in your parking spot, get it checked out. A little leak may not be a big deal, but a rainbow of colored patches in your driveway should be addressed ASAP.
- Weird noises aren't something you should be hearing when it comes to your vehicle. Grinding, clunking, creaking, and squealing are just a few indications that something is operating improperly. Often, these are signs of worn brakes, failing bearings, slipping belts, unsafe body or frame damage, or a variety of other issues.
- Safety issues aren't something to wait on. If your steering is shaky, or there are parts falling off your car, it may be time to put it out to pasture. If your vehicle can't safely be driven down the road, or poses the risk of a ticket each time you're behind the wheel, don't risk it. Now is the time to look into your next car.
- Expensive fixes aren't always worth the cost, especially if your vehicle isn't worth much. If the repair costs more than the trade-in or resale value of your car, it's time to throw in the towel. Even a new set of tires may be more expensive than keeping a 13-year-old vehicle on the road, and that's OK. If your car repairs are beginning to exceed the worth of your vehicle, you should consider your next car.
Is Your Vehicle Worth the Repair?
Sure, all vehicles exhibit signs of wear and tear, so a little leakage, a one-off odd noise, or an errant wisp of smoke may not be anything to worry about. But when those minor issues start to stack up, you could be in for some major repairs. Is your car worth fixing? This could come down to whether or not you have warranty coverage on your vehicle.
If you're driving a used car that's well past its manufacturer warranty, an extended warranty can give you peace of mind and reduce or eliminate certain repair costs. Extended warranties, also called service contracts, are often available at the dealership.
However, it can still come down to the cost versus value and how much your vehicle is actually worth. Dumping hundreds, or even thousands, into a car that's well over 100,000 or even 200,000 miles could be a waste of your hard-earned cash. Getting another vehicle can be daunting, but it could be saving you on maintenance in the long run.
Ready to Look for Your Next Car?
When you're driving a used car, there's usually only so much you can do to keep it running past a certain point. When you're dealing with bad credit too, it can be easy to try to push that point as far as you can. Sometimes though, it's time to face the facts.
If you're worried about the costs of taking on a newer vehicle, or are afraid bad credit is standing between you and your next auto loan, don't be! At The Car Connection, we want to connect you to a dealer in your area that has the resources and lenders necessary for financing borrowers with less than perfect credit.
To find a dealership that can help before your car breaks down on you, simply fill out or fast, free, and no obligation auto loan request form. After you do, we'll work to find a local dealer to match you with. What are you waiting for? Get started today!