How To Tell If A Car Needs Service

Regular visits to an auto service center are great for keeping a car in top shape. How do you tell when it's time to make an appointment, though? Any of these 5 potential issues is a signal it's time to call a car service center.


Even seemingly mundane noises can tell you something. If you hear a light tick or wrap in the engine, for example, that's a sign the car probably needs attention. At a minimum, it might need an oil change. There are worse scenarios where internal components might be failing, but the important thing is to take your ride to an auto service center early to prevent things from possibly getting worse.

Check Engine Light

People are prone to ignoring their cars' check engine lights. However, the computerized system is one of the most basic warning systems in a vehicle. If you really dislike the idea of humoring the check engine light, you should at least check the code with a scanner. Folks who don't have scanners can go to any service center or even most auto parts stores to have someone do a scan.

If the code seems minor, reset it. However, the code may come back. If it does, the best thing to do is have a professional run a diagnostic.

Declining Fuel Economy

A vehicle's fuel economy will often decline if it's not in top condition. Notably, this doesn't mean any codes will kick up. Modern cars' computers adjust to changes in fuel types, air, and even vehicle performance very well. Oftentimes, the only sign anything is up is getting a few miles less MPG. The car might just need a tune-up, but it's a good idea to go to an auto service center in case it's a sign of a bigger problem.

Time Between Visits

Going long stretches between trips to a car service center isn't a great idea. If you haven't taken your car in something like half a year, there's a pretty good chance it at least needs oil and air filter service. Keep a log of your visits to a service center so you can be sure how long it has been. Make a habit of scheduling the appointment even if the car seems to be running flawlessly.


Regular vibrations that don't relate to anything wrong with the road are usually bad. If you feel a vibration anywhere in the car, it's a problem that will almost always worsen with time. Schedule an appointment at an auto service center as soon as possible, even if the vibration seems minor.

For more information, contact a car service center near you.