Vehicle Warning Signs You Should Never Ignore

by Staff | November 2nd, 2020

Safe driving means being focused, attentive, sober, defensive, and always following traffic laws. But it also means driving a vehicle that won’t put you, your passengers, and other motorists in danger. Not all vehicles on Indiana’s roads are created equal—some are highly reliable and in great condition, while others are breakdowns waiting to happen.

It’s important to pay close attention to your vehicle. Skipping out on important maintenance tasks doesn’t just reduce its value, it can also increase your chances of being involved in an accident. Thankfully, modern vehicles have many warning lights to alert drivers of serious issues. And things that onboard computers can’t detect can often be discovered with a simple visual inspection.

Don’t Ignore These Warning Lights

  • Tire pressure light—Your tires are the most important components of your vehicle. They’re the only part that comes into contact with the road. When they are over or underinflated, your vehicle will tell you, so be sure to check their PSI (pounds per square inch) and correctly inflate them right away.
  • Airbag light—Your airbags are essential safety components that can save your and your loved ones’ lives in a crash. When your vehicle’s airbag light comes on, it means they may be damaged or malfunctioning, and they may not deploy properly during a crash.
  • Brake light—Being able to slow down and stop quickly is essential when driving. Your vehicle’s brake warning light may activate if there’s anything wrong with its brake system, including low brake fluid or electronic failure.
  • Temperature light—Vehicles produce huge amounts of heat, and they use coolant to reduce their engine temperatures. When their cooling systems malfunction, they can quickly overheat, potentially causing total engine failure.
  • Oil light—Oil is the lifeblood of your vehicle’s engine. When there’s not enough of it, or when it isn’t circulating through your engine properly, this light will turn on. Lack of oil can severely damage your engine.

Look for These Signs of Trouble

  • Damaged or severely worn tires—Look at your tires regularly. Damage may not always show up in your vehicle’s warning lights. Replace tires that are severely worn, damaged, or punctured by debris such as nails or glass.
  • Burned out lights—It’s essential to have working headlights, turn signals, brake lights, and taillights. Check all of your vehicle’s lights regularly. You’ll see better on the road, others will see you more easily, and you’ll avoid a ticket.
  • Damaged or blocked muffler—Your muffler helps make your vehicle quieter. But when it’s damaged or blocked by dirt and other debris, it can make your vehicle difficult or even impossible to start. Check your muffler for signs of damage, as it can add up without you noticing.

If This Happens, Go to a Mechanic

  • Car shaking or dying when idling—If your vehicle shuts off when you’re stopped in traffic or at red lights, there’s a whole host of issues that may need to be addressed, from fuel pump failure to bad spark plugs.
  • Car drifting or pulling in one direction—This often indicates that your tires are misaligned. Poorly aligned tires can decrease your vehicle’s MPG and also make crashes more likely, as you’re constantly having to correct your vehicle’s path.
  • Car sluggish when accelerating—If your vehicle seems to have lost some of its oomph, it could put you at risk when merging onto highways and interstates. This often occurs when vehicles have a range of problems, from transmission issues to loose vacuum hoses.

If you have an older vehicle, you already know that maintenance and part replacements are a regular part of life. But new vehicle owners aren’t exempt from this part of car ownership, either. It’s important to stick to your manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule as much as possible for everything from oil changes and wiper blade replacements to getting new brakes and tires installed.

We’re Here to Help After Crashes Caused by All Types of Negligence

There are many reasons that car crashes occur. Sometimes, drivers are negligent or reckless behind the wheel. Other times, they fail to address or fix serious and obvious mechanical failures in their vehicles. Whatever the case may be, we believe that their victims deserve compensation.

If you or someone you love was hurt in a crash, the Indiana auto accident attorneys at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin want to help you get compensation. Contact us today for a free consultation. It’s our goal to help you get every penny you’re owed.

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