We’ve all been there – choosing to ignore a troubling sound, odour or sign of wear on our vehicles. Whether it’s finding time in your schedule or funds in your checkbook, it’s easy to put off maintenance or repairs, but that can lead to more expensive work down the road. Here are five examples of when time is definitely not on your side:
1. Squeaking/squealing brakes – Built-in indicators on disc brake pads warn when they’re worn, and ignoring them could lead to more expensive brake repairs. Catch ’em early and you might just get away with replacing only the pads.
2. Vibrating/pulsing brakes – In addition to the squealing brake pads, you might feel a slight vibration or pulsing when you press the brake pedal. It’s a probable indicator that the brake rotors are beginning to warp. Servicing them right away might require only less-expensive machining. If the warping gets too severe, the rotors will have to be replaced.
3. Battery/charging light – Has the battery/charging light come on intermittently lately? If so, it could indicate a problem with the alternator’s ability to charge the battery. Have it checked right away, because if the alternator dies while you’re driving, the battery will soon follow – and you could be stranded, while adding a towing charge to your repair.
4. Low coolant level – Has the low-coolant light been on in your car? For a long time? Don’t ignore it. An engine that’s low on coolant has a much greater risk of overheating, which can severely damage the engine. Topping off the coolant is easy and inexpensive. Visit your ACDelco Professional Service Centre if you’re unsure about adding coolant, and ask a technician to inspect the system for leaks.
5. Timing belt – Check your Owner’s Manual for the recommended replacement interval for the engine’s timing belt. Having it replaced is one of the more labour-intensive and therefore costly maintenance procedures, but risking the belt breaking could cost much more. For one thing, you’ll never know when it will break, which could strand you and incur towing charges. And on some engines a broken timing belt can cause severe – and expensive – engine damage.