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Is your car’s engine running rough? Have you been putting off taking into a mechanic for fear of having to pay a high repair bill? We don’t blame you. However, putting off simple car repairs or routine maintenance can lead to even more expensive repairs down the road. Early detection is important, so take your car to a mechanic if you experience one of these five warning signs.

1. The check engine light turns on

Volkswagen check engine light.
Volkswagen check engine light. | Getty images

Is there a pesky check engine light illuminating your car’s instrument panel? If so, don’t ignore it. Although the issue could be something as innocuous as a loose gas cap, it could be something far worse. Your car’s electric system and sensors are able to pick up the smallest issues, like a bad O2 sensor, to bigger issues in the engine itself. If the check engine light comes on, take your car to the mechanic right away to have it scanned.

2. Hard engine starts

A person tries to start a Toyota Prius.
A person tries to start a Toyota Prius. | Koichi Kamoshida/Getty Images

Does your car’s engine have to crank several times before it gets started? If so, it could be an issue with the ignition system or something worse. According to Driv Parts, “This could be an indicator of a few problems like a failing battery, a broken timing belt, an issue with the starter or ignition system or a problem with the system.”

As we can see, there are a lot of reasons that your car may be having issues with starting. The best thing to do would be to take it to a mechanic to get it checked out.

3. Engine stalling

2009 VW Golf
2009 VW Golf | National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images

If your car randomly stalls while driving or sitting at a stop light, then there could be a major issue. Not only is there something likely wrong with the engine, but a stalled vehicle could leave you in the worst situation. A stalling engine could be due to a clogged fuel filter, worn spark plugs, or something worse.

4. Rough idling

A view of a tachometer in a car.
A view of a tachometer in a car. | Wodicka/ullstein bild via Getty Images

Does the engine idle rough when you’re sitting at a stoplight or when you start the car? If so, it could be due to bad spark plugs or dirty fuel injectors. It can also be something even worse, which means you’ll end up spending more for a costly repair down the road.

5. Poor gas mileage

A driver's view while driving down the road.
A driver’s view while driving down the road. | Stefan Irvine/LightRocket via Getty Images

Have you noticed that you have to fill your car up more often than usual? Reduced gas mileage could mean that some maintenance is needed, but there could also be a larger underlying problem. Either way, it could be time to visit an auto repair shop.

Signs that your car needs to visit a mechanic

While it’s easy to ignore your car’s lights, ticks, and other weird sounds, it’s not a good idea to do so. Those seemingly small issues may turn into much larger ones over time, and you’ll be stuck with a repair bill worth thousands of dollars instead of a hundred or two. If your car is making any weird noises, don’t hesitate and take it in – you could end up saving its engine, which in turn means that you’ll get a good-working car for a few more years.


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