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Car sounds and smells you should definitely investigate

2017-06-22 09:39

Modern vehicles are miracles of packaging and engineering, with one model after the other becoming ever more efficient and quiet. This increasingly serene experience makes it easy to forget that there are some seriously dangerous forces, fuels and chemicals involved in making your car work. 

Any strange noises or smells are worth investigating. The best course of action is to be conservative and have it checked out. Here are some relatively common sounds and smells that might require you to take action.

·            If you can smell petrol inside the car this is potentially very dangerous indeed, as there could be a fuel leak somewhere. Petrol is highly flammable so any leak onto a hot surface risks igniting and becoming an extremely dangerous fire very quickly. Don’t drive your car if you can smell fuel.

·            A bitter, acrid smell could indicate that your clutch is on its way out (you would also feel this through the clutch pedal). It’s a pretty crucial part of the car so you’ll need to get to a garage quickly to get it addressed. Also, it might be that you need to give your clutch a break in bad traffic! Try leaving the car in neutral at your next traffic light to let it cool off.

·            The “hot metal” smell of an overheating engine isn’t as obvious as some others, but can give you enough of a warning to get you to check your engine temperature gauge. If your car is overheating, park as quickly as it is safe to do so and turn the engine off, as overheating can crack expensive components in the engine.

·            Strange plastic burning smells might indicate a serious electrical fault. An electrical fault can become a fire quickly so, again, park the car and get it towed to a garage.

·            A tappety clatter from the engine might suggest the engine needs oil. Check your oil levels urgently. If it’s okay, get the car serviced anyway.

·            A loud click-click-click noise coming from the front wheels of your front-wheel-drive car when on full lock would suggest that your CV joints are past their sell-by date. It’s best to replace them to avoid damaging further components in the car.

·            A tick-tick-tick-tick noise from as tyre could be a nail. Have a look – it’s likely to cause a puncture, which you’ll want to have plugged somewhere safe and convenient. With any luck it’ll just be a small pebble.

·            A droning noise at a high cruising speed might suggest that your tyres need replacing or worse, that your bearings are in need of replacement.

·            Squeaking or grouching brakes might mean the brake pads are worn and need replacements. Don’t wait until you’re in an emergency-stop situation! 

·            Vibrations through the steering wheel are likely to be a wheel balance or alignment problem. This can cause uneven and expensive wear on your tyres, as well as put strain on various components in the steering and the suspension. A quick and relatively cheap visit to a tyre fitment centre will fix the problem.

Is your car making strange sounds or emitting odd smells? It might be time to upgrade! Head over to AutoTrader to find your next car that won’t tick, click, drone or vibrate in any of the wrong ways. AutoTrader South Africa has been the leading media market space for the past 25 years for buying and selling vehicles. Whether you are looking to buy a brand new car or are in the market for a pre-loved model, AutoTrader has over 69 000 cars to choose from to suit your tastes and needs. Find your perfect car on AutoTrader.

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