5 Car Problems It Never Pays to Avoid

Have you ever heard a mysterious noise coming from the engine bay of your car and then turned up the volume on the radio to drown it out? If you can’t hear it, it doesn’t exist, right? Unfortunately, that’s not the case, as ignoring and noises, glaring issues, or even warning lights on your dashboard could prove to be bigger problems that you need to deal with. As such, here are five glaring car problems that you could regret ignoring.

That annoying “check engine” light

Whenever that annoying “check engine” light comes on, it’s easy to turn a blind eye to it, especially if the car seems to be running perfectly fine. Sure, it could be something as simple as a loose gas cap, however, it could also be something more serious than you’re not aware of. Fortunately, a qualified mechanic will have to tools to look deeper into the issue, so it’s recommended that you get your car checked out as soon as possible if that pesky light comes on.

"Check Engine" Light
“Check Engine” Light | Edmunds.com

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Broken or non-working head and taillights

We see the inside of our cars more than the outside, so it’s easy to miss a non-working head or taillight. One good rule of thumb is to do a quick walkaround of your car at least once a month to make sure that your car’s lights are working properly. Not only does having a non-working head or taillight cause a safety issue, but it can also lead you to get pulled over and receiving a ticket.

2020 Ford Mustang headlight close detail shot
2020 Ford Mustang | Ford

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Tire alignment issues

Is your car pulling to the left or the right when you’re cruising on the highway? If so, this could be a glaring sign of improper alignment, which could, in turn, lead to needing new tires completely. Worn-out tires are a huge safety issue considering those big, black round things are the only connection between your car and the road it travels on. Be sure to get your tires checked and inflated once a month.

Used worn tires
Used worn tires | Mark Thompson/Getty Images

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Chipped or broken windshield

It’s easy to think, “I can see around the crack or chip in my windshield, so there’s no need to replace it yet.” However, did you also know that the constant changes in temperature can make that chip or crack much bigger? According to Safelite Auto Glass, a car’s windshield provides up to 30 percent of the car’s rigidity, which means that a chipped or cracked windshield could compromise your safety in a crash or rollover situation. So, get that windshield repaired or replace as soon as you can since it could cost you more in the long run.

The view inside a car with a cracked windshield
A car with a cracked windshield | Jerry Redfern/LightRocket via Getty Images

Squeaky Brakes

Do you know that really annoying squealing noise that you hear every time you slow down or come to a stop? Those are your car’s brakes telling you that something could be wrong. Although brakes do tend to make some noise in colder climates, more often than not, squealing brakes are typically a telltale sign that your pads or rotors (or both) need to be serviced.

And while it might seem annoying to have to take your car in to a mechanic, just know that things could get worse the longer that you wait. Be sure to get your brakes checked out periodically as a $200 job could easily turn into a $1,000 if you neglect it.

A closeup of the 2009 Nissan GT-R's carbon-ceramic brakes
2009 Nissan GT-R carbon-ceramic brakes | Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images