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“Tick, tick, tick.” That ticking sound that you might hear from your engine could be something small or something big. But many drivers choose to ignore these blatant signs on a daily basis. And while it’s easy to ignore the car issues that you can hear, it’s more important to pay attention to the signs that you can’t hear. Here are seven quiet signs that your car could be dying or is at least in need of some repair.

1. The check engine light is on

The check engine light in a Volkswagen
The check engine light in a Volkswagen. | Wikimedia Commons

If you have been driving for a while, then chances are that you have seen this little orange light on the dash come on. It’s typically in the shape of an engine and has the word “check” underneath it. That’s right, it’s the check engine light and most drivers ignore it more than a full moon on a clear night.

Unfortunately, that neglect could easily lead to a larger problem with your car. As such, it’s important to pay attention to this pesky little light and have a mechanic check out the car.

2. A strange odor

An air freshener hangs in the rearview mirror of a car.
An air freshener hangs in the rearview mirror of a car. | Unsplash

Did you leave food or old clothes in your car? If so, then that funky smell that greets you when you open your car door may be nothing to worry about. However, if you don’t have any clothes or food in the car, then it could be something worse. According to Family Handyman, “if you smell something odd or unfamiliar when you’re driving, that could indicate an issue under the hood – a coolant leak, mold in your vents, or something else.”

3. A rough-shifting transmission

Manual transmission stick shift in black.
Manual transmission stick shift | Getty Images

Whether your car is equipped with a manual or automatic transmission, there are some cases where it can be harder to shift it into gear. In either case, this could be a large problem. There’s a possibility that the fluid could need a flush, but there’s also the possibility of the issue being something much bigger, which can lead to transmission failure.

4. A faulty radio

A driver adjusts the radio in his car.
A driver controls the radio in his car. | Wikimedia Commons

If your car’s radio keeps going out or failing intermittently, then it could be the radio itself or the wiring. However, it could also potentially mean that the car’s battery needs replacing or there’s a blown fuse somewhere.

5. Weird vibrations

A close up of a warped brake rotor.
A close-up of a warped brake rotor. | Wikimedia Commons

When driving on the highway, do you notice that your car’s steering wheel shakes? And when you’re slowing down, do you notice a weird vibration in the brake pedal? If so, these aren’t signs that your car wants to boogie. Instead, they could be signs that your car’s steering rack, suspension, or brake system could need addressing.

6. Leaks underneath the car

An old car leaks oil.
An old car leaks oil. | Wikimedia Commons

When pulling out of your garage or driveway, have you noticed any leaks on the ground? If it’s clear, then it could be the air conditioning system, which is normal. But if it’s colored — black, blue, green, or red – then it could be a far major issue concerning the engine or transmission’s gaskets.

7. Pulling while driving

A driver rests his hand on the steering wheel.
A driver rests his hand on the steering wheel. | Unsplash

5 of the Most Expensive Car Repairs

If you notice that your car pulls to the left or right when driving, instead of tracking perfectly straight, then there could be an issue with its alignment. In some cases, it could be something more serious – like a worn suspension component.

Silent car repair issues that you shouldn’t ignore

Taking a look at these seven issues, it’s clear that your car will send out warning signals that you cannot hear. If you do see any of these quiet signs, make sure to take your car to a qualified mechanic as soon as possible as deeper issues may be the cause.